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St. Petersburg, FL, USA

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Rattle River Shelter

June 29, 2019

Mile 1,891.8

Elevation 1,230 feet

Miles Hiked 6.2


I left the Imp Campsite at 7:15.  It's a .3 mile walk out to the trail and I was back on the trail by 7:30 AM.  Once again the weather cooperated and it was a nice sunny day with high temperatures in the 70's.  I talked with a few other hikers at Imp before I left and they said to expect stormy weather with possible hail.  My first thought was to head for Rattle River Hostel to sit out the weather.


The day began with the trail going down.  This can be harder on the knees and feet than an ascent and that proved to be the case.  After losing toenails in each of the last three years of hiking, I know the signs when it's going to happen and it happened.  Rats!  Now my feet will be in pain until both big toe nails fall off.  Next time I go hiking, I'm going to take a pliers to the damn things.


The trail was going down nearly 2,000 feet.  The good news was there were no rock face walls to descend.  However there were still plenty of rocks.  It was slow going mostly due to the problem with my feet, but the usual rocks and boulders in the trail didn't help.


Another hiker at the Imp Campsite told me she checked on availability of bunks at the Rattle River Hostel and at the time, there were only two spots left.  Everyone was expecting rain, so they head to the hostel.  I was okay with that and had initially planned to stay on the trail at the Rattle River Shelter anyway.


I walked up to the shelter about 5 PM.  Still a lousy pace but the downhill hike was mostly to blame.  After three days of hiking on some of the more challenging part of the trail, it was good to be at the shelter a little early.  Two other older guys were there when I arrived.  They had hammocks setup but were hanging at the shelter.  Rick and Clyde and had built a nice fire.  It wasn't cold, but it wasn't started for that reason.  The wet wood they put on the fire caused it to smoke and that chased away the dive bombing swarms of mosquitoes. 


Rick and Clyde were good company and we talked into the evening.  Since there was no bear box at the shelter, I had to toss a line over a tree limb to hang my food and I shared it with the guys.  I turned in about 8 PM and I must say I was pretty tired from the hiking on the descent.  It still hasn't rained and it was supposed to start by now.  I'm the only one sleeping in the shelter unless another hiker comes in later tonight.


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