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Karma is a bitch, that's what I've heard people say. Fours hours in, at a minimum elevation of 9,200ft above sea level, I'm deteriorating. My kit is crusty with salt stains, my skin is burning from exposure to the sun, my bottles are empty. I try to find one more drop to wet my tongue. I pack the bottles with snow, hoping the solid turning to a liquid revives me. One bottle full of snow equals about 2oz of drinking water once melted. I drink and hope I don't come across any heavy metals, or viruses coming out of hibernation from the winter season. A few small rocks get swallowed in the process. I'm traveling through mining terrain, which is always a red flag when drinking the mountain's water supply. I struggle up the Columbine climb to 12,000ft. The air is thin and I thrive, except for drying out like beef jerky. There's a campsite, there's a tent, there's some cooking supplies and a WATER JUG that I passed about 2,000ft below.

No cars, no people. An archery target catches my attention for a moment. Weapons in the woods and the people associated with them keep me on high alert. As I travel through remote areas, I imagine people like Ted Kaczynski hiding out- plotting and avoiding society. I try to avoid society too. On the descent I feel my brains baking under the black helmet, it's the warmest day of the spring up here. WATER, I need water. The decision has been made. It might be considered stealing, but whoever is staying here appears to be much better off than me at the moment and has some valuable resources for my short-term survival. It's just water, right? I don't consider this stealing. My hands ache from the rigid descent as I make a hard left turn to hydrate, to survive the next three hours back to the house. BAM, I hit the deck. The gravel burns through my rain jacket, lycra is torn and I feel the hot sensations of the first crash of the season. Body check, everything is intact, some blood, bike is not damaged.

Was this the result of Karma biting back before I even acted? I took it as a yes and rolled into the human-less campsite. I chugged water and filled the bottles as if I've already been punished for my sins. I escape unnoticed and hydrated with some new wounds. With this worry off my back, I enjoy the cruise back to Deadville. Karma had already struck.

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