If you’re wondering why I’m so quiet right now, I’m working hard at creating the next generation of the Florida Hikes website!
I did, however, take the time last week to rejoin Lou and Rachael Augspurg’s Florida Trail section hike through the Ocala National Forest.
This time it was Farles Prairie, the first place I ever knowingly hiked on the Florida Trail.
It was June 1999, and I’d just lost my sister to cancer. I was looking for a place to get away.
I posted a note on one of the hiking mailing lists, probably the AT-L, and said I needed to find some solace in the woods, despite the season. And that’s where a fellow list member met me for a hike.
Last week’s hike was a bit different. With 50 people in the group, it was quite a mass of humanity moving through the forest, which I hadn’t remembered was so hilly.
This part of the Florida Trail skirts near the Pine Castle bombing range, and at one point we felt a BOOM!
Part of the hike snaked through a place my friend Debbie called a “nightmare forest,” charred spindly trees like something out of “Nightmare Before Christmas,” caused by an errant bomb.
It was pause for thought. A comfortable day for a walk, too.