Bolivia is all about altitude. The airport is just over 13,000 feet and the the city (La Paz) is sitting at a comfortable 11,942 feet. From La Paz the jungle is down and the desert and mountains are up. Up, is the direction we took. We headed through the desert to Condoriri base camp where we climbed Cerro Austria and Pequenyo Alpamayo then we were off to Huayna Potosi. During one of the “rest days” I biked the Bolivian Death Road down into the Jungle. I never felt like I was near death but it was tons of fun.
Who loves a road trip? I do! For years I’ve always said that I would love to see Yellowstone, The Grand Tetons, and Glacier Nation Park and for years I’ve never pulled it off. This summer I realized that I have both a car and gas money so what was really stopping me at this point? Nothing, that’s what. So I called up my friend Jerry and and before we knew it we were driving across a lot (a heck of a lot) of plains heading toward Wyoming.
Being of Irish decent I can attest to waking up early in the morning feeling foggy and odd. This is typically the result of another proud Irish tradition of strong beer and shenanigans. I was backpacking in the Irish Wilderness when I awoke to this magnificent scene on the river. This was a beautiful sight and probably one of my favorite backpacking moments of all time.
Peru was amazing. It really is difficult to summarize such an amazing trip into words but there were so many moments on this trip that were full of life. There were spectacular sites such as the clouds blowing across the peaks in the Andes to simple things like the way the ice sparkled as it frosted over our tents. I wouldn’t even trade the feeling of freezing all night in my inadequate sleeping bag for the comfort of a warm bed. Every minute in Peru seemed to vibrate with energy and life.
Mt Rainier was easily the most fun I had ever had while not being able to feel my hands. That sounds kinda weird written out, but I stand by my statement. Let’s just say that those radically expensive mountaineering gloves are worth every penny while the lower end Black Diamond gloves are definitely meant for lower elevations. Anyway, Rainier was the first time that I had wandered that far up into the mountains and I had fun all the way down to my core. It was also the first time that I had ever seen the moon rise from above the clouds. That is truly a magical sight that I wont soon forget. I only wish that I had the photography wherewithal at the time to have captured that moment.