Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
So you got your new water filter pump. Good move – expensive but it should last for years. The waters in the Sierra are plagued with 2 intestinal parasites: Giardia and Cryptosporiduim. Teeny tiny little protozoa. The root is from E-Coli, which gets into the water from well, er, (can I say it?) – poop. Yes, think of all those deer, marmots, bears, mountain lions, coyotes, millipedes and people all over the park who drop their packages into streams and rivers. As they say “stuff happens.” Iodine tablets do work but only on Giardia. Hmmm, good for emergencies but not for your mainline water treatment. If you are using other modern tablets, read them carefully to make sure the 2 offending critters are knocked out. Oh, you will feel fine – but in about a week, you will get a case of the “green apple 2-step.” (Can I say it?) Diarrhea. Anyway, back to the point found in the title. When you get home, you need to flush out all the hitch-hiking bugs. Do this (read your user manual first): Take a plastic water jug and cut the top open so both ends of your filter fit in. Then add a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of ordinary bleach. Then pump for about 5 minutes to circulate the solution through your filter. Chlorine in bleach will kill any nescient protozoa. Then open up your filter and let it air day for a day out of the sun.
If the filter itself has crud on it, wipe it gently with a soft toothbrush or sponge. Pack it all up and you are ready for your next Half Dome hike. When you pump your first bottle next time, let the initial cup or so flow out before putting the outlet into your bottle. This lets any settled residue out. One final thing, when yo use your pump in the field, keep the outlet end in a separate baggie. You don’t want ka-ka water getting on the “clean” end.
ERRATA: I mentioned a while back the Mt Whitney is the tallest Mt. in the lower 48. And I said Denali is the highest in the whole US. Then I knee jerked and called Whitney the 2nd highest. I got caught – there are many Alaskan peaks higher than 14,495’ My bad.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “I read the news today oh, boy. Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire. And though the holes were rather small They had to count them all. Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall. I’d love to turn you on,” A day in the life, the Beatles
*Mr. Half Dome -Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com