Thursday, November 10, 2011
KEY WEST>PENSACOLA>KEY WEST
I have not been posting lately due to my crazy work schedule. But now that the job is complete, and I am currently waiting for the next one to start. I have approxamately until early February, so I think I will plan a Thru-hike on the Florida Trail . Because the FT is only 1100 miles long, I will have to add some miles to it, or the hike will be over before I really start to get into it, so...
My plan is, to start in Key West Florida, and hike the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail, [FKOHT] to the Southern Terminus of the Florida Trail, [FT]. Once on the Florida Trail, I will then continue North to the Western Terminus in Pensacola. Shortly after arriving in Pensacola, I plan to turn around and hike back to Key West retraceing my footsteps. This comes to be some 2585+ miles.
There are multiple routes to chose from on the FT, and I have done my research to chose the most optimum route that suits my needs. I chose the Western route around Lake Okeechobee, due to the construction on the East Route, that would have me hiking off trail, around construction sites. While approaching the City of Orlando, I have a choice between the Western or Eastern Routes around the city. I will chose the Eastern Route due to the multiple suggestions of previous hikers. When I am out on the Western Panhandle, I would also have two Routes to chose from. Roughly 60 miles from Pensacola, a lot of hikers head North, 40 miles to the Alabama State Line, while others continue west, 60 miles along the beaches to Pensacola. Because the Western section follows beaches, is slightly longer and the Northern Route is more of a route for people contiuing North on to other trails, I will continue West.
I will be starting shortly after I arrive in Key West on the evening of November 26th. My schedule has me arriving at the Southern Terminus of the Florida Trail on the evening December 1st. I will most likely wait till morning of the 2nd before entering Big Cypress Swamp. The Florida Trail Association strongly suggest starting much later, [on or after January 1st] due to high waters and hunting seasons, but this will not fit in my window. If all goes well to my schedule, I will be arriving on New Years Eve, at Pensacola for the turn around. I plan to be back in Key West on the 1st of February, The days will be short and I will be carrying more gear than usual, due to winter hiking. I need to be prepared for cold rains and severe weather. My schedule does have room for error and is only set as a guideline to meet my drops and be home in time for being back to work. There is no reported Fastest Time, nor yo-yo attempt, so at best I might be ESTABLISHING both. If someone was to leave later in the year when the days are longer and the weather was warmer, it would be much easier.
I will be doing this 100% completely unsupported and will not accept rides to and from resupply, or for any other reason. I also will not plan any vehicle resupplies or supply drop offs. I will virtually be carrying ALL of my gear to and from towns for food supplies. I like being self sufficiant and not reliant on anyone but myself. I will however accept any random acts of kindness, [snacks, ect...] from trail angels and such. For a thru-hike would not be the same, if the kindness of others were not accepted.
I will not be posting to the Blog while on the hike, but will transfer my journals afterwards. I will be Photographing and Journaling the entire way. For those who are not on my FB page and are interested in becoming friends, that would be my pleasure. I will give periodic updates, as well as sharing some highlights. I hope to see some of you out on the trail, but it is always nice to hear good thoughts from those who are watching from the PC. Thanks for reading through this and have a good Holiday Season!