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Yesterday the North Florida Trailblazers finished up the weekend’s work hike. We spent the day clearing the trail from Ocean Pond to Osceola Shelter and from the shelter on to the Turkey Run Trailhead. The trail was in worse shape than what we faced on Saturday with some portions needing a couple of passes with the mower to clear it out enough.

The vines were worse and had monster thorns. Even with the cooler weather I was hot in my LS shirt so I took it off. I paid the price with scratched and bleeding arms. I’ve shed blood and sweat for this trail! What blood I didn’t lose to the vines was sucked dry by the skeeters. I swear these beasts were the size of Texas! Our dainty little skeeters here in Jax pale in comparison…and that’s a good thing!

We had another great group of people and shared a lot of laughs. At the end of the day I think we left the trail looking a thousand times better than when we arrived.

Just so you get an idea of what we were doing this is the view behind the mower (I realized I never captured any before shots).
Cleared Trail

And here’s my view from behind the mower. I took this as I was crossing the boardwalk to Osceola Shelter.
Mower View

This was certainly a great weekend for trail maintenance and I’m glad I was finally able to lend a hand and give back to the trail so that others can have a more enjoyable experience. There was one kind of sad moment. At the shelter I was excited to find my log entry from my first visit. The sad part is that I only had to flip back less than a dozen pages from the most recent entry to find it. The date was 10/24/08. So in almost three years only a handful of hikers had signed the book. I hate to think of the shelter going unused so I’m opting for thinking of them not realizing it’s there to sign. 🙂

So that’s a wrap on the weekend. Now get out there and hike!

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