Posts tagged “hiking

The South Rim

Posted on 11 June 2017

Another coyote gave us a glance and then pranced on as our car clunked along the rolling dirt road. The early January sun glared at us over the scrub. Dust billowed behind us. I settled back in my seat for the drive, which brought us winding through the Chisos Mountains. Pine trees began to line the road as we ascended, and browns turned to greens. There are a lot of animals in the desert; it’s not nearly so barren as many people imagine. We began hiking and birds rustled in the trees alongside the trail. As we made our way into the meadows, deer abounded. If I had been inattentive, I would have been slightly concerned about colliding with them. And the plants, more…

A Year of Washington Hikes

Posted on 11 December 2016

A beautiful thing about living in Washington is the myriad hiking possibilities. One can head to enormous mountains, temperate rainforest, beach, or dry canyons – there are endless options. Living in Seattle means I can enjoy the cultural city life without giving up on outdoor activities. In fact, outdoor recreation is emphasized more here than in many more rural places I’ve lived. This year, I both cross-country skied and snow shoed for the first time, hiked quite a bit, camped several times, and collected mushrooms and berries. The following is a summary of the hikes I took this year – hopefully they’ll give you some ideas, whether you live nearby or are visiting. Paradise, Mount Rainier Hiked in February. Variable distance. This one requires…

An Infiltrating Soft Light

Posted on 30 August 2016

We stepped into a small concrete and corrugated metal shelter just off the rutted dirt road. I sat down and bent forward slightly; some digestive issues had presented themselves that morning, a couple of hours prior. Our guides dipped a tin cup into a pot of water for road wayfarers and took some sips. I took a few gulps from my water bottle. Then, we all shouldered our packs and trudged onward. The road veered to and fro, switchbacking up the steep hillside. Periodically we’d cut upward on pedestrian paths, shortcutting the curves. I grabbed the fabric of my elephant pants which weren’t particularly well-fitting on my thighs for the steeper climbs. We dripped sweat. Frequently we’d hear the telltale chugging of a trucktor…

A Dreamland

Posted on 15 June 2015

I am hungry for new scenery, for vastness. Huaraz and its surroundings provide. The Cordillera Blanca towering above, around. The green and rocky path. I sink in. I look around as if it’s a dreamland. Earth is full of dreamlands. Everyone can find a dreamland, different, widely different, from whence they come. My eyes just drink.

The Future Is Here. The Past Will Come.

Posted on 13 November 2014

Yes, I’ve been somewhat silent, but life has been spinning by rapidly. The past two weeks, I was in a heretofore unexplored part of the country, to me. And during my time there, I found out I got a job and therefore will be moving to this city: I didn’t just stay in the city, however, during my trip. I fulfilled one of my goals for the year and went camping. Good choice, because I saw beautiful things such as this: This and much more, all within a few hours’ drive from my new home. The next few days will be spent packing and then I will embark on a four-day drive across the United States. I’m simultaneously excited–I’ll see many states I’ve never seen–and scared–I dislike driving.…

Lake Baikal, Wreathed and Majestic

Posted on 23 October 2014

There is a shock to your system that comes from seeing natural wonders. Maybe you know it. Your chest constricts in a good, excited way. You grin. You can’t tear your gaze away. It’s as if your eyes know that this is something extra special, and they need to lock on as long as they can, soak everything in before you’re gone again. And even when you do return, the feeling is the same. Some things are, happily, hard to get used to. It was our “rest day,” though it turned out to be more adventurous than restful. No matter! After breakfast we gathered our day packs and began the two-hour hike to the electrichka train station. We were going to the shores of Lake…

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…

Where the World is Larger

Posted on 14 July 2014

My first experience with big, nay, huge, all-encompassing mountains converted me. I love them. I just wasn’t aware until I landed in Peru and first experienced them. After spending my first week in Cusco, getting to know my host family, finding my way around, and adjusting to my internship, I joined some others on my program for a hike. We took a bus to Urubamba, a town in the Sacred Valley, from which we hiked up and up, along a gravel road that wound behind the town, toward views of the Chicon glacier. Our destination was not the glacier, though, but rather an elusive waterfall. The gravel road ended and we climbed along a ridge, skirting prickly bushes and other grabby plants. Despite being in rather…

Unexpected Friends and Conquered Summits

Posted on 19 April 2014

There, in a guesthouse at the base of the Virunga mountains, I had great trouble sleeping. I was worried about my friend, who had fallen ill that evening after the bus ride from Kigali. This, in turn, made me anxious about the approaching early morning. Hayley and I had planned to hike up to Dian Fossey’s research station for mountain gorillas, Karisoke, where she is now buried after being murdered in 1985. However, Hayley was too sick for hiking, so I would have to go alone. Not that I mind doing travel activities by myself, but there was the issue of transportation. To get to the base of the trail, one has to rent a 4×4 at the rate of $80 per car. I…

Halfway, Forever

Posted on 23 November 2013

That time right before dusk when the strange air swirls around you presents possibilities mysterious, romantic, dark, exhilarating, and final. Yet now, only this small gap of time and space matters. Nothing else because there is only this, this. This moment, it exists and it is dying. You know it and you don’t care. Throw your arms high and wide and laugh! You exist, solidly, in this instant, and that is something to revel in. It is so hard to force only now to matter, and by that, embrace the impending future rather than fight it and fear it. This is the trial of living your limited present, rather than scenes of what probably will not come to pass. The current moment is ever…