Monday, August 01, 2016

A Walk Across Florida - Cross Florida Barge Canal

Excerpts From  A Walk Across Florida by Bob Kranich

As I look back through my book I am finding out that I had many short, but nearly scary or dangerous events. Similar to my wandering upon the bombing range. They are so interesting now, but I remember saying to myself at that time, “Now just what have I got myself into!”

Late afternoon when I was passing by an ominous looking pond, a gator bellowed out… was a loud roar, kind of like an old bull in a field challenging one in the adjoining pasture. I had never heard alligators before. I looked around from the safety of the road. The pond looked like a leftover excavation, irregular sides, lots of brush and tall grass near the edge. I did not see the gator.

The largest reptile in North America is the Alligator.* Some say that it has survived on earth in the same form for 200 million years. It is a black-green color and has a rounded snout. It may be mistaken for a crocodile, but its teeth do not protrude from its lower jaw and its mouth is rounded. This is just the opposite of the crocodile. The alligator’s jaws have a very strong bite. During a dry season the alligator helps the other aquatic animals by constructing “Alligator holes.” These are depressions it makes in ponds with its tail and snout. The depressions provide both a source of water for insects and animals and a source of food for the alligator. They breed between April and June, and the roar or bellowing is used to attract a mate.

I continued on and came to a crossroads, Highway 103. It appeared to be another road like 315, and little used. I crossed over a mixed dirt, sand and gravel parking area to an old white faded-paint clapboard country store. I went up on the concrete porch and entered, one of the double screen doors slamming shut behind me. Dead center up front was a counter. The lady behind it standing next to an old push-button cash register told me that they were out of white gas, which I needed for my stove. I bought a sandwich and a coke, went back out and sat there on the front porch and ate my supper.

I continued on down 315, even though it was now dark. I did this because there was no suitable place to camp near the intersection. After I was some distance away, out of sight of the store and getting tired, I waded through the tall grass on my side of the road. I then slipped my pack under the barbed wire fence into a farmer’s field, climbed the fence, laid my tarp on the ground and slept there next to the fence.

In the middle of the night I woke up hearing a strange noise. It was pitch black! Then I realized the noise was coming from the field. I could see strange dark shapes and the noise seemed even louder…...

About the Author: After getting out of the Army Bob Kranich backpacked from the Georgia border to Key West in a 40 day adventure walk across Florida. His recently published book A Walk Across Florida is available from his website or

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