Monday, November 7, 2016

Notes From The Appalachian Trail Part 5: Finding that Mountain Water

As the newbie on the trip, my brother had to explain many things to me beforehand. One thing that he did not quite explain well enough was the water situation. He did talk a lot about getting water, dumping it before a climb and making sure you had enough all the time. He showed me a map that said, there is water here, in certain places. I guess my thinking was that those locations were spigots that were strategically placed to enhance the hiking experience. The real life experience was something quite different. Sometimes the water source was a mud puddle. Sometimes it was a beautiful mountain stream, and sometimes it was a little drip coming out of a rock. It quickly became apparent that I was going to get all of the water I could get whenever it was available. The water tasted great, but there were signs in all of the shelters warning that you could get sick from the water and that it needed to be filtered. I wasn't too worried about the water since Paul had purchased the best filter system money could buy. It used a special light that killed all bacteria and viruses within seconds. We took turns running the Therapin device on our water and everything was great. That is, until we came to the mud puddle day. My brother neglected to tell me that there is one thing the Therapin doesn't do, and that is remove sediment from water, something that any ordinary filter does do. In other words, we had a day with the most pristine mud water to drink that you could ask for. I'm not sure that I will ever ask for that again. Not long after realizing that it was drink mud water or die of thirst on the dusky trail, we came across a large mountain stream that I could have bathed in...and probably the people I encountered at McDonalds after the hike wished that I had..

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