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  1. #1
    Senior Member Floridahanger's Avatar
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    FL>Hidden Pond, ONF>July 19-21, 2019>7th annual "No Underquilt Hang"

    So I was able to go out Thursday evening instead of Friday morning. So glad I did.

    It had rained earlier in the day and the clouds were still around to cool of the trail. Hiking out from the Hidden Pond Short Trailhead at 8:30pm with the sun behind clouds and trees made for a cool hike in at a slower pace than normal. The surrounding ponds all seemed to be fuller than usual except the very first pond, which was good to keep the trail dry next to the pond.

    After a nice 30 minute hike straight to the East on the Short, I came out of the woods into the prairie that is on the North side of Crooked Sapling Pond. This is the part of the trail that turns South along the dry pond for a short distance before going back East towards the Florida Trail. It was a little after sunset and almost dark and this is where the fireflies/lightning bugs made a wonderful light show for me. I stayed here for about 15 minutes watching the show.

    With the moonlight from the almost full moon(it was 2 nights prior) I could still see the trail enough to make my way, marking the trail on the ground for Gravey as I went along. He was a couple hours behind me.

    After getting to Hidden Pond 30 min later, I slowly made camp while a cool breeze kept coming and going keeping me cool and helping me dry out. Next was the chance to check out the pond and shine my light looking for the alligator. The pond was still high from the Hurricanes and many, many storms the last few years making it very inviting for a swim the next day. I did find the gator close to the pond entrance on the right side(close to the trail).

    Standing there, away from the trees, I had a great view of the 5-6 military jets flying their night maneuvers. Later, I saw a bright, bluish light as I was gathering a little bit of wood. As I turned around and looking up, I saw a meteor breaking up. It must have been big because I had time to see the initial light, turn around and see a few more bursts before disappearing. Too cool.

    So the night went uneventful after that for over an hour until Gravey strolled in.

    We called it a night sometime after midnight. This time, I had my bugnet on my hammock and my UQ set up and off to the side at the ready. The temp was perfect and I fell asleep quickly. Sometime just before daybreak I did get that cool feeling so I pulled out my Summer TQ and that kept me comfy until I woke after 9am. Great sleep.

    It was a calming and relaxing day as we hung around camp and slowly gathered firewood for that night. It didn't get hot until close to noon and it was time for a swim. Unfortunately the large algae growth has made it's way to the beach entrance so I stayed at camp while Gravey cleared it up a bit. Like I said, calming and relaxing for me.

    The pond was incredibly diverse in the temp from the top inch(hot), next couple inches(slightly warm) to the bottom, quite cool. I forgot to bring a rope to keep drinks cool on the bottom. I also forgot to bring drinks, soooo.... Not a loss. Hopefully in September I will succeed.

    That afternoon, the surrounding storms cooled off the temps for us and kept it nice enough to have an evening fire. Love me some fire.

    After another great sleep out in the woods, I packed up my kit to leave Saturday morning to be with my family as we said our last goodbyes to my cousin that passed away after a long and hard battle from Lung Cancer.

    Final thoughts:
    - It was surely a great feeling coming out Thursday afternoon after the heat was gone. Need to do that again.
    - The light show from the Fireflies was awesome.
    - Glad to see Gravey, O-Boy, Scott Adkins, and Randonneur come out on a hot July Florida weekend.
    - I still like a fire in Summer, just as much as Winter.
    - Can't wait for Summer's Last Gasp Hang in September.
    Enjoy and have fun with your family, before they have fun without you

    My fantastic Photographer wife: http://www.capturedhearts-photography.com

  2. #2
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    Sounds like a nice time. Luckily you beat the heat wave we're having now. I don't want to walk from my front door to my car, much less hike anywhere.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Floridahanger's Avatar
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    Getting back into town the temp seems to go up 10*. It's always cooler in the woods away from all the asphalt and concrete.

    Come on out the last weekend in September 27-29 for Summer's Last Gasp Hang. The thread should be up soon. It's Not too far from you.
    Enjoy and have fun with your family, before they have fun without you

    My fantastic Photographer wife: http://www.capturedhearts-photography.com

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floridahanger View Post
    Come on out the last weekend in September 27-29 for Summer's Last Gasp Hang. The thread should be up soon. It's Not too far from you.
    I was planning on it, I have everything I need now but realized my anniversary is the 28th.

    I'll make it out one of these days lol.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Floridahanger's Avatar
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    Well, perfect.
    Bring her along with you. That's my B-day weekend as well. Celebrations for everyone.
    Enjoy and have fun with your family, before they have fun without you

    My fantastic Photographer wife: http://www.capturedhearts-photography.com

  6. #6
    richtorfla's Avatar
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    Glad to see your trip report and you got some extra woods time in. Love them fireflies too. Awesome seeing a meteor break up! And glad to hear you had company show up. Got a lot going on still. Hopefully I can make Sept.

  7. #7
    Randonneur's Avatar
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    My plan was to leave work early and be at the trailhead by 3 and in camp by 5. Things didn't quite work out that way. I didn't even get to the trail head until 5:30 and the last mile was hiked in the last light of the day. The hike in was actually very pleasant even though I was rushing to beat nightfall. I've never done any night hiking but I think I would like it especially on this section of the Fl. Trail where it's almost impossible to get lost.
    About 3/4 of a mile into the trail I came around a corner and almost ran into a bear on the trail. I froze when I saw him and he took one look and ran into the bramble. That was interesting.
    By the time I got within a half mile of the pond I could smell the camp fire Floridahanger had going. I wish I'd have thought to bring marshmallows.
    I got into camp and set up by the pond and wondered over to chat with FloridaHanger and Gravey. We stayed up late and caught up from whence we last met. I didn't see o-boy until the morning when they were packing up to leave. Scott and I sat around until about 2 in the afternoon. He was staying til the next day, I had to get back to get ready for work on Sunday.
    I brought a CDT OQ but left the UQ home and found I really didn't need it, I did deploy the bug net though. I was a little concerned about bringing my 12 footer and 12' tarp but my fears were unfounded. That's just me overthinking the situation.
    Overall my time there was short but even a little time in the woods with friends is better than no time in the woods.

    Thanks for putting this together FloridaHiker, I hope to see you there again soon.

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