The next morning we stayed ignorant of our situation. We climbed and swam in the water as if nothing was wrong. Finally we decided to pack up camp and hike to our next campsite. Night arrived, as did the snakes, spiders, and true reality of the wilderness’s dangers. After my friend stepped near a rattlesnake and we all crawled up a steep gravel hill, we finally set up camp.
Morning came. The most difficult day was ahead of us. All but one of our water filters broke when we were making breakfast that morning. In addition to the pack I was carrying, I had to carry 2 gallons of murky lake water through a baking hot canyon. We then shared a single LifeStraw to help us stay hydrated for what came next.
Around midday, we started to climb out of the last canyon. It was steep and had no trail. My friend had a massive allergy attack. We were hungry but decided to push on. Finally, our cars were on the horizon and we guzzled the 2 gallons of water that were in the trunks of our cars, and made it home around 3 in the morning. Five years later, I’ve learned and will continue to learn so much about the importance of planning and preparation from this trip.