Maggie and I took a lunch run over to the outlet mall yesterday to the Columbia store and picked up a couple items at stellar prices. We talked about the upcoming weekend hikes we will be doing up at Mt. Charleston between now and departure to get a little altitude in.
I have been going over the list provided by Mountain Madness to see what I already have and what I yet need to get. They state in their materials you must have everything on the list. When I went to Mt. Everest in 2012, I packed way too much. But I noticed today that aside from what we carry on our own backs for the day, the duffel our porter carries can only be 11 pounds! That is by Peruvian regulation! (He carries 44 pounds, so carries two people’s stuff and his own. We each are allowed 5 kilo’s of that space, so 11 pounds). That includes sleeping bag and sleeping pad. My Mountain Hardwear Lamina 35 weighs 2 pounds one once on its own! Add to that my Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite pad is 12.7 oz.! With that gobbling up almost three pounds, all my cloths and electronics cannot weigh more than 7 more pounds.
Some Quechua words I already knew but did not know their origin are: Condor, and Guano. Also Jerkey is Quechua for dried flesh. Then there are Puma, Quinoa and Cocaine…all Quechua as well.
I am told the people will speak Spanish and many will speak English. But half the fun is interacting with them on their terms as well.
So the last month push continues and it is an intense time of training, packing, evaluating and building excitement toward that day we board our American Airline plane and head off into the unknown. ¡Huq ratukama! (See you later)!
Planning what I consider to be an epic adventure is not difficult, but keeping motivated along the way is. I am a procrastinator by nature…or habit. By some people’s measuring stick what I do is pretty simplistic. And, really it isn’t brain surgery. But it is pushing my limits and if I am pushing my limits it is just as adventurous as those who fly into space or dive to the bottom of the seas. That is part of what is good about life I can be thrilled by something inert to someone else who can be thrilled by something inert to me. While the Bible tells us there is nothing new under the sun and Mr. Burger taught me in 7th grade science that all mass that exists and ever will exist is here in the universe now, I can search for what parts of the mass which exists that is interesting to me. My Dad, rest his soul, had all the adventure he ever wanted in the Korean War. It changed him and he was not seeking anything really new after that. That was sad. He never understood why in tar-nation I did the things I did. In 6th grade when I went to a gun camp with the Janet Miller on Orcas Island, he was baffled why I would do that. When I went on a summer mission trip to the Philippines in college, he thought I was crazy. When I went to Mt. Everest in 2012 he was just plain worried sick. But he always admired those things after I was home safe. I guess the war just made him think that there was no place like home and everyone ought to be there!
So this upcoming trek is to Machu PIcchu. I watched a documentary called Keep the River to Your Right a few years back and thought it would be fun to go there. That guy is in his 70’s and he is doing just fine. I didn’t know until well after I booked the trek that he had simply taken a train in to the ruins. I will be walking for four days to get there. Will go over a pass at nearly 14,000 feet. Will sleep in tents and eat over a camp kitchen with porters and my friend Maggie. The planning for this began in Earnest about a year ago. That gave me plenty of time to get fit and thin. Or at least lose a good amount of weight.
I was off to a great start, but waned in the middle when I had two surgeries and the doldrums and a special needs puppy. So now I find myself with about 90 days to departure, in fair shape but heavy and mad at myself as I look to crack down for the next 90 days.
To accomplish this I am going to take on workouts and healthy eating not unlike the contestants in shows like The Biggest Loser and Extreme Weight Loss. It will take accountability and dedication. I guess the kind a procrastinator musters when the going gets tough, read time is running out. Fast. Really fast. I have a home gym of my own. It is pretty well-appointed and kinda cool. Well, its hot now with temps outside in triple digits. No excuse. I can walk during work but it is hot. No excuse. I can give up sugar and grains and focus on paleo but I like a good desert now and again. No excuse.
I love my adventures. I am sure that the Mount Everest Base Camp Trek changed me in good ways I never would have experienced here in my little desert bubble. I am excited to find out how Peru will change me. What I will hear and see and what I can take back. Not in the way of souvenirs or photographs, but inside. But to even get there, to maximize my experience I will need to do this last leg of preparation like there is no tomorrow.