What’s the top 10 luxury vacation spots? Don’t ask me, I normally sleep on the ground and skip showers. Most of our friends rent estate homes, embark on cruise ships, or stay in high-end ski resorts. Lauren and I, however, take our holidays like homeless, granola smoking, tree-hugging hippies.
Don’t misunderstand; there’s nothing wrong with a little luxury. I’ve stayed in 5-star hotels, slept in castles, and dinned at well-set tables. Yet. somehow I always find myself learning more and experiencing more on that cold hard ground. It’s entirely possible there’s something neurologically wrong with me. I ate a-lot Elmer’s glue and paint chips as a kid. But, it’s hard to argue the wonder of nature.
After hiking through what is arguably the most beautiful terrain in the continental United States, freezing air drifted from the mountain tops as the sun slipped over the horizon. In the waning light we enjoyed a warm re-hydrated meal. Far from luxurious, this stuff makes Hamburger helper look like a three-star entree and it gives me “full-blown“ death farts. Nothing says I love you like a good hot Dutch oven fart in a small tent.
On Zion’s West Rim Trail, the beauty of this mountain range had our eyes swimming through the shifting shades of red rock and bright blue skies. Sleeping upon the soil and listening to nature’s song under the twinkling light of countless distant suns does something to one’s heart and mind. But, so does running out of water.
Every spring on the map yielded only dry rock. I warned Lauren to conserve water. But, she expected me to pull another “MacGyver survival trick” from my magic Patagonia hat. As a percussionist, I wondered why couldn’t my pounding dehydration headache keep a consistent beat? I ask myself what would Bear Grills do? Kill a snake and use its skin as a goblet to drink his own urine? Alright! Plan B: what would a real survival expert do? I was weak and dizzy. Another day of this and I’d be running through the mountains, chasing a mirage coke machine.
At our lowest point, with map and compass in hand, there was a “spring” a.k.a. large puddle. Our bodies screamed for water. I’m not a smart man, but I know what explosive diarrhea is. No Giardia for me, thank you very much! After filtering, I could see the bottom of Lauren’s water bottle tipped high into the air.
Days later, as we sat relaxing at a local brew pub Lauren said, “I’ve never contemplated being without water.” We live in the United States where you turn the knob and water comes from the magic water place. We drink purified filtered spring water from designer bottles. We had taken water for granted. To this day, I often think of this when I shower or brush my teeth.
As I complain about my internet speed, 750 million people on this planet don’t have access to safe drinking water.
If you’re interested, these links represent some cool programs that help offer safe accessible water to those in need: