I'm sure every normal hiker who treated the horse trough water was fine. It did not occur to me that an open water trough is just a collection area for all the local pollen, though, until I woke up this morning squinting through eyes nearly swollen shut. Only after a couple hours was I able to head down the trail, puffy-faced and slightly wheezing.
At mile 67, I gave my horse water to the biologist's friend and filled up from the fire cistern tap. Like the others, including Bird Man and Alcatraz, Chad, Bio and her friend, Sunbeam and some grumpy old bastard, I waited for the sun to chill out a bit before returning to the trail. Alcatraz had taken photos of plants and reptiles for me to identify. Bio and I told field stories. At 3, most of them took off. I waited until 3:30, since I was feeling like shit and didn't want to deal with all those guys passing me on the narrow mountain path.
Mile 75 is where I gave up. My blisters are phenomenal, my face is receding back to its normal size, and I'm trying to convince my body not to go ahead with the kidney infection that I feel coming on. I think 1800mg of ibuprofen a day combined with inadequate hydration might not be a great mix for my kidneys.
On the plus side, we are now in the desert and I am greeting acamptopapus, echinocerus, cylindropuntia and lyceum like old friends. I even exclaimed, "plantago!" Happily, nobody was around to hear me.
Scarce water tomorrow and long walks.