Hike to Silver Hill Mine to find an old fireplace at a mine cookhouse in Crawford Bay. (Photo submitted)

Dihydrogen oxide-sounds toxic?

You won’t die if you ingest dihydrogen oxide. You won’t even come close to dying if you drink it. However, some people still exclaim, “Yuck!”and drink something far worse.

Dihydrogen oxide is best taken in its pure form, crystal clear and clean. This substance is two parts hydrogen to one part oxygen, H2O. Water!

Instead of being toxic and a killer, it is life-giving. Every living organism depends on it to live and function, including humans. The lack of water is “toxic.”

Just imagine being lost in the Sahara Desert with no water or trapped in a mine shaft, or drinking so much energy (chemical) drink that you don’t have room for pure water.

Water is necessary for blood maintenance and for transporting nutrients and oxygen to various parts of the body. Its presence in the lungs aids in oxygen absorption, the list goes on.

The body requires constant supplies of straight water as it is being released into the air, as vapour, every time we breathe out and continuously through the skin even though there is no sweating.

Just breath out into a cold window or put the hand flat against a cold windowpane.

Plants require continuous supplies of water to store nutrients in the roots, to carry out the process of photosynthesis, and to replenish water given off through evaporation from its foliage.

Plants need water to maintain their shape and structure. Otherwise, they wilt and fall over. Water is vital in keeping the pores of both animals and plants clean and open for oxygen, carbon dioxide exchange and for release of toxins, stuff it doesn’t need anymore.

Water is not only essential for keeping the outside clean but also for keeping the inside clean, flushing out body waste and toxins. There is so much in the food we eat (or things we call food) and the air we breathe.

Some toxins are not eliminated but stored in the liver, tissues and excess body fat, eventually reaching a lethal level, weakening tissues, ultimately causing death.

We connect directly with water in recreational and therapeutic ways. We swim and play in it. Lost in history are ways water was used therapeutically as in hot and cold compresses for chest infections, sore throat, aches and pains, and so on.

The availability of water is what people have historically assessed when travelling and selecting a place to camp or establishing a community or hospital. Early settlers travelling across plains and prairies, where possible, picked a campsite where there was water. The common question was, “is there water there?”

Water was also essential for cooking and for watering the horses and the stock. Other essentials for camping were a campfire site, a shelter for inclement weather and protection from wild animals.

Miners, prospectors, explorers, and camp cooks in the early mining and railroad construction camps sought a good-sized spring or stream by which to construct stone “stoves” and rock bake ovens.

Bake ovens and other cooking structures dot the landscape along railroads, historic trails, near old mine sites and at prospectors camping spots.

Consistently early people, to the area, set up near a good water supply. Unfortunately, sometimes proper arrangements were not made for waste disposal, and the camp stream became contaminated, and typhoid fever broke out among the railroad, and mine workers and the camp and cookhouse had to be abandoned.

Research has found the typhoid bacillus to be still present in the soil. A few railroad workers died at the Goatfell Loop Camp. I believe this was one of the reasons for the establishment of the area’s first hospital near River Bend, where a small fenced cemetery can presently be seen from the highway.

A person needs crystal clear, pure water. Be sure and get plenty of it. It tastes better than pills and is often cheaper and better for one than medications. Preserve and protect the local water-bank drainage ecosystems.

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