You’ve been wearing the same clothes for nearly 10 days now. You aren’t sure the last time you’ve actually taken off your long underwear. Yesterday? Or maybe 3 days ago? What day is it anyway? It would be considered a crime to ask someone to smell your socks. The phrase “tatu pani” is a part of your every day vocabulary. Coconut cookies are a daily part of a healthy diet. You’re sweaty, dirty, and picking up a questionable chocolate habit. Welcome to being elbow deep in the mighty Himalayas.
The rock feels cold on my hands as I stare off into the distance. My mind is blank, empty, just enveloped in the moment. I’ve made it.The breeze brings a chill as the sweat evaporates off of my body. I breathe deeply. The sun’s strength is gaining, struggling against the increasing winds to wrap me in it’s warmth. I see the strip of trail across the valley, the lake off in the distance, and endless horizon of mountains and valleys below. Above me the sky stretches out with wispy clouds like fingers outstretched welcoming me into this beautiful day. In this moment I feel small. I am alive. It’s perfect.
We finally arrived at camp right near a road. It was disappointing. I had walked all day only to find myself sleeping near a bunch of dispersed car campers. So much for feeling like I was in remote wilderness. Little did I know this save our butts next morning.