Christen ~ Himalayan Reality

Christen does her laundry outside, Himalayan style. © Luke Mislinski
Christen does her laundry outside, Himalayan style.
© Luke Mislinski

Hindu New Year to Buddha’s birthday. One month in Nepal.

Before we left, many people placed wagers on when the reality would sink in for me on this trip. When that moment of “What on God’s green earth am I doing going so far above God’s green earth?!” would hit me.

Many said the gravity would hit me as the plane came skidding to a halt on the tiny airstrip in Lukla. Others said it would be when I looked up at the mountains I was about to climb. Some said it would not be until I got to the 16,500 feet or when I got to the end of the trek. (Hey, thanks for the faith I would actually get that far.)

Reality never came.

Not starting the trek from Lukla on two days of traveling and an hour and a half of sleep. Not when I am doing laundry with cold creek water and a bar of soap in a bowl. Not when I am standing in a shack as I try to shower with a bucket. Not through the almost three weeks of the hike. Not when we got to the end. Not even when hanging upside down in the rabbit trap.

I have no idea why.

Now, I have flown back through China, waited through another cancelled flight delay, flown to Vancouver, gone through customs, and I am sitting in my seat on the little plane that will be taking me from Vancouver back to Seattle.

The announcements have come on. I am so exhausted that I am barely listening. Then, this little tidbit seeps into my consciousness…

“Our cruising altitude today will be 15,000 feet…”

My body freezes cold as my nerve ends flame hot. Ummm, I just hiked higher than our plane will be flying…

Well played, Reality. Well played.

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