West Okeechobee & Kissimmee: Mile 248

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I was warned about the skunk problem at Liberty Point campsite.

Mistake #1: I didn’t listen.

Typical Acorn. The skunk-infested location was a good stopping point, so I camped there anyway. In my defense, I tried to outsmart the skunks by hanging my food in the trees at night.

Mistake #2: You can’t outsmart a skunk.

Feeling smart, I slid into my sleeping bag after a long day of hiking around Lake Okeechobee. I was seconds away from peaceful slumber when there was a strange sound outside my tent.

I wasn’t alone.

Not only that, but my companions were baby skunks, and they wanted to play. I tried to ignore them. My food was hanging outside and I was in a tent. That should protect me, right?

Mistake #3: Nothing will stop a skunk.

Seconds later, I felt something wiggling under my feet. I stared, in horror, at the bulge of black sil-nylon in the middle of my tent.

There was a skunk crawling under my tent!

What should I do?

Do I kick it? Should I yell? Or will that just make everything smelly? Can baby skunks still spray?

And importantly, why did I camp here?

The playful baby skunks came back at various points that night. At 1am, a skunk nudged my neck. At 2am, a skunk bounced off my bug netting, as if it were a trampoline.

I didn’t sleep well that night.

At dawn, I hastily packed my gear and hiked 21 miles to a hotel room. I’m wrong about a lot of things, but I’m pretty sure that skunks can’t operate doorknobs or windows.

Other than a horrific night, trail life is going quite well. It’s sunny and I’m enjoying the Florida Trail. It’s not the Appalachian trail, but it has it’s own unique traits. Yesterday, I hiked in the sunshine and enjoyed freshly picked oranges for lunch. Skunks or no skunks, you can’t beat that for January!

The trail has been an interesting mix of beautiful woods, vast ranches of cows, and occasionally, roadwalks.

I tried to complain to a friend about the roadwalks.

I didn’t get much sympathy:

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(Skunk photo credit: Applepie)

Categories: Florida | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “West Okeechobee & Kissimmee: Mile 248

  1. you brother

    ohh, they just wanted to play! that’s so cute!

  2. Ugh… Acorn, what’s up with that huge blister? Do you think it is related to the heat? I hope you are able to care for them and continue hiking. If it’s any consolation, I think skunks only “spray” if they feel endangered, so just don’t scare them!

  3. Bob Churcher

    Great post, thanks

  4. Three Lakes and Bull Creek are my home trails. I hope you enjoy.

  5. Andy

    Did you get new boots since the AT? Or did you get a pair just like the ones you had?
    Also…..when you wade through the water what keeps a gator from chomping on you? Do they typically shy away from humans? …..hope thats not the answer. Good Luck!!!!

  6. I am enjoying your newest journey. Congrats.

  7. zoraklive

    Hi Acorn, Enjoyed your AT blog and enjoying your FT blog, especially since I live in Central FL. Are you taking the east side trail around Orlando? We used to do some day hikes up around the Little Big Econ when we lived closer to it. Stay warm and dry the next couple of days.

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