If you're ever on the Tahoe Rim Trail and you're running low on water, look for a hiker named Roger.
Roger, I won't call him old, but I well say he has so many wrinkles that he screws his hat on his head. How much age does he have on him, we'll get to that.
The Chaser and I were were running on the TRT, doing a sporty 27-miler that Chase thoroughly researched, "Yeah, says here that there is a lake about 11 miles into it, we can refill there."
So, off we went, me, with bravado, foregoing the ride to the trailhead, "Naw, it's only 5-miles we can run there." (don't ever forgo the ride to the trailhead, especially if the run is uphill on a busy road!) We were enjoying some beautiful views:
But as we were two hours in, we still hadn't found our lake, when we happened on Roger, whom we had met the day before while we were hiking with our lovely companions, Ali and Kristyn (they were available due to the cancellation of some race they were supposed to help crew.)
Anyway, we asked Roger where we could find this lake. "Just Round the corner." says Roger. "But you're not planning on drinking out of Deadman's Lake, are ye?"
Us, "Er, well, er, a..."
"Hey fellas, how about I loan you my filter, and you fill them bottles and leave the filter on the trail. Might save you a bad case of the green-apple-two-step."
"Gee thanks, a, er, a, a, sir."
The old-timer said, "Shoot my father was sir, just call me Roger!"
"Well, thanks Roger!" we replied as he shook our hands in his vise-like grip.
We refilled, and by the time we were finished Roger had snuck up on us and were gave him back his filter (which I'm not sure wasn't a spittin' image of the Jarvic 7.) They I had to ask, "Roger, what are you doing out here all alone, I mean you're not a young man?"
"Well, See that big old lake down there, Lake Tahoe?"
"I'm walking all the way around it on this here trail. It's 168 miles, and I'm carrying everything I need right here on my back."
"Gee Roger, that's gotta be 40 pounds, and 168 miles is a long way."
"Actually it's more like 50 pounds, and I'll be finishing my journey, tomorrow or the next day. And with doubling back and all, it's been more like 200 miles."
"Wow Roger! If you don't mind me asking, how old are you anyway?"
"I was 87 on my last birthday."
87! If I can still chew at 87 I'll be happy! And Roger, he's hiking solo on Mountain trail and living off the land. And he can still take the time to help a couple of idiots from the city figure out that you don't want to drink stagnate water without filtering it first!
Funny thing is though, when we got back to town and were waiting for our ride back, we asked a couple of locals about Roger, and they couldn't remember any old-timer that lived around there. Until one old fella in the back said, "my dad was named Roger and used to hike that trail all the time, until he died 25 years ago, at age 87. Dad caught dysentery, up at Deadman's Lake and died on the mountain. We've heard for years from city-folk like yourselves claiming to have been helped out by Roger. But it's just legend........ isn't it?"