Day 15: Golina Canyon to a half mile beyond the Mangas Peak Lookout, ~26 miles, ~291 miles total
New Mexico is in a severe drought and it’s been a very dry spring, say the locals. Water sources along the trail are something a hiker relies on, but can’t depend on.
For instance, last night found us camping in Golina Canyon just around the bend from naturally flowing (trickling) water. Far better than the 4 liters of water (~8 pounds) we’d each carried from Dutchman Tank for 12+ miles. So it goes. We dumped our yellow-tinged water last night and filled up on clear, cleaner looking water.
Yesterday there were a number of water sources that were reportedly bad or dry but looked good to us. A typical water description on the map reads:
“Fenced spring on the hill. Reported to have 3 dead squirrels in bottom of tank in 2010. 3 squirrel skeletons in 2011, and a dead bear in 2012… also dry in fall 2012.”
This water source (Davis Spring) actually had a new trough and looked good. No sign of dead squirrels or bear.
Other water sources noted as reliable, we end up finding dry or not much more than algae and cattle dung.
So far, Gabriel and I have done pretty well at water roulette. Today, we won thanks to Dave the lookout on Mangas Peak. He gave us some of his personal water (it’s hauled up to th 9700 foot elevation lookout).
That made all the difference for us to be safe and comfortable for 15 more miles. But then, we aren’t big gamblers and carry more water weight than we like (but might need). Thank you Dave! For the sunset tour and the water!
Some of our fellow hikers found themselves nearly bone dry today and either filtered very scuzzy questionable water or we able to get help from people in cars passing by.
We are all grateful for the kindness of these people who help hikers with this most basic of needs.
Other CDT images that evoke the day: