Day 53

PCT Diary :: Day 53 – August 24, 2019

Thirst⁣

The day had started in a playful way. I woke up to the view of the most glorious tree. It looked like three separate trees growing from one trunk. Dejure suggested we climb it and I couldn’t resist. ⁣

Climbing with Dejure
Shona in the tree

As seems to the the norm in summer Northern California, it was a baking hot day. I carried 2 litres of water and my plan was to have lunch by a spring at mile 15 where I could replenish my water. ⁣

My heart sunk to find the spring was dry. ⁣

I drank my remaining water and prepared myself for a dry 5 miles to the next source.⁣

I told myself it would be fine. ⁣

I plodded on, sweating as the path led me onto higher ground. ⁣

I listened to an audio book to take my mind of water but I couldn’t concentrate. My mouth and throat were dry. My lips hurt and felt rough. ⁣

I heard the stream before I saw it. And then I ran, my heart pounding. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Clear water flowing down, tier by tier. Life flowing. ⁣

I grabbed the water bottles from my pack and filled them. I took a few greedy unfiltered gulps before putting my filter on to finish the rest. ⁣

After drinking 2 litres I sat on the grass and added rehydration salts to another litre, this time drinking more slowly. ⁣

Baking hot in Northern California

My dry cells were coming back to life. I felt the sun warm my right leg and at the same I shivered. A dragon fly danced around me, sounding like electricity. ⁣

I walked on another 10 miles to camp alone on a ridge, taking great care to carry water to sustain me till morning. ⁣

I lay in my tent, no need of the rain sheet, and watched the stars. ⁣

My thoughts were simple: the wonder of clean water. And I had a memory of being a child and telling my parents I didn’t like water. I never knew what thirst was.

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