After spending the night camping too close to other people for our liking we head to the most remote camping spot on the map. It's a free site which makes it all the more better. With a van full of provisions we head down the 25 mile dirt road to a hidden spot where we'll set up home for a few days. It's what's referred to as primitive camping without power or water hook-up.
Then came the sound of cars. The highway! A half hour later we reached the road, but where the heck were we? This was not anywhere near where we entered the 'trail'. Luckily there was a map where we exited as it was an entrance for wilderness camping. We would have to walk about 5 miles up the interstate and then hop a tall, barbed wire fence to get back into the preserve and then walk another 4 or 5 miles up the dirt road to our site. We were both soaked and muddy from the knees down. My rubber boots were almost filled to the top with swampy water and the air was getting colder with the disappearing sun. We set off walking anyway. There was no choice. Okie had been in the van all day and I worried about her.
We walked maybe a mile or so when I heard a vehicle pull over behind us. It was Alberto, a Road Ranger, stopping to find out why we were walking on the I-75 when it's illegal to do so. We told him our story and he wasn't surprised by it. Not long ago a Norwegian man got lost for 2 days in the Everglades.
In the morning we decide we'd seen all we want to see of our current location so we drove further down the 41 and enter the Collier-Seminole State Part in Ten Thousand Islands area. Once again we are told there are no camping spots left but after talking to them for a few minutes they decide to put us in the youth group camping site all by ourselves. We were the happiest campers there I swear. We had a huge area all to ourselves with our own driveway. We are both ridiculously lucky people.
For the second time I drop him off at the edge of town and watch him disappear into the woods. This time he heads towards his home. I beep the horn and wave good-bye while Okie barks out her own farewell. She really likes that guy. It's a hard thing coming to realize I will very likely never see him again. I am very grateful to have made such a friend and enjoyed traveling with him. I remember saying before I left home I couldn't imagine finding someone who would want to travel the way I do. Larry is that person and I enjoyed our time together. I wish him the best of luck finding his way and hope we will never lose touch completely.