We were all out near the hill today. Actually, west of the hill, west of Duck Lake Road, all day. We began trail mapping work for the western part of the park today with a 10-mile loop of the outer perimeter trails. With snow and ice, 10 miles feels more like 20, so a long, but fun and rewarding 5 hour hike.
Along the way, we encountered a bit of a water shortage. I know that, personally, if I’m not drinking enough, I start to get clumsy, reflexes slow down, and I get more irritable. You need just as much water in the winter as you need in the summer, although sometimes the it’s often a but harder to find water on the trail. Luckily, we ran across a mucky, smelly little swamp which some considerate animal had dug a hole into, through several inches of snow and enough ice to give solid footing. By no means is this anyone’s idea of an ideal place to get drinking water, but as normal, I carry a high-end water filter capable of filtering just about anything, so, after refilling a few water bottles, we were back on our way, spirits much higher, coordination returned for all.
All of us would have easily made it without the water. If necessary, we had everything needed to make fire to melt snow, etc. The first time you run into an emergency, it’s an emergency. The next time, it’s an inconvenience. The next time, you hardly notice. A well-equipped hiker hardly notices these things, and they never ruin the hike.
In other news, look for our first publications late spring or early summer. It won’t be everything, by any means, but will hopefully give a good idea of what we’ve found so far. Watch here and our web site at http://www.HavenHillProject.org for more information.