At the Seminole State Forest Bear Pond trailhead, hikers from around the state gathered to celebrate Billy Goats 74th birthday. A long distance hiking legend, Billy Goat is spending another winter hiking along the Florida Trail. This is how a long-distance hiker avoids the cold winters up north.
Chuck and Tigger shuttled the 2013 crew back from Clearwater Lake and other points north so they could attend the party. Food was plentiful, as one would expect with a gathering of hikers, with Rodknee Dangertrail pitching in with mounds of brats and burgers cooked over the open grills. The covered shelter was decorated with colorful bandanas; hiking poles with balloons formed a semi-circle around the folding camp chairs.
Just before lunch was served, we heard whistles from the parking lot. The 2013 crew marched in waving hiking poles and whistling a tune, which became a well-choreographed birthday song and skit in honor of Billy Goat. Each member of the crew, including Mabel the dog, flashed letters drawn on their bodies to spell out Billy Goat.
Stories were told, friendships renewed, and all had a wonderful time wishing Billy Goat a Happy Birthday.