Next, I passed through an area with many flowers. There were very few flowers elsewhere on the path. They all seemed to be concentrated in this one area. Then the path came closer to the river and several branches went right down to it where I met some canoers. The path continued to zigzag closer and farther from the river for a long ways. It was in this section that I discovered this large, fragrant bush:
The palmetto was full of lizards and every tiny movement sounded like a stampede. I saw a couple of skinks, including one with red cheeks. The forest was alive with movement. I even saw a black root slither away from me into the jungle at high speed when I almost stepped on it. It turned out to be snake. Eventually, I climbed uphill and found myself at this lookout, where I saw the very same canoers again (I waited for them to pass before I took the picture):
The next creature(s) I ran into were a nice pair of sunglasses. I planned to keep them and name them if I didn't find their owner before I left. The first guy I passed had sunglasses on his head, so I didn't ask him. The very next person I met claimed they were hers. Well, easy come, easy go.
In this same area, I passed the cross-path that short-circuits the long loop, forming a smaller loop and saw a tree covered in reddish bracket fungi. Numerous grubs were chewing on the brackets. I crossed a small, tannin-loaded brook on a bridge. I passed close to the river twice more and each time saw the very same canoers. Later, the sun came out just long enough for me to see I was now heading north. I did a double-take when I saw a pair of rubbery boots sitting on a log out of the corner of my eye suddenly crawl into the water and swim away. They turned out to be turtles.
Next, I had to carefully maneuver my way through a swampy area, followed by a very dry, sandy area. On the way back east, the path comes very close to a housing development, as does the remote campsite. There is a sign there that allows camping thirty feet from it, but with the brush on one side, and a picnic table and firepit on the other, there is no room for a tent except beyond thirty feet - and there are plenty of clearings in the area well beyond. I'm not sure just how to interpret it.
Moving on, I crossed through a large puddle that completely covered the path and went right under the impenetrable brush a ways. There was no way around it. I passed by a tree that had a full 360-degree loop in the trunk. I went up and down hills. I crossed a (the same?) tan brook. I passed a section full of birds. There were no other birds that day; they seemed to be concentrated in that one area. Unlike the birds and flowers, Christmas lichen is scattered throughout the park. Then I saw this:
Finally, the path leveled and I passed the cross-path. The northern part of the loop is intersected by numerous palmetto fields and grass fields. There are numerous secluded picnic spots. Also, every thirty feet is a bumblebee sentry. There were no bumblebees anywhere else in the park, but they were highly concentrated here. There are also four dirt roads in the area. Finally, I made it back.
When I returned, I discovered mild sunburn, even though I was always under trees and ninety percent of the time the clouds were so thick I couldn't tell which direction the sun was.