Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Good Fortune

Due a fortunate set of circumstances, a 42 lb bag of our cold weather gear has been delivered to Kathmandu. What a relief! Our sleeping bags, boots, warm coats, gloves, and hats, etc will be ready to pick up there when we need them.

Our friend Sarita decided to make a trip back to Nepal to visit family and generously agreed to take along an extra bag. So we packed up the things we won't need during our travels in warmer climes and sent them with Sarita to be stored at her sister's home in Kathmandu.

Now we can travel with carry-on bags only and still have what we need for mountain trekking in Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet.

Yay!! Thank you, Sarita!

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Friday, April 24, 2009

A short hike

Well, putting on the hiking boots and getting out into the woods is the best way to find out how the body will respond to the challenges of trekking. So Cynthia and I set out on a day hike to Mt. Si, near North Bend, just off I-90, about 45 minutes outside of Seattle. This time of year, the Mt Si trail can get pretty crowded, but on this cool drizzly day in mid-week, there were plenty of parking spaces and we just came across a few fellow hikers.

We took it quite slowly, so we could monitor how Cynthia's new hip functions on mountain trails.
Well, the hip did quite well; amazingly well, actually. We didn't have time to go the entire 4 miles to the summit, since we had an appointment for our Chinese lesson in Bellevue at 3:00 pm so we turned around after going about 2 miles up the trail.

But after we got back to the car, it was obvious that Cynthia's knee was having some issues. Some pain and swelling started developing right away. We stopped at a service station restroom to change our clothes and pick up some ibuprufen at the Handy Mart.

Why was the knee acting up? Could it have anything to do with the fact that this was the first day of Cynthia's typhoid medication regimen? Or was the two miles down the mountain trial just a bit too much? Too early to say, but this isn't boding well for long-distance Himalayan mountain trekking.
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Oh shit! What have I done now?

It's 2:00am and I just woke up to take a pee. Then I started thinking about the process I have just yesterday set in motion -- a trip to the remote NW region of Nepal and a trek into Tibet to Mt Kailash.

It suddenly took on a feeling of reality when our son Julian responded to my inquiry as to whether he might like to join us. His enthusiasm is marvelous, but it also makes me realize that I have started a chain of events that may very well lead to.a challenging, or shall we say, scary experience. After all, this is a route that gets up to about 18,000 feet and where there are plenty of real dangers of exposure in an extremely remote part of the world.

What is it that brings me to do things like this?

Especially as my body starts to show signs of aging. An adventure like this is certainly not "necessary". So why expose oneself to risks like this?

When I got Julian's reply, I was delighted that our son might be joining us. But it also is quite sobering to realize that we are moving from the purely speculative planning stages into the reality of boots on the ground, facing a distant mountain vista and asking ourselves, what have we got ourselves into now?

Time to go back to bed; maybe having written this, I can get back to sleep.

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