In addition to the physical aspects of getting ready for the Appalachian Trail, I also need to brush up on my camping skills. To that end, I will try to do a few overnight camping trips this winter and today is my first overnight since my week long trip on the AT in June. Where did the last six months go?
Curry Hammock State Park is about eight miles ‘north’ on highway one from our marina. A perfect distance for hiking there one day, camping overnight and hiking back the next day.
The Little Rabbit and I left the boat around 0800, she heading to play pickleball in Key Colony, I for my hike to Curry Hammock. After getting my backpack from the car and filling my water bottle I was all ready and we parted ways. Five minutes later, silly Rabbit! I realized I had forgotten my most important piece of equipment, my hiking shoes! I still had my sannals on! I briefly debated doing the hike in my Keens but good sense prevailed and I called Jeanie. She felt sorry for me and turned around to bring me the right shoes.
I had two things I needed to do on the way to the park. One was to pick up food for today and tomorrow. The other was to return the movie (‘Hell or High Water’) we rented the day before. I stopped at Publix and picked up a couple items for dinner and breakfast. Then I swung by McDonalds for a sweet tea. Next I stopped at Subway and picked up a sandwich for lunch. I was not going to be hungry! In the process I passed by three Redboxes and never gave the movie in my pocket a thought. It was not until I had walked a mile past the last Redbox did I remember (silly Rabbit!) the movie. Ugh. Now, I could call The Little Rabbit and have her come find me and return the movie for me. Or I could keep the movie another day for another buck or two. Or I could hike the mile back to Walgreens. I hiked. The extra distance is good for me. Maybe I will remember next time.
The hike is a fair distance but the walking is very easy. It’s all a dead-flat and paved walking/biking trail. The last few miles are set apart from the road a little so less busy and noisy than the first part.
I checked in at the park about 1230 and found my camp site. When I made a reservation for this site a few weeks ago there were not many available. I thought I had lucked out getting one next to the restrooms. Turns out the restrooms are being renovated and I will have to walk to the other side of the campground to use the temporary/portable restrooms. In addition, I have the construction noise right next door. I hope they don’t work late.
As I was finishing lunch it started to sprinkle. I hurried to set up my tarp only to find that
1) the park installed posts for hammocks, clotheslines, etc (mustn’t tie to trees!) in the very back corner of the site. The area is heavily encroached by the surrounding vegetation
2) the barbecue grill is also in the way – with the tarp up, the grill is underneath the tarp. I could cook from my hammock.
3) the gravel pad is too hard to drive tent pegs in.
I stood under the tarp, holding the edges by hand, waiting for the rain to let up so I could figure it out at my leisure. Fortunately it was a typical Florida afternoon shower – it only lasted about 15 minutes.
With the tarp and hammock up I escaped to find some peace at the picnic area by the beach.
All is well.
Miles hiked today: 10
AT miles hiked: 0