Running water ...

August 29, 2015

I’ve gotten a couple of comments from friends wondering how I manage to survive up here without running water … so tonight I thought I’d show you how that works.

When I feel the need for some running water I load up my backpack with a 5-gallon water jug, a smaller jug to use for a scoop, and my Forest Service radio. When I’m ready, I call my friend Beth over at Firefighter Lookout and tell her that Baptiste will be out of service for an hour or so, and then Charlie and I climb down the tower and hit the trail:

My trail’s looking pretty autumn-like these days, isn’t it?)

Anyhow, Charlie and I hike for a little over a mile, down a long series of switchbacks and into a pretty area called Silver Basin, a few hundred feet lower than the lookout. There’s a black bear down there that always gets a little flustered when Charlie and I go for a visit.

And then, I get to my running water!

This is the South Fork of Logan Creek, three or four inches deep and ridiculously cold. I take off my pack, pull out the smaller jug, and use it to scoop water into the 5-gallon container. After my container’s full, I pull a towel and some biodegradable soap out of my pack, dump a few jugs of creek water over my head, and take the most exhilarating shower ever.

Then it’s time to load up the pack and head back up the mountain. The uphill hike is a little slower, since the two containers hold around 50 pounds of water, but eventually Baptiste is back in sight.

Back in the tower, I put the water in the big silver container on one of my shelves … the thing is called a “Berkey,” and it has filters in it to purify the water to make it safe for drinking.

And just so I don’t waste my hard-earned drinking water, I’ve got that enamelware coffeepot sitting off to the left. The enamelware pot contains rainwater, that I can use for washing up.

I’m all set!