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Reflections on Everest

Dear Rudy,

I always write a journal when I travel, recording sights, sounds, smells and feelings along the way. So when you requested listeners' travel journal excerpts, I thought I'd send you one of mine. This is from my first trip to Nepal, a country l fell madly in love with and have since returned to several times.

-- OCTOBER 1986 from Gorak Shep, Nepal (near Everest base camp) We climbed Kali Pattar at over 18,000 feet to watch the sunset on Mt. Everest. For this is it, yes, the highest peak on Earth. This is what I have come to Nepal to feast my eyes on. And the sight leaves me wanting more time to stare, gawk, and worship this mighty hunk of rock. With Everest, and Nuptse before me, I have mixed emotions. Joyful and exuberant and reflective and withdrawn. The moment I have waited eight years to experience, has at last arrived.

The sun sets, the peaks turn to dim gold and a faint pink. The show is over all too fast and it is time to go. I linger until the bitter end, until the last evening rays are gone. I am the last to leave, slowly moving down by headlamp, lifting my head occasionally to the glow of the peaks once the light is gone. The tears flow freely, at last the dream is mine. I have seen the roof of the world. The moment will be treasured forever.




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