Continuing through my backlog of explorations, lets take a look at what I found on Cross Seminole Trail 5. I was desperate to find happiness on Christmas Eve, a day that has almost always been terrible for me. I might have overdone it a bit this time. After all, I traveled quite far.
Leaving Black Hammock Trailhead behind, Cross Seminole Trail 5 continues through the woods that have made up the last couple sections. Rain from the days leading up to this journey left many leaves on the ground. A point that I will bring up multiple times for sure.
One thing that struck as unusual at this stage of the journey is the sign in the above photo. If memory serves, and it has been over a month at the time of this writing, I think it was a poster asking for help. A lost cat I’m pretty sure. Reward if found and all that this entails.
Mile Marker 9.0:
Though Cross Seminole Trail 5 continued much as before, this section also passed quite a few backyards. One household really got into the Christmas spirit apparently. I think the art work pictured above speaks for itself.
After crossing a nearby side street, I reached the next mile marker. 9 miles down on the Cross Seminole Trail. Many more to go until the end of the journey.
Mile Marker 9.5:
The next section of Cross Seminole Trail 5 was, yep you guessed it, through more forest that looks just like the last part. The path took on an extremely straight shot which contributed to the seeming monotony. But at the time, there was a lot on my mind and it didn’t bother me.
Mile marker 9.5 went past and I almost missed it, so lost in my past. This past year was tough for me, and old wounds had been opening up constantly. This walk was sorely needed.
At this point on Cross Seminole Trail 5, the scenery finally started to change. Near the start of this trek, a sign indicated distance until a bridge. Well I found the bridge as well as a pleasant place to stop and rest for a few minutes.
On both sides, the forest continued seemingly endless, but I know the area near this trail quite well. It doesn’t last. I can assure you. Indeed, during the walk, I had to keep reminding myself that nothing lasts forever.
Mile Marker 10.0:
And just like that, a more drastic change took hold on Cross Seminole Trail 5. In part due to land development, but equal parts natural terrain, the forest opened up and let me see more of what was happening in the outside world.
Although it was still early on in my journey, a sign nearby showed how far until I reached my goal of the day: 2 miles to be exact. That would give plenty of time for me to process the many thoughts going through my head. And don’t forget, I had to go back the way I came.
Mile marker 10 came and went. Another milestone on my goal to completion. Many more remained after. But one step at a time is how to complete a journey.
Mile Marker 10.5:
If you feared that things would return to forest on Cross Seminole Trail 5, then have none. The development only became more pronounced as I traveled farther to the west.
Entire neighborhoods came into view as the path began zigzagging around hills and lakes. I’m not sure what the guardrails are protecting against in the above images. Though I didn’t really give it much though until after I had long left the area.
I noticed a small park, partially under construction as I traveled by. Though I could have stopped for the day here as per my rules. I decided against it. This place was not completely finished being built. Its not a park just yet.
Mile marker 10.5 was the next milestone on this journey. But as you saw earlier, I had another mile and a half to go until I had reached my goal for the day.
A sign at an earlier segment of Cross Seminole Trail 5 indicated the distance until my stopping point. But there was a second landmark mentioned on that same signpost. At this point I arrived at a large bridge crossing State Road 434.
One can see that some construction is happening near the bridge. I am unsure what is being built or how it will impact the area. I’m certain that traffic will have to deal with lane closures at some point. There is a reason the trail crosses over rather than at ground level after all.
I am curious what the middle section of the pedestrian bridge is for. Perhaps for cyclists or maybe even walkers. Its of a different material than the rest of the bridge. The fact that its fenced off only indicates further that it separates traffic in some way.
Mile Marker 11.0:
Cross Seminole Trail 5 leaves the bridge over 434 and veers back into the woods. I came across the first of multiple sharp curve warning signs at this point. Obviously those apply more to someone cruising on their bike.
I made it to mile marker 11. I am still not sure how long the Cross Seminole Trail is but I feel like this is great progress. That’s 11 more miles than I would have thought possible even a year prior.
As I gained ground towards my goal for the day, my mind continued to be awash with emotions. No surprise there. I hope its obvious by this point that Christmas Eve is a pretty crappy day for me.
Once again leaving forest behind, Cross Seminole Trail 5 enters areas clearly inhabited by people. More sharp turns and side street crossings mark the way forward.
I took a picture of a side trail. I did not get a chance to check where it goes. And given some life events that happened between me seeing this trail and the time of writing this blog post, I probably will not get a chance to in the foreseeable future.
Mile Marker 11.5:
By this point of Cross Seminole Trail 5, I had reached downtown Winter Springs. You can see a couple signs of the area in the background of these photos, but most of the commercial areas are blocked by trees.
The most visible sign of human areas though is the nearby school. You can see a small portion of its campus in one of the images above. That landmark will appear in a few of the future photos.
I passed mile marker 11.5 I continued to try and stay positive. This was despite my mind starting to play tricks on me. Did I mention I hate Christmas Eve?
To keep my mind off troubles, I let the beauty of what I saw captivate me instead. A sign on Cross Seminole Trail 5 informed me that I was closing in on my destination. With only .75 miles left until the next major park, I moved forward through Winter Springs with extra spring in my step.
Mile Marker 12:
At long last I reached the end of the road for the time being. Arriving at the next park, I thought about how far I had come along the trail. Not just on this day mind you. But the entire thing. I have covered quite a bit of ground, but as you will see in future posts, there is much more still to explore.
By this point, wind had carried many of the leaves that had sat on the ground earlier in the day. And as it picked up, I realized rain was coming. Not a gentle drizzle mind you, but a rushing storm. Exhausted as I was after walking such a long distance, I wanted to take a break before making the return journey.
Signs, houses, and open paths marked my way towards the end of Cross Seminole Trail 5. But don’t worry, there will be a part 6 and beyond. Mile Marker 12 is not even the half way point I’ll have you know.
Here’s a snapshot of one section of Cross Seminole Trail 5 in Pokemon Go. The trail itself has very few Pokestops at this segment. Although there are plenty of spawns to keep a trainer busy.
As I have said before, the parks that mark my stopping points are the better places to go if you just want to focus on Pokemon. But if like me, you enjoy the exploration aspect of going outside, then give this part of the trail a try too.
I walked quite a ways and that means I hatched plenty of eggs. Sadly this batch was nothing special. A curse of playing the game as heavily as I do. At least I’m level 40 now. That means there are plenty of fun things for me to try. Things that only a max level player can pull off.
I’m digging the new buddy system. I love the strange places I can take a picture of a Litwick. Given that this thing feeds on the life of fools who follow its light, I’ll be sure to pick the perfect settings. This little thing is gonna be my buddy for a while in game, so be prepared to see it a lot.
I have much more to explore so look forward to more excitement as I add this entire backlog of posts.
An Important Reminder:
Just kidding. Before I go, I want to talk about one serious matter. Many years ago, on Christmas Eve, I almost chose to take my life. It is only through a very strange set of circumstances that I am still here today.
Hold your loved ones tight. Check in on your friends, especially the ones that seem ok. Its remarkable to think how much my life has changed since those dark days so many years ago.
If you or a loved one is in a state of sever emotional stress, do not hesitate to call the Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255. It may not always feel like it, but you do matter. Especially on the darkest days.