Posts tagged “mountains

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…

Truths

Posted on 3 May 2016

Death fluttered beside me. After heavily wading through waves, I climbed up onto the rocks. Routine walking was encumbered by annoyance. Smiles couldn’t penetrate me; no, I deflected them by turning away and retreating into my sullenness. The little, supposedly cheery banalities echoed around the cliffs like bullets. I backed into a cave and barricaded the entrance. Death cast its shadow. It was only right to sit within it. After her death, the days stretched out long and grey. I wanted to return to Ohio again and again and again. I had been there to see her, and I had been there to bury her. It felt wrong to be separated from this place. And from the people! We had held each other, reaching,…

Take Care

Posted on 29 November 2015

Recently, I’ve been up in the mountains. The Pacific Northwest weather has turned; it has started raining, and a chill has settled in the air. People have cranked up their heaters, are lingering inside more and more, and the dark drifts in early. Total insulation, isolation, however, is impossible, though we often do not feel it, hiding away as we often do. I’ve been raring for adventures. Almost every weekend spent at home with chores seems like a weekend lost. Ben found a hike, Heliotrope Ridge, that sounded like an especial, beautiful adventure: fording several water to come up to a glacier at Mount Baker. So we made our way, hoping across several rivers and gradually gaining altitude, until we hit our last obstacle.…

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.

A Loud Silence

Posted on 4 March 2015

The earth is bigger than we are. Nature is mightier than we are. When you’re on the ridge with your partner, though, doesn’t your love feel huge? Even though you’re dwarfed by everything around, somehow, your lives together feel more important. They swell. All that is delicate inside shapes us stronger. My chest expanded with my breath and more. The clouds rolled in and over us. The sky was hidden and then shone gold. What can I say? What can I say? Mountains speak louder than words.

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.…

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…

Hells Are Our Creations

Posted on 26 May 2014

I could hardly breathe. Sweat poured off my face as I bent and clutched a handkerchief to my mouth, attempting to suck some oxygen through the fabric. Only sometimes did I dare lift the cloth away from my mouth, desperate for a fuller breath; I was reluctant for the air was poisonously dusty. I gasped and gasped, unable to tell whether the primary reason for my struggle was a true lack of oxygen or panic. Cerro de Potosí, commonly known as Cerro Rico (“rich mountain”), and also, dreadfully and honestly, as the Mountain that Eats Men, looms over the city of Potosí. For centuries, the Spanish Empire was bankrolled by silver from this mountain. In the seventeenth century, Potosí was one of the largest and…

That Which Disappears First Fades Away

Posted on 22 April 2014

Peru contains 28 of the world’s 32 climate types and is home to around 90, maybe more, microclimates. Our guide spouted this fact, along with many others, as our van whipped along the mountain roads from Huaraz to Pastoruri Glacier in Huascarán National Park. This number was completely believable, having two days before taken a bus from the world’s second largest desert city, Lima, to the second highest mountain range, the Cordillera Blanca. Maybe it was the altitude making me light-headed, but after having lived in Cusco for a few months I doubt it. When we stopped at a small hot spring to contemplate the scenery of the park, my head spun with the elation that is unique to witnessing an unfamiliar, beautiful place…

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…