We enjoyed a lazy morning knowing we only had a 3 hour walk today. We all were a little restless last night and craving some extra sleep as we had a windy, cool walk down from Gorak Shep. We ordered extra food, sat in the sun, and silently enjoyed the simplicity of the morning. I think we all were feeling the looming return to city life and were grappling to stay put a little longer. We wanted modern showers, enclosed non-drafty bedrooms, and safe drinking water. And we wanted no task but to walk on a trail, look up at the snow-peaked mountains, and listening to the wind. We were transitioning from one to the other, and we weren’t quite ready for it.
Today is Daniel’s birthday! We celebrated by presenting a card from the whole team at
breakfast, a balloon which quickly became an accessory for his birthday outfit, and “Happy Birthday” necklace that Denise and Paul brought over from the US, passed it around before the trekkers left the climbers, and I stowed away to await his birthday!
I tried a gas-powered shower x 2 today; ironic to write, but no hot water. Pipes are frozen, so no shower😦. Funny how it was such an effort to prep for the shower and that I was more disappointed for the energy I spent organizing a shower bag and getting out of my long-underwear to chatter my teeth outside the shower hut in anticipation of a cleansing shower; to then turn back around and don clothes without clean skin or hair. My hair became a novelty to me on this trip. I’m one who washes my hair daily, sometimes several times in a day due to frequent workouts. So experiencing the change in my hair as grease set it, it started to hold shapes, and the feeling of unwashed hair was entertaining. I had to laugh and stay lighthearted about it, otherwise I would have been disgusted by myself. Sometimes you cannot remove the westerner, despite being far from the west.
Today my stickler-for-time self gawked at my useless energy expended yesterday being frustrated by derailing from the schedule. My language of love is time. And when time has been expressed, and the expectation I put on sticking to the time is not met, frustration builds. Self propagated. An internal storm that no one wants to touch with a 10-foot pole. Today time was moving slowly and no “set time” had been vocalized. Yesterday, a personality trait that serves me in western society (admittedly it doesn’t always serve me there either), crept in and brought negativity to a situation that had no need for it. It’s good to identify your faults, reflect on the behavior that resulted, and try to quiet the nonsense in the future. This will be a necessary task from October 28, 1984 until my last breath on earth. And I hope to be introspective enough to keep checking in. Daily discovery…daily growth…daily faults. Life and the circles we make.
Kerry sent: Psalm 95:4: In whose hands are the depths of the earth, the Peaks of the mountains are also His. Psalm 19:1-6: The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Isaiah 40:31: but they who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
She comments to connect with my group, have time to reflect, be silent, and be present. I think this sums up what the trip has been.
Leslie sent some inspirational pictures and quotes. “I’ve learned that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.'” “The best view comes after the hardest climb.”
Our walk to Deboche from Dingboche started with a stop at Snow Lion Lodge to pass along a note from Paul and Denise to the owner, Mingma, who had provided private residence and wash tubs for laundry to them,when they were here in a previous year to climb Everest. Mingma was up in high town so I left the note with a worker at the lodge. The local peoples’ faces light up with any story of a relationship or previous visit to the region. Return visitors to Nepal is a compliment to their culture.
Today’s walk led us back to the tree-line, back in damp air, and on an “altitude high.” It is amazing to think I’m still >12,000′ but feel easy and breezy like sea-level.
The hike down feels like a steeper reverse grade than our walk up the Gokyo Valley; I think we did it right :) We talked with 2 gentlemen who were headed up; thinking of doing our reverse trek; Cho La Pass would be more challenging in their direction. I believe the second portion of the hike was a steep grade that I’d much prefer traveling up than down. They both were packing crampons, which would help; but one was already feeling altitude sickness at Deboche and age was probably not on either of their sides.
We are back in weeping willows, green, damp air, and the sound of rushing water in the river conduits. It reminds me just how desolate and inhospitable our surroundings were 2 days ago.
We passed a fallen suspension bridge. Logan, our Nepalese guide, identified that it fell 2
years ago when the rock wall gave way. No one was on the bridge (hopefully) at the time.
We played cards (Hearts) for Daniel’s birthday, ordered him an apple turn-over with chocolate, sang him “Happy Birthday”, and kept the day pointing at him. He was great at bringing a smile to every one he passed on the trail throughout the entire trip, but especially today in his american flag spandex, captain American hat, and number 1 balloon.
Tomorrow we head to the “famous” Monastery atop Tengboche cliff-edge and continue on back to Namche. The journey feels as though it is coming to an end as we quickly drop altitude. Back to hospitable climate, paper-products accompanying dinner (napkins), water more readily available, and gas powered showers. I had my 1st shower since my birthday today! Devine to have clean hair
One foot in front of the other, safely back down.