Saturday, December 5, 2015

On the road to DeFuniak Springs

On the road to DeFuniak Springs
I encountered a number of things.
But one thing I did not
Was a helluva lot
Of what this street sign promised to bring.

"Key West or Bust" - Days 59 and 60

When I walk busy highways I find myself humming a grim march tune.  My jaw is set.  My eye movement is much less.  My thoughts turn more inward.  I don't feel nearly as alive.  This is what civilization has taken away from the human experience.  So that is my inward-turned thought for the day:  By restoring wilderness we restore ourselves.

So this report is about roads.  Roads to DeFuniak Springs.  Roads from DeFuniak Springs.  Inside DeFuniak Springs there's a pretty downtown featuring a circular lake.  It's worth taking the time to explore, but my walking route didn't take me through there and my logistics -- that day I had to hike eighteen miles -- didn't allow for digressions.  The next day I found out that I would only hike seven miles, but I was already beyond DeFuniak Springs and I didn't know my plans until I scouted the next twenty miles of trail.

So I walked big busy US highways for two days, with the brief exception of this snatch of old FL 285 coming out of Eglin.

Abandoned old FL 285 adorned by a yaupon holly in its Christmas finery

Fortunately some of the more rural parts of US 90 coming into DeFuniak had a nice wide right-of-way with a 'mailman road'.  Many of the mailboxes face away from the highway.

US 331 coming out of DeFuniak is under construction for twenty miles.  Construction activity was hot and heavy in places.

But in others where the heavy equipment was not working I could safely walk the trails they were blazing.

There was one little town along US 90 that had some character.  It's called Mossy Head and it's named for the 'steephead' spring that it sits beside.  Here it is.

I had to do a little bushwhack down its steep face from the highway to get this shot.  They've apparently dammed up the waters flowing out of the base of the 'head' but it's not public land and seems to be taken for granted.  It made me sad to see this, because steepheads are such a unique, fascinating feature of northern Florida.  Fortunately I will be exploring them more tomorrow.  Stay tuned.

Below are two maps of the two days of hiking - the eighteen mile day and the seven mile day.

US 90 Roadwalk, FL 285 to DeFuniak Springs at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find trail maps for California and beyond

US 331 from DeFuniak Sprs to Eglin Florida Trailhead at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find hiking trails in California and beyond

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