Friday, August 03, 2012

Day 104-Water Luck

From mile 1738 to mile 1757

Before leaving camp I switched last night's water for a liter of nice ice cold water. It was eight miles to the next water and we figured we'd be there in plenty of time for lunch.

Portrait and I cruised along going from heavy forest to small hot clearings. We had a very pleasant breeze, but it was still no match for the sun in the open areas. From the clearings we could see the city of Ashland in the valley and sometimes we could see Shasta, but it was hard to pick out where the trail was going. 

Just before lunch at the spring we met a section hiking southbounder who gave us the scoop on water. The scoop on water was that there wasn't any at the spring.  I didn't believe him or rather I didn't want to believe him. My water was low I was sure-I had been drinking from my tube steadily. I wanted a cold bottle of water to go with my lunch and I wasn't about to believe it wasn't going to happen.

It didn't happen. There was nothing flowing at the piped spring. I hunted around in the bushes for a bit looking for water, but was out of luck. We walked just a bit farther to find a place for lunch. 

Lunch was good, even without something cold to drink.  And it was a short break-I wanted to get to water so we hiked on. We hadn't gone far when I heard what sounded like water, but I have been fooled by wind in the trees a more than a few times. There was no wind and only pines overhead. There was water ahead, and a lot of it.

Sadly it was from a reservoir and not the nicest looking stuff. We both took some anyway. We actually took a lot thinking it was our last water of the day making my pack super heavy.

The trail went close to a lake and campground. We could see the lake from the trail but the campground, and water, was a mile off trail. The lake was tempting me. The sun was hitting it at just the right angle to make the whole surface sparkle. Within minutes after crossing the road down to the lake and campground we came to a drinking fountain. My guidebook list the source as unreliable, but this had a potable water sign next to it and flowed cold and clear.  I filled up on water and food while Portrait took a mini nap.

When I was done we went onwards. We had seven more miles to do after four o'clock. From the trail I saw more lakes. They all seemed to be teasing me. They were close, but none of them had trails leading down and I didn't feel like I had the time to bushwhack down to a lake. As it was, we wouldn't be getting to camp until eight.

I was day dreaming about making a Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor dedicated to the Long Trail when I heard very loud music coming from another campground on another lake. At the road Portrait and I decided to go down and have a look.

We found a church group on a weekend retreat and sadly no food to yogi. They did offer us lemonade which we drank as we ate dinner and answered their questions about the trail. They told us we could camp there and they were getting ready to make S'mores. I know I was tempted, but I think we were both too tired to stay up late making S'mores and listening to the group of little kids run about well past hiker midnight. We thanked them and went back to our trail.

It was nearly dark out when we left but we walked for less than a half hour before finding a nice flat ridge to set up on and fall into bed exhausted.

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