What a delight to hang out with a roomful of old friends last week to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Apalachee Chapter of the Florida Trail Association! My good friend Linda “eArThworm” Patton oversaw the festivities, which includes lots of munchies complete with recipe cards next to them – perfect for the gluten-free and vegetarian hikers amid the crowd. Several past presidents of the chapters were in attendance, along with our FNST manager from the USDA Forest Service and the Executive Director of the FTA.
What was especially heartening was the size of the crowd on such a dreary, rainy, cold evening. We kept the room warm by swapping stories and listening to Steve Sheridan, who in 1989 accomplished the feat of thru-hiking the Florida Trail – the first person ever to walk end-to-end. Steve has a new book out which I’ll talk about later in the month, but meanwhile, his slide presentation gave a great glimpse into ‘what things used to look like’ in places I know by heart these days, like the Pahokee Marina.
Congratulations to the very active Apalachee Chapter – based in Tallahassee – for their accomplishments in routing and maintaining the Florida Trail for the past 30 years, and to their members for leading so many interesting hikes around the region, including the ongoing Apalachee Ambles series showcasing those Florida Trail segments – the next of which kicks off on January 28.