Hello friends and family. We arrived in Crestview on the 4th after the last 12 mile Road walk on US 90, and met my dear friends Micah and Elyse Berg, who along with their two children Ethan and Isabel, who brought us our supplies for the next week. It was nice to visit with them for a while.
We hiked another 3 miles into the woods to reach Pearl campsite. That was the last of 5 days through The Eglin Reservation. I was astounded by the beauty and diversity of the trail, especially the sparkling clean creek that flows through the wooded forest. I have to give special thanks to my friends at the local Choctawhatchee Chapter of the Florida Trail Association. The “trail hogs” are a very hard-working group of men and women who work year-round to build bridges, trim and clean, and do all that’s necessary to keep the Florida Trail (FT) in our area in good shape.
The Eglin and Nokuse plantation area covers about 70 miles. That may be one of the prettiest hikes on the entire FT. Nokuse means bear in the Creek Indian language. This 20 mile section runs north of Freeport from Highway 331 to Highway 81 near Red Bay. It is unique in that most of the property is being replanted now with our native long leaf pine trees and also offers a special protected habitat for the endangered gopher tortoise. The weather was again perfect for hiking with no rain. We had several 13 to 15 mile days, but still managed to set up camp by about 4 PM and enjoy our soak in the cool creek water. We’re usually in bed at dark and up again at first light.
It’s great to get away from the news and electronic gadgets. Nature can be very healing and refreshing. The stars at night have been incredible throughout this area. Sometimes in everyday life we forget to look up.
Thanks to our new donors Charlie Clary, Johnny Himes, Ed Graham, and Eric Caddenhead. Also thanks to Eric for picking us up on Highway 331 and taking us to Freeport just to get a hamburger and then take us back to the trail. Also thanks to my sister Jeannie and my mom for picking us up at Seven Runs area and bringing us home for the weekend. Was greatly appreciated! We finished Eglin and the Nokuse area on Friday the 10th, and went to my house for a day off. That’s called that’s a zero in Hiker’s terms. Claire’s fixing us a big Italian meal which I’m really looking forward to.
We head back to the trail on Monday morning. It will take about a week to get to Blountstown and another week to get to the St. Mark’s area. Next update will be from there.
Thank all of you again for your prayers and your financial support I appreciate you.
Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean. ~ John Muir