Thursday, September 6, 2012

Revisiting the past

A lot of the time folks don't want to revisit the past, but recently an old schoolmate posted a photo I took (with an actual camera containing FILM!) that I had lost from the summer of 2005:

Tiger's Nest Monastery. Paro, Bhutan
During that summer I spent 6 weeks building trails high in the Indian Himalayas in a small village called Daragaon 15 miles south of Kangchenjunga. On the way out, we looped through Darjeeling and then to the Kingdom of Bhutan.  While in Paro, we made our way up to Paro Taksang, one of the most incredible views and experiences of my life to date.  Check out some other photos.  The story behind the monastery is equally interesting, though neither does justice to the act of being there.

View from the bottom
In any case, I was thinking about what it would be like to go back as a runner, or an ultrarunner more specifically.  There are some incredible hikes and remote outposts in the most mountainous terrain in the world, a place where they don't start naming peaks until they hit 18,000', but logistically it would be a massive challenge.  First of all, with children, a wife, and a job, it is difficult to travel anywhere.  Second, Bhutan is a very intensive experience with stringent rules (though supposedly relaxing year by year).  When I was there, you were required to travel with a state appointed guide, though I imagine if you worked hard enough to prove you were there for the pure athletic and aesthetic experience, you could swing it.

Just a bit of reflection, though I do imagine that I'll keep my word to return to the Himalayas at some point.

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