Sunday, September 25, 2011

Water

I don't have enough time to properly muse about this life-giving and sustaining element. There is enough time to tell a quick story about water, though. Anybody who says that water's taste is boring, or that it has no taste, is a boring person with no taste. We all had that favorite drinking fountain in school that tasted a bit better than the others. Each one of us, back when it was still cool to drink bottled water, had our own reasons for liking a certain "spring" or "glacier" brand water that hydrated us better, and at the same time had a certain satisfying taste. Maybe it isn't a definable taste per se; rather, a wetness and/or clean feeling you experienced as you drank it. However, I can say for a surety that naturally occurring water has a definite taste.

Well, on occasion, I do something stupid and drink out of streams when I hike. I haven't gotten sick as of yet. When all the orifices of mine start spewing forth all manner of waste products, I'll know I finally got my due. However, I don't do this as often now, and am very careful. Anyway, I have noticed a bit of difference in stream water. It really isn't what I would call pure. There's a sense that you are risking something, but at the same time enjoying it thoroughly. Yeah, I've had times where I've found carcasses of animals in streams that I had drank out of before. The thought of dead animals in the water adding to the flavor kind of ruined this romantic idea of mine that mountain streams were pure. Besides, springs are the way to go. But, in order to take full advantage of a spring, you must find the source.

Today, while on a hike, I came across a small stream of water trickling down the mountain. I decided to follow this little trail of wetness to see where it came from. Ferns started appearing in tight clusters and the overall vegetation was thicker than the surrounding area. A little ways up, there was a PVC pipe driven into the earth in the middle of the flow. From this pipe the water channeled outward so that one could fill a canteen. I bent over, cupped my hands under the pipe while filling them up, and drank with too much excitement that caused me to choke and cough for a bit. After I got my throat cleared, another attempt was made. This time I was able to take in all that I captured with my hands. Being thirsty from the hike, and not too keen on the stale water from my hydration pack, I followed this act again and again, like I was near death from dehydration. The flavors were exceptionally clean, yet earthy, while at the same time I could detect mossy, leafy notes. Possibly, it was not tapped into the source, but clean enough, filtered by gravel, dirt, then plant debris. I wish I could send you all some right now; it was glorious.

Now, only if I had time to tell you about the wild raspberries I found.

7 comments:

Brett Merritt said...

You just made me so thirsty for good water.

Outdoorsy Girl said...

I almost took a gulp from a stream in Utah on a hike at this place called Lake Blanche. Ever heard of it? But I resisted and instead drank the stale water from my hiking partner's hydration pack. (Mine was already long gone) It's amazing how delicious even that water was to me on that day! ;)

Naw, but I do know what you mean about having a taste of delicious, indescribable water. My favorite is this mountain spring just off the highway in Highlands, North Carolina. The first gulp I had of this water was after a long hike down the base of a tall waterfall (and then back up). It was AMAZING!!

Dang, I'm thirsty!

Christielli said...

Oh man, talk about ending a post on a cliffhanger!

I have drank water from a glacier before (up in Alberta), and from lakes when I went camping last summer. We had to add this little pills to the water to protect ourselves from a particular parasite (name starts with the letter g), but I don't think the pills would do anything for water contaminated by a mine...

I enjoyed this post immensely. :)

J. Kwiatkowski-Schuler said...

I always liked the water out of the backyard hose.

Nessa Roo said...

Funny, not two seconds before I clicked over here, I was thinking how if I decide to take a trip out of state, I should but some drinking water to take with me, because my tummy is a whiny delicate creature with no tolerance for New Mexico water.
Your tummy must be made of galvanized steel.

Jules said...

Mmmmmboy! I drank some glacier spring water in Montana and it was really crisp and delicious. But for me, water just has to be cold. Ice cold is better. That defines it for me.

Interesting how a post about water could make so many people thirsty. I am now too, and literally salivating at the thought of some. Hmmm....

vera said...

i LOVE this post!
/vera