Beautiful weather today! Soon after the mile 27 marker (which actually marks 21 miles from Oasis Visitor Center), the route became 99% wading with a few sections of mud. The mud was more difficult than the wading, having incredible suction.
The water level was below my knees most of the time, but still made for tiring walking that required a lot of concentration. The swamp bottom is a layer of muck covering limestone karst with solution holes, so every step requires careful foot placement.
Sliding my feet forwards was most effective, then I could detect whether one was going to enter a depression. The muck infiltrated my shoes and built up on the insoles, but they were easy to clean by removing them at intervals and swishing them around in the water.
Oak Hill Camp, which is located on one of the strand’s densely vegetated pine islands, had daytime mosquitoes and they were atrocious. I only stopped long enough for a short rest and snack.
Black Lagoon, a cypress dome that perhaps got its name from the inkiness of its water in the shade, was gorgeous.
The Black Lagoon contained alligator flag, which by growing only in deep water indicates where water will remain and alligators will retreat to in times of drought.
I finally saw another hiker! He was heading past Oasis Visitor Centre to Loop Road, the old southern terminus of the FT. After two years on the PCT, I keep expecting hikers to jump out of nowhere, but that’s not the FT experience.
At small Thank God Island I decided to camp.
Wading through the swamp was such an intense experience that I kept remembering my body movements while trying to fall asleep.