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From Bone Dry to Waterfalls

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Offline twystoflemon

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From Bone Dry to Waterfalls
« on: May 25, 2017, 12:53:19 PM »
It probably goes without saying, but after the intense rain and hail storms that dropped >2 inches over the national park on Sunday (May 21), the Chisos water sources should all be flush with water for a good while. Cattail Falls was glorious a couple of days later. 

A little more context:

My friend and I camped in the Chisos highcountry before and during Sunday’s storms. On Saturday, the Boot Canyon tinajas were bone dry throughout the entire canyon save one algal pool that measured a few feet across. A deer desperately waited for hikers to clear the area so it could approach this water source. Sunday brought adventure as we hiked through hail large enough to sting through our hats (pea, nickel, and a few quarter sized pellets). There wasn’t sufficient shelter, so we continued down the Laguna Meadows trail, which became a creek fed by waterfalls. The Basin had many temporary waterfalls across the western ridges; it was absolutely wonderful. We were certainly uncomfortable hiking through the downpour, but we realized we were witnessing something pretty rare and magical, so we enjoyed the experience. We also enjoyed a hot meal at the Lodge after changing into dry clothes!

Though the storm was intense and the aftermath requires repairs, I think the desert breathed a collective sigh of relief to receive the much needed rain. We give a serious shout out to the trail crew. All the water diversions and retention devices really work! Also, I give a big heap of gratitude to the national park staff. We heard many epic stories from other travelers (stuck on Ross Maxwell, dead car smack in the middle of the River Road backcountry, boat trip stranded at the entrance of Santa Elena), and yet everyone emerged safe and sound. South Brewster County is chock full of wonderful people.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: From Bone Dry to Waterfalls
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2017, 01:21:57 PM »
Huzzah!!!!  Thanks for the report.  Agree about the staff and crews!
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline mule ears

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Re: From Bone Dry to Waterfalls
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2017, 04:04:08 PM »
Great stuff, walking in hail is no fun for sure, thanks for letting us see the results.   :eusa_clap:
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline Jalco

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Re: From Bone Dry to Waterfalls
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2017, 07:00:23 PM »
Cool report.  Thanks for posting.

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Offline rocketman

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Re: From Bone Dry to Waterfalls
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2017, 07:36:58 PM »
Wow what an adventure! Thanks for the pics and report!
Making ice cubes FROM THE SUN!!!

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Offline TheWildWestGuy

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Re: From Bone Dry to Waterfalls
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2017, 10:38:59 PM »
Wow enough hail to turn the ground white.   That's a rare event out there so your lucky to have been part of it.   You could go back 10 or 15 more times and never see it again.

When I was there in early May I drank water out of those slimy pools in Boot Canyon, they were full of snails and bugs so I used Iodine tablets after a coarse filtering through a double bandanna.    Yuck!   It's probably running like a trout stream right now.  TWWG

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Offline dprather

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Re: From Bone Dry to Waterfalls
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2017, 07:35:04 AM »
Great stuff - thanks.
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

 


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