Bring on the storms…

We trekked up to Refugio Frey I the Nahuel Huapi National Park. It was a nice trek up. The trail a bit dusty but the cathedral spires jutting upward toward the skies were a sight to behold. It was difficult not to keep glancing upward trying to decipher figures created by Gods hands in the rock formations. What a delightful Refugio. Nestled along a lake with spires surrounding … My favorite campsite thus far. We arrived early and setup our tents . The winds were howling. After double, triple and even quadruple checking the security if my tent I sat to eat lunch and ponder with amazement the rock climbers and their agile movements across the face of the rocks. Being that it was Christmas we decided to join the Refugio for dinner. We shared food with Brazilians, Welch, Argentinians, Swiss and a mixture of those of us from the states.. It was a joyous celebration with wine,food and conversation. The night brought on the storm . Rains and winds . Howling through the campsite all night and into the morning . I arose early as I felt my tent may collapse at any moment. I wanted to be ready. I packed everything up except for my tent and made my way to the security if the solid rock walls of theRefugio… Curious what the day may bring…so grateful to be here…and not in the city where we had spent the night before.. The elements of nature fill me with wonder and peace. Such a teacher is Mother Nature…

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My Fitzroy Argentina

Ok… So I meant to type Mt Fitzroy… But My Fitzroy magically appeared .. I let it stand . I loved this mountain. I have not quite figured it out .. But perhaps I don’t need to.. It captivated me . Simply captivated me. He stands majestically over all others. A beacon of strength .. Of that which can and will be. I felt great energy from him and feel a bit possessed  by his magnificence. Such raw beauty and power….

The trails up to, around, and away from we’re not as crowded.. It was magical..some of the trails weren’t maintained .. It was adventure.. We scrambled up gigantic boulders to get closer to Piedras Blanca.. A glorious glacier en route to Fitzroy.. We followed old trails the ranger told us weren’t in existence.. We re-created them.. The campsite was crowded … But we didn’t see folks on the trail .. It was amazing. I felt as if the puma was watching us… We saw her scat on the trail and I know she was watching us and letting us pass by…
We ventured up to the base of a climbers
Camp.. A sweet little Refugio nestled along a stream amongst the grandeur of the towering peaks .. A respite from the cold .. Hot Argentinian coffee.. Sweet little home made cookies… Ahhh life
We climbed up to Fitzroy twice .. Once in the evening… Again at sunrise..it wasn’t an easy climb.. My body feeling the effects of the stairs.. The instability of the soil… The scree… But all if it, the back pain diminished as I set my eyes on the scene unfolding. As the sun rose and cast her colors on Fitzroy the internal emotion wept with joy…such beauty… Inhaling all that was in those moments.. I saw my life.. And I felt a blessing wash through me…I am exactly where I should be..
Leaving … We couldn’t help but look back hundreds of times.. It was hard to leave that special place.. It stands above and beyond all the other mountain peaks I have seen . I have immense gratitude.. I have immense  love to share.. this life .. Blessed be

Embracing the wind… Our last day inTorres

We had heard about the winds… We had experienced some windy days and nights… But on our last day we got the challenge of pushing through the strongest winds any of us had ever met. Winds that stop you in your tracks… Wind that pushes you totally off the trail.. Wind that even knocks you down .. The condors overhead gliding… Gracefully… suspended in motion …these kind of winds allow all thought to be thoroughly released from mind .. The winds so powerful and mighty cleansing the un-necessary and leaving a raw self… I learned on this journey to embrace the wind .. It is such a gift…

The hiking out was very slow… It became very wet and cold and this we also felt gratitude for.. To travel to Patagonia and experience only blue sunshine days… Well we would have felt as if we were denied the true spirit of these mountains…
The bus journey back to Puerto Natales was a bit difficult . We were sad to be leaving these mountains and the harsh reality of life slapped us in the face as we learned of Nancy’s father passing away.
Life. What a journey . When the mountains call though.. I will always heed her beckoning…

