Many of the creeks and streams are dry. And here I was, thinking that water would be plentiful because Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Once I started the day with three liters of water. I didn’t make the usual brown sugar oatmeal that I so love. I opted for a protein bar and decided to push through the morning.
As the day deepened and the humidity increased, I desperately hiked not only in the pursuit of moving forward—but also to find water.
After many hours and several dry creeks, I did what any nearly dehydrated person would do. I found a spot in the shade and decided to get out of the sun.
After resting and waiting for the sun to chase the sky, I moved onward and finally reached a muddy pool.
I was ecstatic—I had access to water! Filthy, brackish, and unsafe, but water nonetheless.
It got me thinking about folks without access to clean water, those who can’t afford a filtration system.
Specifically, I thought of a significant environmental injustice right in the neighboring lake: the lead infiltration in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan—a predominately Black, poverty-stricken city.
Flint shows us how environmental injustice and racial injustice are deeply connected. I think if a Sawyer mini could purify my water in under 30 minutes, why can’t we encourage other companies to enact changes? The knowledge is there.
I sat quaffing muddy water, “Damnit, there should be more water on the trail. Minnesota, this ain’t nice!”