Hiking the Colorado Trail: Valleys and Peaks

Hiking the Colorado Trail: Valleys and Peaks

  For me, the Colorado Trail started at the Sanibel Bean Coffee Shop last December.   On Christmas holiday in the Florida Keys with my family I sat sipping an iced mocha and contemplating post-graduate life. I had just finished four and a half years of a relatively intense undergraduate career, decided to wait to apply to graduate school for another year, and, honestly, had no clue what to do with my life. As someone who has almost always had a plan this combination pretty much entirely freaked me out! Fortunately, I had already planned a trip to South America for Feb-April…but come May what was I going to do?! Thus, the Google searches, brainstorming conversations, and many many scribbles in my notebook commenced as the ice melted in my latte. I looked for jobs and travel opportunities, considered adventures and growing experiences. This was time to do things I might never have the opportunity to do again. Suddenly, I remembered a friend recommending spend as much time as possible outside during my year of “freedom.” On a whim I turned to my mother and asked if she wanted to fulfill her dream of hiking the Colorado Trail with me. I did not really know much about it, but why not? Of course, she said yes and my heart sang with stokedness but there was a part of me that didn’t really believe we’d do it…it was just a dream…   Until, we started hiking a little over a month ago!   I am still unsure of how to put the magic of the trail into words. It is...
Tears, Torta, and Flying.

Tears, Torta, and Flying.

I thought I would post my Argentina writings in chronological order once I was back in the states. But. That’s not what’s happening. As I begin to edit my musings, the last is drawing me in first. Therefore, I apologize if the order of my coming posts is confusing. The following writing is from my flight back to the US from Buenos Aires three weeks ago. ~~~ Hasta Luego Now, a tickle in the back of my throat, tears on my cheeks, and a squeezing heart as my feet carry me away from my Argentinean family and along the path of the “hasta luego“s. Two minutes ago I grasped my second mother’s arms so that my fingers as well as my words could say, “Te aprecio! Te amo!” with my feet planted and my hug hard to show I mean it. Five minutes ago a small face in the backseat ready to head home but asking for one more hug before he goes, arms around my neck squeeze tight and then “ya esta!” That’s enough for this three year old but he’s already touched my heart. Six minutes ago a baby’s kiss below those ever-wondering eyes and the exhausted abrazo of my host brother showing he cares. Ten minutes ago a little gray dog wriggles under my fingertips as my second father brushes through a good-bye we don’t know how to say. “Volves, no!?” “Of course I’ll be back,” I say to reassure myself as much as him. The past two hours…with my Argentinean family. My family. Familia. Situating that part of my heart that will stay here when...
Torres del Paine: Adventuring with the Wind

Torres del Paine: Adventuring with the Wind

Finally posting some of the writing I did while venturing through Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park last month. The experience is indescribable; these words are a simply an attempt to communicate moments.   21-03-16 The peaks rising out of the patchwork of golden prairie, astoundingly blue lakes, and unfortunately burnt forests are razor sharp. I stare at the crest of the mountain on the left that looks like a gigantic arrowhead as it rises up out of the ground in a pointy slab. I begin to think about how the indigenous people of Patagonia saw these mountains and what stories they told about their formation. The set of stark peaks appears to have split apart. I imagine the greek god Zeus sending a lighting bolt down on the egg of rock in another fit of rage, cracking the mound open into the geometric chunks and spectacular Torres I can see. Above the multilayer rock formed by rising lava and frozen oceans a series of puffy clouds are scattered across the sky like small balls of lamb’s wool recently shorn and thrown into the wind…a wind that now tickles my ears and brushes the fall grasses against my new trekking pants…a wind that helps the river along its gurgling way and ruffles the lakes with waves…a wind that mixes with our words of “cumpliendo sueños” (accomplishing dreams) and “charlas de la vida” (life talks)…a wind that whispers of unknown adventures, new challenges, and utterly stunning beauty waiting in store for our six days in Torres del Paine.   22-03-16 I can see the wind…but only in the water.  ...
Living in a Casa Rodante

Living in a Casa Rodante

Living in a Casa Rodante During my 5 weeks in El Chalten, Argentina I lived in a casa rodante or casilla. When I arrived my friend, Mica, was living in this tiny trailer and invited me to live with her for the length of my stay. Although we both barely fit in the teeny space between the table, sink, and bunk-beds, by the time we departed I had grown to love the orange airstream from the 70s. Living there taught me a lot about how little you need to be happy. I lived simply and I lived joyfully. I’ve had some requests for pictures of the casa rodante and I found some casilla-inspired writing I did while living there. So, here’s a snippet of my El Chalten life.   02-19-16 I wake up shaking. Still half in the dream world induced by my wonderfully warm orange sleeping bag I at first think there is an earth quake. However, as my brain sheds layers of sleep I realize that the entire house is shuddering. The wind sweeping down the valley above El Chalten is relentless and powerful. I feel as though at any moment the tiny trailer will be swept up and I’ll become another Dorothy transported to the land of Oz. Now, just where did I leave my ruby slippers? The shaking does inspire a little fear, but I decide it’s just another test of trusting the world and slip further down into the feathery warmth of my sleeping bag that is tucked into an astronaut-sized sleeping space above the bed where Mica is sleeping peacefully. I love this “casita.” I...