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The Green Life: Tracking TrekEast: Week 6

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April 13, 2011

Tracking TrekEast: Week 6

TrekEastWeek6John Davis's TrekEast adventure from Florida's Everglades to Canada's Gaspe Peninsula has as its goal to raise awareness of the East's remaining wild places, and to inspire people to help protect them. We at the Green Life are logging weekly updates of Davis's progress as he completes his 4,500-mile, human-powered trek.

Davis began week 6 of TrekEast with sights set on Alabama. The last stretch of Florida was a mix of woods, fields, and rivers, starting with a paddle down the Wacissa River in an Adirondack canoe with biologist Jerry Jenkins. Identifying plants along the way, Jenkins joined Davis for some hiking and camping in the Apalachicola National Forest's Bradwell Bay Wilderness.

The Nature Conservancy's Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve was next, a nearly 700-acre sanctuary for a great diversity of plant species, and one of the prettiest places Davis visited in the state. He noted, while exploring the panhandle, that many animals must cross major roads, and although there are some connections in place, they are too few and too small.

Davis then strapped bike to canoe and paddled and camped down the pine-and-cedar-lined Blackwater River before heading to Eglin Air Force Base, which is known to have some of the last remaining old-growth longleaf pine. Cycling 45 miles north, he left Florida and set up camp in Alabama's Conecuh National Forest. Reflecting on nearly 1,000 miles of hiking, running, swimming, paddling, and cycling through Florida, Davis concluded that close to 10 million acres is still relatively intact, yet unprotected.

Impressed with the wilds he left behind, and excited about what lies ahead, Davis reported from his campsite in Conecuh: "Very beautiful countryside in both states and a considerable amount of wildlife once I got up into the National Forest in Alabama. The riding was fun and easy . . . beautiful, sunny skies. The miles went by quite effortlessly. Looking forward to some time now in Alabama with various conservationists and some little adventures here and there."

--Molly Oleson / photo courtesy Wildlands Network

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