Clear Creek bubbles up right from the forest floor, filtered through the nebulous waterways of the Root Glacier.
The creek is indispensable to life in McCarthy. The water source provides much of the community water used for drinking, bathing, laundry, cooking, etc.
Straight from the creek, cupped in handfuls to a person’s lips, the water is cold and tastes of nothing. From the tap it’s almost just as good.
To draft water a few times a week, 300 gallons at a time, encourages a certain mindfulness in a person. The running of the tap becomes critical. Showers become brief and more of a luxury. Cooking is done with fewer dishes, and those used are cleaned more efficiently. A person might wear their jeans one more day. Never will they run the faucet continuously while brushing their teeth.
Certainly the act of collecting water fosters a greater appreciation of the resource.
These photos show the typical journey of water from creek bed to crew house faucet.