Saturday, August 28, 2010
The Crux Lies Ahead
I remember hiking the Annapurna circuit in 1998. Each day we climbed higher and higher in altitude. The scenery changed from sub-tropical greenery, to barren high deserts and towering snow-capped peaks, to finally a solid blanket of white. Every step brought us closer and closer to the infamous Thorong-La Pass. At over 17,000 feet, it loomed in front of us as the crux of our journey. We boldly and naively walked towards her each day, not knowing if the weather, or our bodies, would allow us to endure the grueling 10+ hour hike to reach "Shangrila" (aka: Muktinath), on The Other Side.
Like that day I hiked Thorong La, I have no intention of giving up. It was a long, painful, bitterly cold hike, but I continued putting one foot in front of the other, the human metronome, enduring a searing headache, gale force winds, scorching sun and melting ice. Like any aware traveler, I took full advantage when the earth beneath me gave way to a sledding reprieve. The reward was immense beyond words.
I intend to explore for myself, and report in this blog, the journey, the controversy, the wins, the losses, the heartache, the joy, the inches gained, and perhaps miles lost. I intend to keep putting one foot in front of the other, though The Pass is not yet in sight, and sit down and slide gratefully when the Universe bestows positive news and forward movement. There are many sides to every story, this is just mine.
As of today, there is no new news. The Dept. Of State has not updated their website since Aug 13th, my agency has come up with nothing but dead ends, and those stuck in Nepal report they are "Still Waiting' without any word.