Cliches about having not updated the blog for ‘too long’ aside, I simply wanted to share recent adventures and happenings rather than delve into some deep sociocultural morass of ethics and behavior. We’ll see where that gets me.
The last few months have been quite busy. To wit: I haven’t updated since Halloween. Many things have happened:
- A delightful backpacking trip to Iva Belle Hot Springs in the John Muir Wilderness.
- A journey to the Philadelphia homestead for Thanksgiving. It was Mike’s first time visiting the city, and came away impressed by our teeth-clenchingly bitter defensiveness of the place and all its cranky, particular glory. He also came away feeling that no matter where he travels, it will not be as nice as the Wissahickon.
- A short ski-hut trip to the eastern Sierra that saw us driving through a massive snowstorm (and breaking a chain on the way) and past encouragingly high drifts to get to an even higher-elevation area that was mysteriously low on snow. After skinning up below Bear Creek Spire, we had an interesting run down through a boulder field.
- Immediately subsequent to the hut trip, we traveled to Salt Lake City to visit Mike’s family (in his grandmother’s house) for the Xmas – New Year’s week. It was an immensely relaxing vacation (for me) during which we were fortunate to be liberally snowed upon. I have rarely experienced the type of powder that we found in Grizzly Gulch near Alta; excessive face shots were had by all. We also went ice climbing with friends Nick and Peter; it was nice to get back on the ice after nearly five years! I had lots of beautiful snowy runs, explored the city, hung out with family, and spent a day teaching Mike to telemark ski. Most unusually, I celebrated my first Christmas ever and received all sorts of unusual and exciting gifts.
- From Salt Lake, I flew to Kunming (transferring through San Francisco and Chengdu) to begin my scouting trip for this year’s international programs. Over nearly three weeks, I visited Kunming, Dali, Xi’an, XN, RG, and Chengdu, the vast majority of which time I was legitimately doing work. Really: this was my only opportunity to wrangle out the details of all of my school’s new programs for this year. At the same time, I had the opportunity to have fun and see a lot of friends. Most relaxing were my final three days in RG, where I was able to stay in my old apartment! Nothing quite feels like home without the ever-present aroma of yak-butter candles and bsang…
- While I was in China, there was serious trouble on the home front, with our landlord making frequent legal threats and preventing us from adding individuals to the lease. We have also been in constant roommate-switch-mode, with one roommate moving out and another temporarily decamping to Jackson Hole – leaving us with a series of (friendly) subletters. At least my room was intact upon returning!
- And finally, I returned back to work at school to have my mother and a good friend from China arrive on the same day.
It’s certainly been an exciting run (I even forgot Mike’s lab group retreat in Yosemite last weekend!), and things won’t let up soon: I have three trips to China in my future, along with (more immediately) a trip to Oregon and – assuming the snowpack increases – a hut trip in Yosemite.
I’ve also been thinking a lot about the future: where to go, what to do, and how to do it. For the time being, however, I’m busy enough traveling and moving around to barely have any conception of what’s next. I’ve always been told by my parents to live in the moment – in their words, to ‘be here now’ – but I am sometimes so mentally in flux that I’m not quite sure where the ‘here’ is to be. Be where now? Be there then? Be where when? I’m never certain, but at the very least I’ve been lucky to experience a plenitude of amazing moments along the way.