Find me in my tent some small distance east of Crestview, Florida. In amongst the pines and palmettos. The Panhandle's made of sand. It smells like springtime. It smells like Japan. It's raining and my windows are open.
I did not leave the Knightens' until two o'clock. It may well have been two-thirty. Before I found the courage to strap on my pack and head back out on the road. And to say my goodbyes. That's never fun. I kept it as brief as I could. I am in their debt. They must realise that. I'll get them back one of these days.
I am not sure the long rest did me much good. The bones in my feet are all crunchy. I probably gained eight or ten pounds. I never did get much sleep. But that will all take care of itself. I am happy to be walking again. I haven't got far yet to go. Florida is much bigger than it looks on a map, but it does not intimidate me.
I will lighten my pack when I turn right and start heading south again. I am carrying an extra five or more pounds of wooly cold weather gear. I've been winter camping since I hit Iowa. It is nice to be warm once again. There will be one or two more cold days, but nothing like I faced before. It's a stroll from here. Alligators be damned. Let them be afraid of me.
It is, as I said, raining some now. It is meant to rain hard all night long. But I'll be dry enough, if not perfectly so. It ought to clear up in the morning. The weather here is Hobbity. It is always fairly humid. There are eerie fogs and violent rains. It is warm overall. Magical, if it pleases you. An odd kind of paradise.
I'll be less generous when I get rained on. My opinions can change. It is storming abroad but I'm warm in my tent. It nice to be home again. It might smell like tom cat but I don't mind. Home is a matter of heart.
Tomorrow I'll put in an honest day. I've got Christmas cookies to chew on. And a penguin mascot and half a ton of the very finest fruit cake. I don't know what to expect from the road before me. I did glance at the map some time back. But it doesn't matter. I'm headed east. Sooner or later I'll stop.
Goodnight, everyone. Dream well.