Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Homemade Empanadas

Yosemite Valley Formation

 Everyone knows the beauty of Yosemite Valley, the shear granite rock, the open meadows, and the amazing waterfalls.  All the park signs explain how the Valley was sculpted by glaciers...Over 250,000 years ago, the Valley was full of a glacier. A glacier so big that only 900 feet of Half Dome emerged from the giant flow of ice. I always had a really difficult time comprehending this explanation.  No way a glacier could be that big!

That is, until I saw Glacier Perito Moreno. Instantly, I understood the formation of Yosemite Valley. Reaching 60 meters out of the water, and 440 more meters underneath, over 1 mile wide and 15 miles long, Perito Moreno is the biggest chunk of ice I've ever seen and could never have imagined. Seeing is believing, and now I have the utmost respect for the formation of Yosemite Valley.

Perhaps in another 250,000 years, it will be the Perito Moreno Valley that everyone visits...The next Yosemite, carved from a glacier. That's all I could think about as I traversed the slopes of the glacier, learned about the glacial rivers, pools, crevices. How this inspiring block of moving ice is shaping the earth, the climate and the world around it. I used to lack respect for glaciers, (its just ice right?), but after this experience, without hesitation I think that glaciers are one of the most awesome features of our planet.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Cold

Sometimes you end up conquering things you didn't even realize you were conquering. The last few weeks have been a joyride. Adventuring all over Argentina, being amazed by Patagonia, its wildlife, its belligerent yet beautiful mountains, the gigantism of Glacier Perito Moreno. Never before on a trip have I been left speechless so many times. Patagonia is absolutely positively one of the coolest places I've ever visited. I'm in awe. Magellan Penguins, Southern Right Whales, Guanacos, Darwin's Rheas, mountains, glaciers, vast nothingness-it has it all. It's the world's real life Disneyland. It was warm, mostly windy, and sometimes terrifyingly cold. I felt on top of the world, like I was about to die, and as warn out and energized as I've felt in my life. It took a week of enjoying Buenos Aires to recover. Poor me. Ha!

This weekend I had another adventure: Yosemite. Curry Village has a deal: if it's below 32 degress, your tent cabin is free. Lucky us, it was definitely below freezing last night. I learned to cross-country ski on Saturday-Abbey is a great teacher. Today we went snowshoeing for the first time, on a ranger-led snowshoe hike, we hiked up to a vista where we could see the entire Yosemite backcountry.  Wilderness always surprises and never disappoints....

I used to be terrified of the cold, heck I still am. But Boston taught me that I could survive the cold, Fitz Roy taught me to respect the cold, Perito Moreno showed me the brilliance and beauty of the cold, and now Yosemite is teaching me how to enjoy the cold. Without realizing it, I'm conquering the cold. Or you could say that  the cold is overcoming my former intense dislike, and winning me over with its beauty, ferocity, and playfulness.