Friday, October 21, 2016

Walking Through Osceola County, Florida - Bob Kranich

Excerpts from A Walk Across Florida by Bob Kranich

You can continue to see just how much fun I have had with the people I met on my hike. They are still coming on, each day brings another discovery!

Pulled over by a Osceola County Sheriff’s Deputy....and I was only going 2 1/2 miles per hour!

I made Narcoosee by 2:30 PM. By the distance I had traveled I calculated that I was traveling 2 1/2 miles per hour. When I got to 441 in Aston, I headed west towards St. Cloud. It was there that I met a couple of young boys on bicycles. They were astonished to see a real backpacker with a great big red pack. They wanted to talk and we did as we moved along. I saw them off by giving them some of the strawberry licorice I used for a treat as I hiked.

I guessed I made a hit in town. Everyone looked, and I in turn, waved. I must have startled a blonde girl in a truck at a stop light, because after her initial surprise, she laughed. A girl in a drug store waved and that is where I finally got the last three rolls of film I needed.

I headed South. Once I got out of town a couple of miles, I started seeing a lot of scratch-off black tire marks on this deserted two-lane road. I figured it was a place for the local hot rodders to try out their cars, and then match off to see who was the fastest. I myself was a hot rodder once. In the late 60’s and early 70’s, I had a 1936 Ford 5 window coupe, channeled 4 inches, with motorcycle front fenders and a hundred horse flathead engine with a 3/4 cam. I never drag raced on the street, only on the strip. I am however guilty of scratching off and leaving black tire marks a few times.

It was late afternoon and I was tired. I stopped along the side of the road and just lay down in the sand and grass and put my head on my pack. While I was lying there I heard a car go by. It was the first one all afternoon.

This sure was a quiet road I thought as I got back up and was off again. Guess what, just a few miles farther I noticed a car pulling off on the other side a short distance ahead of me. A man got out and put on his hat and I could see that he was a county sheriff’s deputy. As I got closer to him he motioned for me to come over.

Oh Oh! I hope I don’t get pulled over for speeding, I thought as I looked both ways and crossed over. I was hiking on the left side facing traffic.

Hi, son. Where you going? What you do’n?”

“ I’m backpacking from Georgia to Key West. I started the first of this month. I don’t usually get out on the highway. Most of the time it’s dirt roads, trails and railroad grades.”

“Got any ID?” he questioned.

“Yes sir, but I have to put this pack down. It’s in the side pocket, can’t hike with a wallet in your back pocket and carry a pack,” I explained.

I sat down and slipped off my pack, kneeled down, zipped open my small lower side pocket and came out with my wallet. I stood up.

“There it is sir.” As I gave my driver’s license, he took a long look and gave it back to me.

“Ok Bob, it looks fine to me. The reason I came by is because someone reported seeing a person lying along the highway, thought they might be hurt.”

“I bet that was me sir. You see, sometimes when I’m tired and need a rest I just stop and sit down, sometimes I lay my head on my pack.”

“Where you headed for tonight, Bob?

“There is a campground about three miles ahead according to my map.”

He introduced himself, we shook hands, and he said, “I could take you there if you want?”

“No thank you, sir, because I have to hike it all.”

We got to talking. This guy was A-ok, a real fine law enforcement officer. Seems he had also been in Korea, in the U. S. Army, just like I had been. We had a lot to talk about.

“Well, I’ve got to go now. But here Bob, is my card, if anyone stops you have them give me a call.”

“Thanks a lot.” I looked at his card, it said Sheriff’s Deputy, Osceola County, Florida.

“Take care now,” he said as he headed back to his car.

I kneeled down and put my wallet back in my pack. I sat down, slipped my arms into the straps, leaned forward and stood up. The Deputy’s car turned around. He waved as he passed by, and then fast disappeared in a roar of rich black gas smoke as he sped down the road. I wondered if he ever came out to Canoe Creek road to try out the cruiser?

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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