Dana Spring came just in time for us to fill our bottles this morning. The area surrounding the spring had thoughtfully been fenced off from the hooved locusts we call cows, otherwise the clean water we got would have been fouled by feces. Our maps showed water only 4 miles away that was warned to be polluted by cows, but Dana Springs made us lower our guard. Big mistake. When we got to the stream, a giant herd of cows was gathered along the banks for a mile. They stood in the water, drinking and defecating simultaneously. I dipped my bottle into the putrid water and it was so tainted it looked like weak coffee. The smell was awful. Lovely. With no other option if I wanted to stay hydrated, I crossed my fingers and treated it with chemical additives. I’d of rather got water from the toilet at a gas station restroom. As we continued there were a few other disgusting streams and the fake cowboy in the brand new pickup who drove by only chuckled when I asked for info on better water in the area. The rain thankfully cooled down the worst of today’s heat and we finally got back in the trees, up and away from the ranchers land. Just as dusk fell we found an unmarked stream on the north side of the Radio Tower Mountain. Mother Earth was thanked by all of us as we slowly scooped up the trickle with the caps to our water bottles. Water had never tasted so good. We camped up high with a view of Helena’s twinkling lights below.
- Starting Location: Stemple Pass
- Destination: Dana Springs and the lights of Helena