Friday, September 9, 2022

Day 143: The Hunt For Water!

September 10: During the night, I felt a few small drops of rain, so I quickly threw out my tarp like a blanket as a precaution. Rain wasn't really in the forecast, but better safe than sorry! I'm happy to report, except for the few scattered drops, nothing amounted from it.

By morning, the wind was still howling like a baby after stealing its candy. The views were still filled with smoke, but it didn't seem quite as thick as it did when I went to sleep.

The next water source was another 3.8 miles down the trail, and I had precious few drops left to get me there since skipping the previous water source yesterday afternoon. In fact, I hadn't resupplied my water since way back at Rogers Pass. I was almost completely out. In less than two hours, however, I should have plenty!

That was my mission in the morning: water. Get the water. I was quite thirsty from my rationing, and I decided to drink the last of my water about a half hour before I expected to reach the fresh water. I was going to arrive without a drop of water on me.

Oh, delicious water! This water source was also located about a quarter-mile off trail, but skipping it this time was a no-go for me. I definitely needed the water! In the back of my lizard brain, I wondered what I would do if there was no water. What if I couldn't find the spring? What if the spring had dried up since the last Guthook report? It seemed unlikely, but not impossible. Fortunately, there was a large lake several additional miles ahead and a mile off trail. That would be my Plan B if something didn't work out here, but given how thirsty I already was, I really didn't want to wait until then for water. I probably wouldn't die, but it would be pretty darned miserable.

Fortunately, it didn't come to that. I found the water without any trouble, flowing well and clear. I immediately filled my 1-liter water bottle and drank the whole thing. Awesome! Even after drinking a whole liter, I still felt thirsty, but I was too full to drink anymore. I knew it would take time for my body to absorb the liquid and the thirst to stop, but I was fine.

In the meantime, I filled up my bottles with the water I'd need on the next segment of trail, then returned to the trail and continued the day's hike.

Oh, water! How I love thee! =)

The trail climbed steeply, then followed ridge lines for much of the day before plummeting once again toward Deerborn Creek.

Once I filled up with water, I felt pretty unmotivated to keep hiking the rest of the day. I just wasn't having much fun anymore. I felt lonely and bored, and questioned my life decisions. By 4:00 in the afternoon, I seriously thought about stopping for the day, but pushed on a couple of more hours and finally stopped at around 6:00pm. But even then, I could have kept hiking--if I had really wanted to. I just felt lazy and unmotivated. Nothing was wrong, per se, but sitting around at a nice viewpoint reading a book sounded like a lot more fun to me than hiking.

Rain was in the forecast for tonight, so I did set up my tarp. But otherwise, a largely uneventful day!

I found this trail gear stashed by the trail, but never did see anyone actually doing trail work. Presumably, they'd be coming back at some point!

That lake in the distance was my Plan B in the event that I couldn't find water at the first location I tried. Fortunately, I found the water fine and didn't have to hike off-trial to get this water!

Signs of autumn! The red is thick in the underbrush!

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