A tale of two hikes

Hike 1

I was with my cousin. We were about to go out for a hike. It was nothing too grueling, but it was going to be a hot day. We had just left the apartment and were on our way when I realized I had forgotten water. I asked him, “Hey, can I have some water later on?”

He looked at me and held the water bottle a little more closely to his chest. After battling within himself for a few seconds, he said in a flat voice, “Fine.”

I got the hint and went back inside and got my water bottle. I didn’t talk to him for about five minutes because I was annoyed, but eventually I got over it and we enjoyed a good, easy hike together.

Hike 2

I was with my husband. This mountain was monstrous – over 11,000 feet at the summit. We’d had a goal all summer to finally hike Lone Peak but wanted to wait until all the snow melted. We’d hiked other mountains that were of similar elevations, so we figured we’d end up okay with the food and water we’d brought.

We were severely under-prepared.

We didn’t bring enough water or food. We got started at our usual pace (i.e. fast). The trail, in essence, is divided into several different parts: the trail leading up to the trailhead, Jacob’s ladder, a rockier part of the trail (badlands), and then it becomes a boulder field where you need to scramble up, eventually scrambling up to the summit.



Our redeeming virtue was bringing a water filter. We reached a small creek bed and Austin began the arduous process of filling the filter and squeezing it out into our giant water jug. I sat behind him and reapplied sunscreen.

He paused in the middle of filtering and reached into the bag. I couldn’t see what he was doing, but he said, “Hey, I found another whole Clif bar! We’ll split this one.”

“Oh, great!” I said as he handed it to me. I began eating it, thinking, I could’ve sworn there was only half of a Clif bar left.

On the way back, I almost blacked out. Austin rushed to my side and gave me the rest of the water.

“Are you sure you don’t need the water?” I asked.

“You need it more than I do,” Austin said, his voice worried.

Something clicked. “You tricked me!” I said to him, smiling. “You didn’t eat anything because you wanted me to eat without feeling bad.”

Austin turned away, embarrassed. “I just wanted to make sure you were okay.”

We made it back to the car two hours later. I was afraid we would’ve had to call Search and Rescue, or at least call for emergency supplies. But we made it.

The moral of the story is this: bring enough water for yourself as well as the people you hike with. But be generous with it too – you never know who you might help.

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