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Just some of the stuff we've been doing!
rings in New Year on the trail in Ocala National Forest
In the early morning of Thursday, December 31st, Troop 337's high adventure crew, the 'Skunk Ape Patrol' loaded up and headed 4 hours north to the Ocala National Forest to take on the 45 mile portion of the Florida Trail. While it sounds daunting, the Skunk Apes are experienced and familiar with this type of hiking with this being the 10th year-in-row heading out for a 4-day adventure into parts of Florida very few get to see. In fact, the Skunk Ape Patrol has trekked Ocala, along the Kissimmee River, down Three Lakes Wildlife Reserve, next to Lake Okeechobee and even through the tough Big Cypress Preserve - more commonly referred to as
The Everglades. Each trek is usually 40+ long miles of very demanding terrain, making these treks not for
the faint of heart. Previous backpacking experience is a must.
And, this year's group were all veteran backpackers, as were the leaders. This experience made for record hike times - resulting in more down time relaxing and joking at camp and around a warm campfire (always welcomed). Overall, the weather was good for the 4-days except for some rain on the final leg heading to the extraction point, but no worries, this group has seen a lot worse. These treks are hard, but as one Troop 337 Eagle Scout said, "the Skunk Ape Patrol patch is one you wear on your uniform with big-time pride as it's a tough one to earn." And, all these guys should definitely be proud. Congrats on another great trip Skunk Apes!
Troop 337's Skunk Ape Patrol