Desperation at Cheaha

So it is summer and I am off for a couple months.  Time to travel the country on my terms doing what I want to do.  On my route was Cheaha in northeastern Alabama.  I only had about 9 hours up there before I had to meet with family so I didn’t have much time.

I drank so much water up there, but I was still dehydrated from the hot (temperature, LOL) drive the day before.  I knew I had to get hydrated quick in order for my experiment to be successful.  It was especially dry that day too which didn’t help either.  I must have drank 2 or 3 liters of water before hitting the trail.  So much water that my stomach was sloshing at first.  I was taking 6 or 7 gulps of water from cupped hands at a spigot every 10 minutes or so to get my water up.  To make matters worse, I had to use the toilet that morning and as I sat there, I peed.  I don’t know what I was thinking, but I totally forgot about my pee-holding experiment and now I emptied out.

So I hit the trail anyway at around 11:00am.  I had 3 liter bottles of water in my daypack as well as some essential clothing to test out.  As I was hiking, I kept on drinking.  As I hiked, I was starting to get worried because I downed one of the bottles already and had so sensation at all of filling.  I suspected I was sweating, so I carried my daypack by hand instead of on my back.  I also walked with my mouth closed so I didn’t exhale moisture.  As dried of rock-seep after rock-seep was walked by, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to re-fill my bottles.  It was starting to look like the trip might be a failure.

My last hope was a GPS coordinate called WATERFAL that I made a few years earlier.  I knew at the time I would be trying to get desperate here, so I always documented water sources.  Hopefully it wasn’t dry.  As I got closer, I was running lower on water and was almost out of my second bottle and I heard the sound of water through the trees.  I hoped it wasn’t the wind I was hearing because the wind does cruel tricks like that.  There was a flowing stream running over mossy rocks dispensing a continous stream of mountain spring water.  My bottles were refilled and I took large happy drinks.

For the sake of the story, I should tell you what I was wearing.  My standard hiking uniform.  Black shiny shorts and shirt.  Underneath I usually wear compression gear of some sort.  Today, a knee-length, sleeveless singlet in maroon was what I was wearing.  You have to completely undress just to do something simple, like pee.  As I was refilling these bottles, I did finally sort of have to pee a little.  I didn’t want to undress, because sure enough, a crowd would show up at that time, so I held it in.  The last thing in the world I would want is to be seen half dressed, especially if you are revealed to be dressed in unconventional hiking clothes.  So lets see how long I can hold.

I hiked another hour and half or so.  Each fifteen minutes I had to pee worse and worse.  I have a very strong bladder if I don’t stress it for a week or two.
  I hadn’t been in desperation for a few weeks so I was in good shape for holding.

I got to McDill Point and sat on the rock there.  The breeze was cooling.  I felt my bladder start to open involuntarily but I was able to stop it without even grabbing myself.  How dare my body try to sneak a pee like that!  I had decided that I wouldn’t be hiking in wet shorts unless it was a true emergency.  As I was walking along the trail, a true emergency did happen.  I didn’t want an uncontrolled shorts-shower right when another hiker was going by, so I let a little pressure loose.  Not much, just enough to be damp and evaporate off as I hiked.  My black shorts don’t show the wet well, but the longer maroon tights would so whatever I did, I couldn’t let the wet get that far down my legs.

As the pee leaked out, it came slowly.  At first I felt a weird warm sensation followed by a comfortable coolness.  I knew then that I peed my shorts just a little bit, but the pressure wasn’t so bad now so I kept on hiking.  They were almost dry before the next pressure release had to be done.  This one was a little bit larger, but still, my legs weren’t noticably wet.  This must have happened 4 or 5 more times as I hiked over the next hour.  If you looked real close, you could see the black shorts were wet with this parabolic halo that disappeared halfway down my thigh, but I don’t think anybody would stare that closely.

I stopped to take a picture at this point, but the camera decided to not turn on completely.  Sometimes, it turns on, but a black static appears as if it is night on the screen.  It usually does this when I need to take a picture right away, but will work when I am sitting comfortably at home.  I had to use my blurry cell phone to take the picture.  After taking the picture, I changed clothes.

I brought a backpack full of clothes.  I could wear the maroon shorts all day, but I wanted to try others while I was here.  I put on my triathlon shorts.  These are black compression shorts with a polyester padding in them sort of like what is in bikeshorts, but much more flexible and fitting.  As I walked, I let a little loose in them and they did show the wet very well.  I though they designed these shorts to be black so that athletes can pee in them while on the move without losing seconds stopped, but it still showed very well.  The padding didnt dry out very well either.  I have some pictures of these as well.

I was at my shower-shorts stage now.  I had to wear something special for this.  I have these nylon-shell mountain biking shorts.  They have a padded bike shorts on the inside.  Bike shorts are great to pee in because the padding catches the pee and it holds quite a bit.  You can slowleak for hours in these things before any drops fall off of you.  There are no pictures of these because the nylon shell is waterproof and they look the same before and after.  I let it go and warm came down my legs and the nylon shell dripped like it was raining inside my shorts all the way around.  The whole process took almost 2 minutes before I stopped.  I walked a while until the drips stopped falling and changed again.

This time, I was in my green, baggy basketball shorts with Starter brand, heather-colored, compression shorts underneath.  I decided I needed to pee again so I let it go, so what if it showed at this point.  The wet stayed around my thighs and dried very quickly, leaving only a faint border around where the wet used to be.

So this was how the wet was won!

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