July 27, 2018: The Joys of Water

At Second Stream, Mile 1800.5

Today was a long slog. I really wasn’t feeling well; a lot of that was nausea from the smoke. But I got an early start, so that I could do more miles before it got too hot.

In many ways, today was a repeat of yesterday…hot, dry, smoky, lots of burns. I put on some music, and gutted it out. Like Billy Goat told me a couple of years ago, just keep walking.

The first water opportunity came at the bottom of Devil’s Peak. Honeymoon Creek is notorious for being a mudhole.


It was indeed a mudhole, but with a little care I was able to pull the better part of a liter, and then filter it. I still had half a liter from yesterday, so I tucked the Honeymoon Creek water away.


And then I met a youth group from a local church, on a weekend backpacking trip. They stopped to chat, and they asked me how I was doing. I said, “Great, but I’m dry. I have almost no water left, because the last water source was Mazama Village.” The adult in charge offered me half a liter, and I gratefully accepted!

With a half liter, plus the reserve water, I headed uphill. The northern flank of Devil’s Peak has four streams, the first and fourth of which have very decent water, and the other two of which are passable.

I finally reached the first stream! It had good flow, and was very clear. There were two European guys, about my age, who were staging there for an early run toward Mazama Village tomorrow.

One guy was fairly quiet; I don’t think his English was all that great. The other guy made up for it, rather obnoxiously. He asked me how far I’d come today, and I replied with, “Oh, I don’t know. Far enough, I guess.”

Then he replied with, “Well, if you tell me how long you’ve been hiking, I can tell you how far you’ve come.”

I retorted, “No you can’t,” and he proceeded to tell me, “If you’re going three miles an hour, you’re going fast. If you’re going two miles an hour, well, that’s umm, medium. If you go one, you’re going very slow.”

In my best @#$%-you voice, I told him that I hike very very slow, and with my best stinkeye, I headed over to the stream.

I rinsed off my hands and face (no soap allowed), soaked my bandannas and my hat, swished out my water carriers, filtered a few liters, drank one of them, and headed uphill to the second stream. I didn’t want to deal with his crap.


There was a decent sized tentsite, just before the second stream, so I dropped my pack and went to load up. I’ve become fond of maxing out my water in the evening, which saves time in the morning. I just need to filter my dirty water (in Evernew 1.5L bladders) into my clean water carriers (SmartWater bottles), and I’m good to go.

While I was making dinner, I saw my first SOBO! His name is Waffle, and he’s a LASHER, going from Cascade Locks to South Lake Tahoe. He was really nice. I invited him to join me in the tentsite, but he was going to go check on the water, and possibly continue on up the hill. He didn’t return, so I assume he went on his merry way. But yay…another SOBO!

There were maybe a dozen NOBOs who passed my tentsite after dinner. I figured they were all planning on staging at the first stream. It made me doubly glad I’d continued on uphill.

What with all the stressors of the last two days, I really wasn’t doing well. I texted Steve, in a bit of a mess, and finally just sat in my tent and cried for a few minutes. That seemed to help. I’m sleeping in tomorrow, and then I’ll head up Devil’s Peak.


2 thoughts on “July 27, 2018: The Joys of Water

  1. One thing I enjoy about your posts, is that you are “real”. You are tired, you are frustrated, it sounds like you hike close to my own slow pace, but all the same, you are out there doing it. I appreciate that.


    1. Liz "Rest Step" Fallin says:

      Thanks! It is hard sometimes, but as you know, it’s better than not being there at all. Ultimately, I suppose, I’m just grateful 🙂


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