Big Cypress & Seminole: Mile 92

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After 3 days of sunny Miami beaches, I made my way to the Oasis Visitor Center at Big Cypress National Preserve.

It was time to trade South Beach for the Florida swamps.

(Wait.)

I arrived at the Florida Trail Kickoff on Jan 8th with 12 other hikers. We quickly registered for backcountry camping, ate donuts, and posed for photos with the new southern terminus sign.

Despite the food and company, we couldn’t stay and linger for long. There was swamp hiking on today’s agenda, and the sun sets obnoxiously early in January.

It was time.

I grabbed another donut and began to follow the orange blazes…

…They lead me straight into the water.

For the next 3 days, the trail tortured us with mud and miles of knee-deep swamp.

I don’t know quite how to describe the swamp. It was a “unique” experience. It was beautiful, yet completely exhausting. I would scan the horizon for green palm trees- I knew that meant an island was close and that meant rest! Woo hoo!

Am I glad I did it? Yes!
Would I do it again? Hahaha!!

After the swamp came days of horrible hiking past sugar cane fields in the Seminole Indian Reservation. (Oh well, at least I had history podcasts!)

Gator count to date: 28
Skunk count: 1 (crawled under my tent!)

Here are a few photos:

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Categories: Florida | 17 Comments

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17 thoughts on “Big Cypress & Seminole: Mile 92

  1. And so it begins… again! I love the photos, and as tan as your legs already are, I imagine they are going to be a couple of shades darker before you reach Fort Pickens!
    Good thinking to get the hands-free umbrella attachment, it will make the heat a little more bearable. Take care (especially with those ‘gators and snakes…) and hike happy,
    TicTac

  2. You need to include snake counts so I can be freaked out for you!

    Also, which umbrella is that you are using?

  3. And…she’s off! Another adventure for Acorn! May you hike well and be safe out there. I cannot imagine swamp hiking. The closest I ever came was on Maine stretches of the AT in those bogs.

  4. Whats up with the sneakers? No “hiking” shoes?

  5. Love it! Maybe this will be next on my list too!

  6. Maybe there was more water in Big Cypress this year? I’ve walked that section when it was bone dry and also when only the north 8 miles were wet (our thru in 2011). Interesting to see the variations.

    Happy hiking!

  7. Kent

    I wish i had told you make sure and eat at panama jacks ye the old us 1 bridge near everglades entrance. Awsome fresh food! Dam them hiker legs are sexy! Lol good luck acorn i have all the faith you will make it

  8. lucky. that’s the first word that comes to mind as i sit in my cubical on my lunch break, looking out towards the trails. Wish i could take the time to do a thru-hike.

    You will likely be well north of the Ocean to Lake spur by the time I make it to that trail on Saturday. Have fun,and if you do the ocean to lake spur, drop a comment!

    Hows the condensation on that fancy tent of yours? I got a friend that not convinced that the ultra low rain-fly’s ventilate well. My MSR Fast Stash seems to produce a .5L of it every morning here in Florida.

  9. Just and observation/question, Acorn: You’re walking in knee-deep brackish water with alligators. No one gets bit? Aren’t you technically below them on the food chain? How do you handle this? How’s it going with the ‘skeeters?

    • There weren’t any alligators there (that I saw…)

      Mosquitos have been bad at night, but I’m in my tent by then… And hoping I don’t have to pee.

      Not sure about the food-chain, but I ate alligator on day4 of hike. So far, I’m above them in food chain. 🙂

      -Acorn

  10. you brother

    this is a stupid question but why not wear boots or overalls that actualy protect you from water?

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