The Florida Trail by Jessica Smith

Location: Juniper Prairie Wilderness, Ocala National Forest, Central Florida

Our boots sunk deep in the sugar white sand, making each step more laborious than we were used to. My calves had begun to burn right along with my pale skin. There was no shade to hide under, no trees to from which to seek relief. Florida is a state with more than 30,000 lakes, but around us was as hot and dry as a desert. I had grown up in North Central Florida, and knew just how unforgiving the heat could be, but the Southern winters had become much too warm for me to go hunting with Ruger 10/22. My years away in cold mountainous places had thickened my blood, giving me cause to strip off layers of outerwear and hastily shove them into my day pack. My Father took broad strides, and if I slowed for even a moment I would lose pace with him. Any digging around in my backpack had to be done at a trot. Continue reading “The Florida Trail by Jessica Smith”