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"survival" - you don't know the meaning of the word

I went for a day hike with some friends. It's round trip is about 5 miles but the water level is everything from 6 to 32 inches deep. NO DRY LAND TO BE HAD.

I woke up at 0500 and headed to the ranger station. While I waited for Tom and Bill to arrive I ate, drank water, refilled my bottles and went to the bathroom. We finally got on the trail at 0800(just after sunrise) and you'll see later that we got off the trail at 1715 (just before sunset).

Technically we walked south 2.5 miles and then back; as Tom describes the effort it was like hiking 15 miles. Along the way we had many encounters:
  • big birds and little birds
  • alligator turtle
  • one alligator in our path.... twice (same alligator)
  • 4-5 alligators at Robert's Lake
We also rested and ate lunch at the Kayak Campground, it's unofficial and under water.

  • the soles of my boot came off. We spent 2 hours cumulative repairing them
  • I had finished my water with 200 yards left in the hike
  • I did not eat enough at lunch break
  • my right leg cramped on the trail
  • toes cramped all day long

We exited the trail at sunset. Any longer and we would have been using headlamps. With 1.5 to 2 miles left in the hike (just after the first boot failure) I started to mentally go through my gear for a "survival plan". And there is nothing that any of those "I'm a survivalist" was going to make this a success. Instead it was "Living with a SEAL" that won the day.

But like they say in the movie Frozen.  It was the best day ever. And it was the hardest physical experience of my life.

UPDATE: the hat seemed like a good idea at the time but it practice it was not.

UPDATE:  My android phone tracked my every step:
overview - ranger station to roberts lake

The area around the lake

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