Ascending In The Brutal Heat

June 21

Day One
I may have slept in Mexico last night. Coronado Monument is day use only so it was violate USA law, Mexico law or hike in and down within daytime with limited amount of water.

I can only haul so many gallons uphill before it’s just a wasted effort with no gain. So, I may have slept in Mexico.

Potential problems with sleeping in Mexico is fear of crime from the drug trafficking. Sleeping on exposed ridges during wind storms, due to fear of venturing further inland, is also no fun. I may have also collapsed my tent pole to prevent the wind from destroying my tent.

Up at the crack of dawn because I went to bed at first dark. I’m worried about next water. Even more worried about ascending in the heat. I’m carrying about ten pounds too much weight which is making this harder. I’m carrying several extra pairs of socks out of fear of sand bonding to them, but there’s no sand on a packed track or trail.

Last night I cached 5 pounds to reduce having to carry it down to the border and back up. I could have cached more but I didn’t want to risk losing really important things. 

Something stole my coffee. 

I think a bear stole my coffee. I’ve never had problems with coyotes or rodents stealing coffee left out in the open. So I just placed it beside a boulder and put a rock on top. It stole all my coffee. This is probably for the best, it was 5-7 ounces of good coffee. Wanting coffee and not having it is a shame. This seems like such a waste. That’s going to be one caffeinated bear. I fucking hate bears.

Ascending in the heat is brutal. The 0% humidity is intense. It sucks out moisture so fast. 

I’m doing all I can to avoid breathing out of my mouth. It’s not even 9AM yet. Pure blue sky and heat gazing the horizon. With this much heat and dryness there may be heavy clouds come evening. I’m trying to ascend Miller peak before the crux of the heat. It’s already severely hot. It’s not even 9 AM.

The young ranger/border patrol below at the pass assured me bathtub spring is reliable. Was worried about a vehicle parked there overnight because of the heat wave. Didn’t offer any water and I didn’t ask for any.

I keep ascending a small segment then sitting down in the middle of the trail is some sparse shade trying to recover. The heat is already intense and it keeps escalating. Even sitting here in the shade is hard to recover. I need to make that summit before it gets any hotter which requires more exertion and chugging water faster than I’d like. I’m really hoping that bathtub spring is as reliable as the ranger suggests.

My blood pressure is low from dehydration, I can feel it when I stand.

I could only last 20 minutes, the ascending in the heat is too much. I’m back laying in the trail beside a shrubbery attempting to reduce the exertion and recover. I can see the summit ridge but if I keep walking I’ll be digging myself into a hole. Assuming bathtub has water I’ll have needed 4 gallons to reach it fully hydrated, I only started with 3. I think I still have a few hundred more feet to the ridge and s few more to the peak elevation. This is over 2000 elevation gain I think.

It’s 3700 elevation gain go the spring at mile 8, no wonder. When my pack is the heaviest, plus carrying extra shoes for the GET, plus record heat. I have to drink this water for the ascent it’ll be easier from the summit even if bathtub is dry.

My sit breaks in the dirt eventually became pack off laying in the dirt. Ascending in the heat is brutal. Initially my breaks were a composite of too heavy pack, to much heat, too much ascension.

The intense heat and cloudless sky turned to some clouds which I promptly took advantage of. 

Ice cold rain and what was formerly life threatening heat is now high risk for hypothermia, within the span of minutes.

Endless cycle of hike then lay in the dirt squeezed into some various shrubbery. Eventually more motive for taking breaks becomes my incredibly sore legs. I have about a liter left but I can’t risk drinking it without teaching that spring.

I’m approaching 9000 feet and it’s still brutally hot.

There was a rattlesnake on the trail around 8500 feet, it ran away so fast, the spontaneous S shape, muted rattle due to damaged rattle, and it ran, or shall I say slithered away so incredibly fast. 

Snuck up on plenty of deer.

I’m feeling the effects of significant dehydration. I have no appetite and the thought of salt makes me gag.

4000 feet of ascending on the heat. I reach the spring at mile 8.1 and I can’t tell you the joy that comes from seeing a bathtub of water off in the distance in the middle of a pine forest. 

I collapse beside it too dehydrated and heat stressed to deal with anything but slow recovery. That water isn’t going anywhere and it takes less effort to dronk from my dromedary than sit up. The long slow process of trying to feel good enough to be able to eat something.

It flows at 1 liter per 1.5 minutes. Crisp fresh spring water. Keep looking over my shoulder for the bear; don’t bother treating it, there’s no need. My only goals are to try to eat food, go to bed early and wake up late.

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