Sean, I enjoyed your post a great deal, and (I wipe away a trembling tear as I write this) it brought back a lot of memories (the two of us should be dead several times over . . . especially you). Let me recount another harrowing tale of danger in the desert.
A few years ago I went backpacking in Capital Reef (this was before my house was beset by wailing babies and backpacking came to an abrupt crash-test style halt). We got a permit and trudged into the trackless wilderness where we pitched our tents (or would have, if any of us had thought to bring a tent. All we had were sleeping bags). The landscape closely resembled that of the desert planet Arrakis (also known as Dune). It was hot and windy, and the only water we had was what we brought with us.
There was one camper, however, who didn’t bring any water. The only liquid he had packed in was a couple bottles of O’doul’s, and whatever moisture he could suck out of his Cheese Wranglers.
Who was this madman? INFDL’s own Tommy.
And now you know. . . the rest of the story.