Getting High

The clouds are scudding
the birds are soaring
and I'm struggling up a steep piece.

Day 4 ... 13k from Tal at 2070m to Karte at 2600m
I tip my head up, and I'm blessed. Snow capped glory is there to greet me. Hello my love, my companion and sustenance for the day. I spy you early out my window. I lean out to look at the day. I see the slow flowing river to the south. The pony paddock between us. Up and to the west is a bit of snowy mountain. And then I chance to glance north. Bang!! Those are the beauties I've come to bask in the glory of ... there they are!
With my mitts, toque, sweater and all, I start out with the porters. I see one man coming back from the bushes ... his morning dump no doubt. He has only a dhotti on below the waist. His huge splayed feet avoid the sharp rocks for the most part. So begins his day of ascent with a serious load on his back. I'm about to take a big left turn, and maybe I'll see more of the Annapurnas now.
The clouds are scudding, the birds are soaring, and I'm striding along a flat stretch.
I come into a small village. Four, five, six, stone houses. Deep, dark, red glow, maybe a flame, water or milk being heated for breakfast. Black PVC pipes snake about, bringing water into the dark stone houses. The water comes from the myriad streams rushing down the hill.
Roll in on some muesli with warm milk, a chai, and a fresh piece of corn bread and jam. I feel so good! The sun is just coming over the hill now. It has been a cool morning. Brake out the mitts for the first time. I can see fresh snow dusting the pine trees on the serious mountain. In the time I've eaten, though, it has almost all melted.
The clouds are scudding, the birds are soaring, and I'm off again to struggle up ... enjoyably.
The creeks rush down to join the river, the river is rushing again, rushing down, down, down. The rocks in the river have held me spellbound. Carved, sanded, and smoothed for ages. Millions, quadrillions, of small particles carried by the water pass over the rocks creating beautiful sculptures. Veins of different colours are visible, they seem to be washing down the river. And the colour of water. How can water have so many colours? A colourless substance, is H2O. Yet, the river is turquoise in colour, almost emerald ... all that glacial milk. I see a waterfall high up, it is a white, white, stream falling then it becomes a translucent veil obscuring some stones. And then there is the solid water up ahead!
The clouds are scudding, the birds are soaring, and I've just met some ponies.
The bamboo looks like giant dill plants. Dill that has gone to seed, at the end of October and it has lost most of its chlorophyll. Then there are the pine trees. Way up high on the ridge. Up high, where the sun is just touching, where the mountain meets the sky. The pine acts as an intermediary, it grabs onto the mountain, it reaches into the sky. As do I. I'm on the mountain, I'm in the sky. I'm here, now!
The clouds are scudding, up there above those pine trees, and I'm struggling up a steep piece again.
I've been thinking about immediacy. That is the wonderful aspect of traveling. It brings the now to our attention. The wild ups and downs are because there is no refuge from the present. My incredible mood at the present is a product of right now ... so special.
The clouds are scudding, the birds are soaring, and I'm still struggling up a steep piece.
To Nepal Pokhara One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Nine Eleven Twelve