Walking It Off

Editor’s Note: This post also appears on jaredspaulding.com; I am posting it here because it sure fits my the Patagonian exploration theme.   January 2020–Water is not my element and Spanish is not my language; I started with two strikes against me.  Luckily Maija and Fiona were kind enough to take spots nearby and offer […]

The Lessons: Part Fem*

Expeditions have a way of teaching much if you know where to look.  Some of this year’s lessons are specific to the Valdivian or Siempreverde rainforests, others more general.  Some are obvious, others, not so much.  With those unobvious ones, one has to to search a little harder, dig a little deeper.  I got some of each […]

The Christmas Wall

“You want one of these?” I asked, holding out a Gu packet as Josie racked up for some shitty looking climbing.  Around us, clouds and mist swirled.  Small droplets, mistlets, if you will, pecked at my eyeballs as I squinted upward at our intended route. “Uh. . . sure” she said, taking the proffered calorie […]

…and A Descent

As per usual, my headlamp is fading fast, but its pale glow can still illuminate the tiny beech tree in front of me. No larger than the biggest part of my forearm, it creaks and flexes under Josie’s weight.  Behind it the soft, fern covered, moss smothered ground rises and falls with each creak and […]

Ten Days From Now

26 January 2017 — The campsite doesn’t appear abandoned, its occupants have only taken off for a day or overnight.  The blue gray pyramidal Megalight cook/gear tent is zipped and clipped shut, bombproof.  Its outside is coated with the long narrow leaves of the colihue and the shorter, rounder ones of the beech trees.  Through a soft […]

The Present

There is nothing else. There is only now. There is only here. Time and distance are meaningless. Five miles or five minutes, it is no different. I’ve lost concern for all but two. Everything else is irrelevant, nonexistent, inconsequential. There is only one direction; water flows downhill and I will follow. The world consists of the […]