Florida Trail

The Sunshine State

Well, we’re here in Fort Lauderdale and well, aside from 595 having an insane amount of construction, Florida is the same. It’s warm in January, all the invasive species are still out and about (Brazilian pepper, melaleuca, Australian pines, iguanas, monk parakeets) and all of the tropical plants make me want to garden like crazy.

We drove down to Miami to visit our friend Christine and while driving down Krome Avenue I wanted to stop in at every nursery and buy orchids. We did stop in at one of our favorites and poked around at all the beautiful vandas. Mmmmm, orchids! My only sadness is that it isn’t mango, lychee or avocado season—that’s in the summer. The avocados are ripening on the trees, though, getting ready for later on this year.

Our resupplies have been bought, food to start and two boxes for our friend Chris/FootTrax to bring. The water levels in the glades seem to be getting lower but we didn’t see the Big Cypress area. Chris is going to Fakahatchee today so he will report back on how much water is out there and what we might be facing on Saturday. I’m thinking more mud or only ankle deep water, but we shall see.

We’re already having to renegotiate our planned stops. We were thinking of doing the east side of the dike around Lake Okeechobee but someone recently emailed Chris to tell him they’d been kicked off in two different locations by construction crews on the dike. So, we’re heading west instead, which is two miles shorter but more remote. Also, the Avon Park Bombing Range has been closing more often so we’ll have to probably plan to get there on a weekend. They have a phone # to call so we’ll be checking in on that as well.

Other than that, we’re ready to go. I’m wondering why I brought my 15* bag when it is so pleasant out but I’m sure I will want it at some point as it does get cold here in Florida. A few weeks ago there were some 20* nights and heavy frost on the ground here. It isn’t always tropical year round!

Anyway, probably one more update and then I am having our friend Kathy do a post after they drop us off at Loop Road. I’ll call in to my brother when I can and have him post here when he has a chance and then whenever I get to somewhere with a computer I’ll post, too!

Meanwhile if you are an AT hiker keep an eye on Onward and Upward’s AT 2011 hike. I found them while trying to look up future AT hikers to follow for the year.


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