MACHU PICCHU HIKE: WHAT THE GUIDEBOOKS DON’T TELL YOU

We awoke before the alarm rang and hurriedly prepared our small day pack with food and clothes for the next couple days. Our big packs would be left behind in Cusco for this adventure. We were supposed to leave Cusco, Peru at 7AM to be followed by a six hour bus ride to hydroelectrica. Our... Continue Reading →

INTO THIN AIR: SANTA CRUZ TREK

The Santa Cruz Trek is a 50 kilometer long circuit that cuts through the towering snow-capped Cordillera Blanca mountains located in the Andes.  The ascent tops out at 4,750 meters (15,600 feet) as it crosses the Punta Union pass.   Can I do the Santa Cruz? I questioned my ability to do the Santa Cruz... Continue Reading →

QUILOTOA LOOP: SCRAMBLING ON THE EDGE

The Quilotoa Loop is a remote trail linking several high Andean villages and towns in the Cotopaxi province. The ancient trails meander through the Andes Mountains of Ecuador with views of snow-capped volcanoes. The isolation of the trails brings wanderers into contact with Kichwa-speaking indigenous and their centuries-old way of life.  It also allows them... Continue Reading →

FEAR AND A WRONG TURN: OTAVALO, ECUADOR

I was scared, I was really scared.  I never wanted to be the novice hiker that needed to be rescued.  Then I wondered, do they even do that here in Ecuador?  I was standing on a slanted ledge looking up at the wall in front of me that I needed to scale.  Below me were... Continue Reading →

THE VALLEY IN SHADOWS: VILLA DE LEYVA

A beautiful mountain range runs along the side of town. Behind our house the mountains split and provide a glimpse of a dark valley beyond it.  There are always ominous clouds resting in this crevice making the mountain beyond them appear to be always in shadows. This dark mountain has been calling to me since... Continue Reading →

SOUTH SISTER BECKONS, OREGON

Moraine Lake glistened before us.  It was as far as we had planned to hike that day, a moderate 6.8 mile loop with a 2000 feet elevation gain.  Beyond the smooth surface of the lake, Charity beckoned.  She is the youngest and tallest of the three volcanic peaks collectively known as the Three Sisters.  She sang a song of beauty that had our feet pushing further up the path as if the pied piper himself were playing his song for us.

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