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It’s the simple things

Josef Martens
INTERNATIONAL SPEAKER, AT SECTION HIKING

It was a particularly hot day in the summer when we were hiking for a few days on the Appalachian Trail. We started the morning Northbound from Bake Oven Knob (very apt name for the temperatures that day), crossed the Lehigh River and then climbed one of the spectacular elevations along the way. 

We misjudged the amount of water we took with us and we ran dry before noon. There are only very few water sources near the trail in this section of the AT. And the few that were there, had dried out. Since we were only there for a few days, we didn't want to make any detour to get water (Yes, big mistake). We decided to push on, because we thought there must be water coming up soon.  

We had out last sip of water as we were climbing the cliffs at Palmerton. The entire afternoon we kept walking waiting for some water to appear. At the end of the day, water did appear. It was a muddy puddle that hadn't dried up in the forest. Looking at each other in disbelief that we are actually doing this, we pulled out our water purification equipment and started clanging the murky water. It worked. Even more: it was the best water we drank in a long time. We've never been that grateful for the seemingly simple gift of water. What could be better than that?