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Re: [pct-l] Water in Them Thar' Hills

I completely honor your experience and that it wouldn't have been a
"good show" for you to have water in the San Felipe Hills. I don't know
if I'll use the water or not, if it's still there, but I greatly
appreciate the efforts and thought behind putting it there. We each do
this journey for our own reasons, our own goals, our own dreams. Stashed
water not being a "good show" for you doesn't mean that it won't be for
others. I get that it wouldn't have improved your experience but it
might improve someone else's. The difference in all of us makes the
Universal connection that also exists between us that much more
important and interesting. I love the differing opinions on this list. I
do have a problem when any one of us expresses an opinion as if it were
true for all. It never is. That's a good deal of what I love about
people. WE are all so very different and yet connected at a soul level.

You're all used to me closing my posts with Namaste. The meaning of it
(at least my favorite translation) is the god in me sees and honors the
god in you. May we all experience the gods within us as we walk the PCT
(and life in general) in our own way.

Namaste, m

ROYROBIN@aol.com wrote:
> << Representatives of the San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club drove and hiked
> to
> place 20 gallons of water on the PCT for use by hikers from the Class of '99.
> That was 10 gallons at Scissors Crossing (by the big Cottonwood tree) and 10
> gallons near mile 13 (north from Scissors Crossing) in the San Felipe Hills.
> >>
> << Good show San Deigo Chapter of the Sierra Club [and you too charlie] >>
> Sorry, but this is NOT a good show.  With all respect for what you're trying
> to do to help, this will not improve the PCT experience.  Our passage from
> Scissors Crossing to Barrel Spring was, in retrospect, our Rite of Passage,
> after which we felt we could indeed call ourselves long-distance hikers.  We
> stepped onto that 23+ miles of waterless trail with the hope that we were
> prepared to deal with it.  When we walked into Barrel Spring the next day, we
> had a new respect for the trail and a new confidence that we could actually do
> this hike.
> A water stash at Scissors Crossing would have helped us, and I have no problem
> with your helping the '99er's by supplying water there.  However, (IMO)
> stashing water half-way through the San Felipe Hills shows disrespect for both
> the trail and the hikers.  I hope that hikers will consider any water left at
> the third gate as "For Emergency Use Only", and plan your hike as though it
> was not there.  (Which may be the case when you most need it!)
> The following excerpt from our 1997 trail log may help readers understand my
> feelings about this.  Rereading it myself, I recall why we were really out
> there:
>  << The next day (Friday 5/9), we hiked the last 3 miles to the San Felipe
> Creek. It was running well, but we were worried about cattle
> contamination here, so we side-hiked up the road to a marsh called
> Sentenae Cienaga(?) that was supposed to be better. It wasn't. Less flow,
> still signs of cattle. So we came back to San Felipe with empty bottles.
> Cattle or not we filtered 6 liters each of this water, plus what we used
> there. Ahead of us was our toughest test yet.
> Our plan had been to get going early while it was still cool, but the
> water fiasco cost us much time. We began the uphill, 23.5 mile dry hike
> to Barrel Spring at about 11:30 AM. The first couple miles climb were
> switchbacks up a south facing slope. By 1 PM, the heat, sun, uphill
> climb, and 12 pounds of water in our packs were making us quite
> uncomfortable. It became clear that to continue under these conditions
> would require more water than we had. We were risking heat exhaustion
> and dehydration. But there was no shade in sight. The sun which was
> baking the slope left no shadows anywhere. There were no trees of any
> kind. Lots of cactus and some brush. We found a mostly shady spot under
> some brush and rested. A short nap, an early dinner and soon it was 3:30
> PM and much cooler, probably down in the high 80's or so, but there was
> a breeze and an afternoon thunder cloud was giving us some shade. We
> were quite thirsty, but had already used 1/3 of our water in the first 3
> miles (of 23.5). We were getting worried. Fortunately, the storm shaded
> us until about 5 PM, even dropping a few big drops of rain! The higher
> altitude meant cooler conditions too. We hiked as fast as we could
> without overdoing it until past sunset, drinking 1 pint of water per
> hour while covering 2.5 miles per hour. By nightfall, we were exhausted,
> thirsty and dirty, but we had covered 10 miles since dinner and still
> had 2 liters water per person.
> The next day (Saturday 5/10), we were awake at first light and on the
> trail by 5:45 AM. We intended to get to Barrel Spring before it got too
> hot. We arrived at 10:30 AM, with only a psychologically significant 1
> cup of water each left. We were dehydrated, but not severely. A little
> luck, some good decisions on when to hike (and not), and a good
> rationing plan combined to get us through in good shape. >>
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Margo Chisholm
The Freedom Coach
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970-704-9336    fax 970-704-9346

"Challenge your most cherished assumptions."
-- Unknown

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