The above pic is one of my favorite. Taken “Summer” of 2005. Recently found in my “archives”.
Me and my colleague (Peter) took on an adventurous backpacking trip in the Anza Berrogo Desert, California. It was a 48 mile hike over 2 days. That weekend crossed 115F in the desert. The backpack you see in the carried about 35 pounds. We carried food, tent, emergency kit, sleeping bag etc. It was a one way hike (we parked some cars at the destination), so no returning after some point. Obviously no cell phone coverage. No one else so crazy to hike during that time, so no chance of seeing anyone.
I think you get the point. Unfortunately we could only carry so much of water (weight limitation). Peter told me that there are two ways to refill our water. He carried a water filter. Only water we saw was small ponds of filthy stagnate water (most likely poisonous). So only second option left. It was water cache.
We were at about half way. Not much water left. And we were not going to drink it no matter how thirsty. The Sun was blazing hot, and absolutely not shade to cover. The only plantation we saw was the bushes you see in the pic. Actually I had to rest under them at the later stages of that hike, but that story was for a different day. Peter told me that we were nearing the water cache soon. He said someone comes there and puts water bottles (private people, and this is not their job). I asked him why. He said for people like us. I thought I will believe it once I see. I was prepared for the worst. Peter at his usual pace was ahead of me.
Sure enough, exactly where he said they would be. Just when I turned the corner, I saw Peter standing next to the water bottle. Someone put all that water in the middle of the desert, in the middle of the summer, just for crazy people like us. Peter said that was the happiest he saw me. Yes, I was very happy. Once I drank a lot of water, and filled our water bottles, I wished I can see them once, and thanked them. I don’t know who they were, I will never know. I am sure they also know that no one can really thank them, because they leave the water there and go. If they water is gone by the time they come back, they should know someone is saved.
Two years later I was rescued by a life-guard at the beach (story for a different day). That day I saw Yama from 2 feet distance. This time the life guard was right there, but I still couldn’t Thank him either.
How I say thanks to a stranger who saved my life? I think the only way to say thanks is to save a stranger’s life.