what does hiking have to do with kayaking

In May of 2011 I joined two coworkers from Eckerd College to hike ten miles from Ross Prairie (SR 200) SW 49th Ave, to CR 475A (aka the Land Bridge Trailhead).  It has been a while since I did a day hike.  We covered ten miles in under four hours.


There is a lot that hiking and kayaking have in common.  City folk always ask “why do you want to go out there” or something to that effect.  Meandering along a trail listening to the wind and wildlife to see something with fresh eyes is why I go outside.  And this short hike did make me acutely aware of a few things.

I forgot how nice the interior of Florida is.  We hiked through grass flats, in to pine hammocks, up and down some switch backs, and under some giant oak canopies.  We timed our hike when humidity was almost nonexistent.

I also forgot that even though I have been working out with a personal trainer my body is not as conditioned as it once was.  I experienced three new developments.  My hands experienced peripheral edema about two hours into the hike.  This was probably caused from the shoulder straps on my 20 pound day pack being too tight.  The swelling slowly went down after I adjusted the load to weigh more onto my hips.

I chose to carry a 20 pound pack because I wanted the exercise.

About three hours into the hike the muscles around my right knee began to complain.  Two days prior to the hike I was at the gym working my lower body.  Apparently I over did my workout compounded with the hike resulted in me straining the muscles around the top of the knee.  Too much up and down movement along the trail.  This also led into another new treat.  By favoring my right knee I also caused my right foot to slide within my boot and continuously bump up against the toe box.  The result was a “black index toe”.  I bruised my toe!

Beyond the body issues the time outside was a needed treat.  Traveling through the woods with the basics on my back was a needed vacation day.  I could have carried less gear.  But one should always be prepared.  –  Jeff

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