Water is a long distance lover and I am so thirsty.  Never in my life have I been so thirsty. I ran out of water 6 miles from Golden Oak Springs, not knowing how long I could survive in the dry heat without it. Do I hike with my mouth closed, breathing soley through my nose? Does this help retain water? Should I lick the sweat off my arms? Will this replenish electrolytes?  How long can I hike in the hot desert before fainting?

I embraced an 8″ mud puddle with a bird and its baby playing in it, the first water for 24 miles, dipping my sawyer bag into it and drinking the clay like liquid, ounces at a time, as the puddle was so small I couldn’t get more than that into the bag. A real spring was only .2 miles away, but I couldn’t wait.

For those 6 miles without water, my mind projected a convience store cooler filled with beverages: liter sized smoothies, coconut water, orange soda and ice cream, fruit punch, green smoothies (again), Kombucha, gallons of juice, seltzer, Gatorade, sparkling apple juice, milk! Milk, an unlikely beverage to enter my liquid fantasy, I thought, but it could quench my thirst too.

Once at Golden Oak Springs, Renee passed me her filtered liter of water and I drank it all in one breath. Karma, also waiting in line for the spout, directed me to a dripping spring over a bobbed wire fence and I sat in the cool turf of grass and mud collecting and downing the water until I felt the liquid rush from my dry throat to my brain and I was able to think of things beyond water, like food.

Golden Oak Springs

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