Monday, December 26, 2011

Day Two-Hundred-Thirteen, Homecoming

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.

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  1. Happy tenting tonight & walking tomorrow and all the days that lie ahead. May your journey be peaceful & rewarding!

  2. You are very inspiring, i will once travel across america not by foot though, that'd be too tough on me and my kids would hate me lol i plan on taking them too, its not the gators i'd be worrying about its the cougars and black panthers i'd freak over which is wildly popular in south florida, also gators don't stalk you and generally leave you alone as where as the cats do the opposite carry a walking stick for the snakes and cats. Happy traveling to you i hope you find home soon

  3. Are you on I10 or are you heading down 90??

    Look out for Bears while your up here, they scare easy....Just make a ton on noise and dont run from them. I will follow you everyday now, im interested in seeing how long it takes you to get to Key West.


  4. I'm on 90 for the next several days, at least until Tallahassee or so. I figure the bears will leave me alone. They did not eat me in Montana. I don't know how long it will take to get to the Keys. I'll try not to let you down.