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St. Petersburg, FL, USA

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Quarry Gap Shelters

September 18, 2017

Mile 1,084.5
Elevation 1,471 feet 
Miles Hiked 15.8

The weather since I started last Friday has been beautiful.  Daytime temperatures have been in the high 70's to low 80's and night time temperatures have been in the low 60's.  Even so, when I'm hiking, especially uphill, the perspiration just pours out of me.  Pretty soon I'll be forced to stay in town so I can take a shower and wash clothes.  The threshold is when I can no longer stand myself.

My goal for the day is to only hike 10 miles to the next shelter, but I keep hearing good things about Quarry Gap Shelters.  It's one of the few shelters on the Appalachian Trail that has an active caretaker.  The shelter is supposed to be one of the best, so I'm going to stretch today's hike to almost 16 miles.

The day started with an 1,100 foot, steep climb followed later with a 500 foot climb.  I probably did not pick the best day to stretch out my hiking distance goal.  While there weren't many large boulders on the trail, there were enough with smaller loose rocks to make the going slow and tough.  My feet were starting to hurt, and I was pretty sure I was getting some blisters.  Anyway, I kept going; although I took several breaks along the way.  Even though I started hiking at 8:15 AM, I didn't arrive at the shelter until 6:00 PM.  Nearly 10 hours to go almost 16 miles.  My pace was very slow - and my feet hurt like hell.

The talk about this shelter was true.  It was clean and well taken care of.  There were hanging flower pots on each end of the shelters, the two shelters were joined by a common roof, a nice fire pit, one of the cleanest privies I've seen, and even a bench to sit on.  An awesome place.

The swing is a nice touch

That's a food pavilion in the center of the picture.  If you look closely to the left of the pavilion, there are flowers hanging from the shelter.

 

There was another hiker at the shelter.  His trail name was Montana and he's retired like me.  We talked for awhile until I realized I was loosing daylight.  I began my end of day chores and had dinner.  Then it was to bed by nightfall.
 

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