The last 2 days in Torres Del Paine

We left Lago Grey not as full of energy as we had hoped .. We were all kind of dragging. The winds were more consistent than they had been earlier on.The clouds continued to create vivid fast moving scenes in the skies. Absolutely stunning…. All of it.. The skies , the peaks and glaciers, the tiny communities of plants, the ever changing landscapes… I am captivated .. Thoroughly… Campo Italiano was quite crowded…. Went to sleep after a great conversation with nancy … I continue to be very excited about the PCT… We all arose early to hike up Frances Valley.. It was  lovely, the glaciers majestically towering above and below.. Again though I felt tired …

From Campo Italiano we headed towards Los  Cuernos…At one point we walked along a beautiful wintergreen colored lake  with a lovely shore of beach pebbles… The winds were ferocious at this point and the hiking was slow … Upon arrival at Los Cuernos.. A sweet little Refugio overlooking the lake.. We decided to spend the night in the hostel..It appeared to be a good choice as the winds came howling through so strong that tents were flying away and poles bring snapped in two.. We had a great dinner in the Refugio meeting more great folks… Farad from Israel and I struck up a nice conversation about life and the importance of living with passion and not letting life pass you by…

Zero day at Refugio Grey

We decided to lay over a day at Refugio Grey. Planning on kayaking , but the winds were really strong so we decided just to hang out . I reveled in the down time. Contemplating the trail, the emotions, my life…re-visiting the fear that overtook me in regards to the river crossings. Trying to look deeply at that. It wasn’t so much of a confidence issue with self…. But I also had to have confidence in the welder and the rope attacher and Mother Nature….I realized how hard it was for me.. Thoughts flew quickly to Nicole and Chrissy… What if I fell … I dug really deep…

The trail is good for contemplation. It is also good for forcing you to be in the moment.. Allowing nature to be… Allowing self to be

The surprises atop and over John GardinerPass

We awoke early our spirits along with our gear severely dampened but eagerly anticipating the long journey ahead of us.The first challenge of the day came five minutes into our hike.. The river crossing.. Bee took off first over the log on her hands and knees… Nancy and I chose the river.. Seemed safer!! Once across there were 2 trail signs!! We chose the right one… ( we ran into friends later on that had take the other one and put them 2 hours back!) once across the river the trudge upward!! We had heard about the boggy conditions..but talk about a work out… Every step our feet sunk … Sometimes to the ankle.. Other times to the knees ..  It made the going extremely slow and each step was carefully calculated. My poles were-my saving grace …up and up.. We were fully dressed in all our rain gear .. It was cold, wet and super exciting to be out in the elements .. The surrounding mountains were so powerful and I inhaled their energy.. Out of the mud and into the snowfields …Being that this was my first time really hiking in the snow I was having fun!Our hopes were to make the pass with no wind.. We had heard so many tales of high winds severely affecting progress over the pass… We were blessed … It was absolutely amazing .. Coming over the last trudge up .. Crossing an icy cold river and last push ip the snow covered peak.. We all started laughing… It was a view like no other . Grey glacier was magnificent.. These three girls from California had never seen anything like it before.. We were giddy..a guy we had met from Germany was down the mountain behind us and could hear our childish screams of delight.. After that wore off.. I became very contemplative…thinking of those who were no longer on this planet.. Tears of sadness and joy intermingled and fell from my face.. So blessed to be a witness to the absolute wonders of this world.. On we went.. Nancy and I wanted to push all the way through to Lago Grey.. Bee was wanting to stop.. It was a long day already and we still had a way to go…  She agreed ..  On we went. We had heard about the river crossings in the next section… I was looking forward to them.. I  a water girl… No worries I thought!!! The three river crossings were the scariest most heart thumping events in the entirety of my existence .. I never before knew such fear..we climbed atop a little knoll, the river charging below. At the top of the rise I thought I was going to throw up and I wanted honestly to turn around….looking down into the gorge we saw a ladder.. A metal ladder soldered and roped into the cliff ..  We were to climb down… Cross the rapidly moving white water holding onto another rope and then… Climbing up the other side of the gorge on another ladder…Three of these crossings later and I could breathe a little easier. I asked the girls if they could sense my fear … They said yes… They also saw intense concentration and focus.   Talk about being in the moment…wow!!!! We arrived at Refugio Lago Grey I purchased a beer and toasted myself!!! Intense .. We decided to stay in the Refugio, take a hot shower and kick back!

