Posts tagged “camping

Boggy Roots Hold Tight

Posted on 18 October 2014

Mornings came early. We reluctantly emerged from our sleeping bags, quickly trying to replicate their warmth by pulling on jackets and hats. Then, unzipping the tent and brushing against the dew, we emerged into the chilly Siberian day, still a shadowy grey under the trees. Warm kasha, porridge, of some variety waited for us in a big bucket under the green kitchen area tarp, along with bread, cheese, jam, and meat slices for the non-vegetarians. I fumbled with the instant coffee and topped its bitterness off with an overly generous helping of sgushyenka, sweetened condensed milk, my favorite. My thermos kept this gloopy beverage a little too warm a little too long, and by the end I was gulping it as to not be…

An Adventure Words Barely Touch

Posted on 30 September 2014

An admission: I was reluctant to write about my time in Siberia. My words aren’t good enough to encompass the experience. I’m more accustomed to internal drama, to melancholy; I have those words. But this project in its shimmering, impossibly stress free gauze—it is beyond me. An admission: It is slipping away. Though glittering flecks of it all stubbornly remain latched on to my behaviors, gradually I shed them off. I can’t help it. That’s life. Ordinary days take over again; I have things to do; I should focus on the now, anyway. But I still reach behind. Ah, there’s the melancholy. It didn’t exactly look promising, but I already knew it would be just fine. The electrichka train doors slammed shut, with half of…

Lessons Learned From Camping In Siberia

Posted on 22 August 2014

Our little camp in southeastern Siberia truly began to feel like a home, like the place I should be. My sleeping bag was a great bed; I was untroubled by camping night after night for two weeks. I didn’t need an inside anymore. I was out in the world, and with a group of truly great people, at that. And if you watch the world, and listen to it, you can learn some things. Here is an assortment of what camping in Siberia taught me. 1. Life can be busy – and not boring – sans technology The camp had no internet, no cell phone reception, and even no electricity (unless a generator was turned on). And I was busy! I honestly found it…

The Value of Camping with Strangers

Posted on 27 April 2014

It’s daring, but not in the way many people think. Traveling without set plans, staying with strangers, relying on others rather than solely on yourself and your chosen guides—this is not a confrontation of the world, but facing up to yourself. I am less afraid of the evil without than I am of the gnawing within. Traveling sans hotels and itineraries means pushing yourself beyond the relative comfort of certainty into something much more. It means training your mind that things will be fine, even those beyond your control. It means that you’ll experience more than your own limited plans. It means that you allow your knowledge to be expanded by others. I am less afraid of the evil without than I am of…

We Live on the Same Earth

Posted on 21 September 2013

The cold had entered my bones. The heavy mist swirled in the nearby sky above us as we overlooked the village of Cancha Cancha from our vantage point at the foot of the ascent to Pachacutec Pass. Rocks rose from the ground; smoke rose from the rocks. We approached the smattering of houses and began chatting with a young boy who spoke Spanish, though it was like mine, somewhat grammatically amiss. He sold us some straw and came to help us start a much-needed fire. It was more fumes than warmth, but we huddled close. Darkness descended—utter darkness. We were in the middle of the Andes. No electricity, no roads, so no light. Low lying clouds rolled over our tents and the village below.…