The Bitter Woods

State: Florida

Well as usual I’ve got a story for everyday. Yesterday, I woke up in the woods near U.S. 1 and realized that I had neighbors.

You see, that previous night I was going to camp out behind the library, where according to google maps were ample woods. As I headed into the woods, I quickly realized there was no way I was going to stay in this place.

That was the first time that has ever happened to me on this journey when I walked into the woods. The leaf litter was accompanied by trash everywhere which was likely due to the apartment complex nearby.

I kept barreling through the thick woods, hoping to find a better spot (I didn’t), and happened upon some well-traveled trails.

One thing about the keys, I have been warned about multiple times is that there really isn’t a middle class. You are either rich, working two jobs just to get by, or just surviving. The just surviving are the homeless which reside in tent cities, so I’ve been told.

This area, I saw quite a few tents and while I’m a people person, I’m also vigilant and not stupid (especially when bedding down at night), so I kept moving.

After it was dark and I was running into countless spider webs, I decided that the title in my journal for this particular instance was going to be called:

“The Bitter Woods”

I crossed U.S. 1 and hoped to find a better place on the other side in the woods somewhere. It was dark and I was exhausted, but I did find a spot. Although, in the morning when I got up, I saw another tent about 20 yards from me…

Luckily, my circadian rhythm is now timed with the sun and I get up a lot earlier than most. So I left my neighbors without letting them know I was there.

I returned to the library to have fun uploading videos at brutally slow speeds.

However, about 3:00pm, I decided I was going to go and find a better place to sleep. So I made my way up to John Pennekamp State Park. There were a lot more woods up around the area, but it was still early enough in the day, so I thought I’d check out the park.

After paying the $2.00 to get in, I started hiking around. I got turned around and a little confused on the map and ran into another ranger.

I believe she suspected that I was going to hike around and find a place to camp out in the woods (which I may or may not have been thinking), but she said they do occasionally help out backpackers and cyclists who don’t make it to their destination. Not always, but she would check with the office.

Now, down here in January, it’s the high season. Everyone is running down here from the cold and I knew the campsites were booked up (and out of my price range).

The ranger got off the radio and said they had a youth campsite that they could put me in under primitive camping. I asked about the cost because I’m on a finite budget and have to get jobs along the way to fund my trip.

I promised I wouldn’t say what it cost, but lets just say she really hooked me up with a good campsite and a great deal for the night.

So I got a place to stay that was 10 times better than the previous night at a booked up state park thanks to getting lost and the kindness of a Park Ranger.

Anyone who needs their faith in humanity restored should travel.

Anyways, that’s my story for today. Hope you all enjoyed it because I literally have one for everyday! They all will be going into the book.

If you want to help me out, how about SHARING this story and telling people to LIKE my Facebook page.

Thanks y’all! 🙂

Forever your friend,

~The Outsider

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