En route to Los Perros "the shitty campsite"

Our new friend Lee  from Switzerland had informed us out next campsite would be really “shitty”… It was hard for us to believe … The hike was magnificent.. Thru magical forests with tiny little societies of miniature ferns  of every shade of green imaginable, and petite white orchids,yellow pansies and plants sprouting up on rocks and nestled in hollowed out logs, and bases of towering trees.. Mystical yumminess!!! I loved it.. Every turn brought gasps of delight!! The ice fields burst  forth in hues of blues , greens and combinations of the two..the far off views were beyond stunning.. The weather had turned quite moist and our tired bodies were praying Lee was wrong… We were so extremely disappointed.. The campsite was wet.., muddy,dirty and dark .. We immediately went to the shelter to drop off our cooking supplies.. The corrugated roof was leaking.. The wood burning stove was filled with trash.. It was filth.. And we were tired.. The scanty shop had run out of beer .. It seems others were as disappointed as we were and indulged..I got into my tent at 6:30 pm.. Wanting to sleep and begin a new  day.. I prayed for a sun filled morning .. It rained.. all night… Into the morning.. Our spirits quite dampened,we prepared for what would turn out to be … A glorious day.

The searching for words

How is it that we search so desperately for words.. For words to describe our deepest feelings..how is it that we find it necessary.. Perhaps to help us find meaning???..perhaps so that we are able to share it with others??? I am sorry that I am truly unable to share with you the intensity of what I see.. Of what I feel.. But I will continue to try. I do know… I have found such a joy on the trail.. Perhaps a meaning and deeper understanding if life. The birds are singing their morning songs..the flowers sharing their sweet aromas..the rivers reminding me if the continual impermanence of all things… The winds allowing thoughts to come and go…these elements that nature shares with me.. Enables me to smile as I walk along the mountain trail .. Perhaps for now .. this is… What a journey

Zeufie…

I felt the spirit of my dear friend Zeufie today and I wondered if she had left this life.. I felt her energy in the strong winds… I felt her strength in the majesty of the mountains..I felt her beauty in the formation if the clouds and as the rainbow filled the sky. I was certain my friend was gone…

It was a very long hiking day..we walked through a corridor if wild daisies lining the pathway .. Our first experience with the strength if the infamous winds as my sunglasses were whipped away from my face and disappeared in the wind..we walked through beautiful meadows .. I spotted a big bunny.. Truly.. He ran instead if hopped.. His ears flopped in the wind …we camped in a lively meadow of Campo Seron.. We were greeted by a beautiful Chilean man… We set up tent.. Had a delicious chilled beer.. Beer tastes so damn good after a long day..there gave been lots of folks in the campgrounds but the trails have been quiet..you must camp in designated spots in Torres which I grew to appreciate.. It has kept the wilderness pristine ..I do love being the first one up in the morning.. The jetboil works so quickly.. I have my steaming hit coffee within moments if arising..and then.. I sit .. I contemplate.. I write.. I pray ..

Sunrise over Torres Del Paine

We had heard so much hype about the sunrise.. It was better than expected.. We started the hike up at 4:30 am.. Donning headlamps we wound our way up the mountain.. We chose our nestling spots to watch the show.. It was very cold.. We huddled up in down jackets and vests.. Hats and gloves… I even wire my down pants.. Watching in awe the gifts of dawn over Patagonia.. Feeling such gratitude with each breathe.. The colors changing moment by moment.. Such an intense array or reds, oranges, magenta a against the blue sky , and against the towers.. Feeling connection.. Feeling the energy ..tears.. As the clouds roll in.. Announcing the end if the show.. We wind our way down the mountain…after witnessing the supreme artist in conjunction with many .. My heart fills full…