Day 2. South of the Border
15 November 2013 | Tlachichuca
I heard once that we often learn geography through conflict. In other words, it is during wars and catastrophes where we begin to understand more about the political boundaries that divide our planet - where they lie, the people who live there and their lifestyle and how each culture compares (and contrasts) to our own. Personally, I enjoy the opportunity to expand my horizons - both figuratively and literally - through expeditions. Filling in the spaces on the map, not with second hand information, but with personal experience is something that I continually seek out.
Today is an acclimatization day in Tlachichuca - which is can hardly be considered any kind of work or expedition.
Maria, obviously I'm sure is rolling her eyes right now as I did sell this particular adventure as more work than pleasure. And with Merritt catching a cold the day I left, being a 'temporary' single parent doesn't really boost her compassion for my very 'difficult' situation. Still, she sent me a message through my DeLorme inReach saying that things were, for the moment, going well.
Needless to say, let's just assume today is a work day and my office is Tlachichuca proper. We spent the morning doing final gear sort.
I am here with my good friend and North Pole partner Ryan Waters, who also owns and operates a Mountain Professionals (http://www.mtnprofessionals.com/). He is guiding the climb with a couple of his clients, one of whom, Peter I am actually working on another ongoing leadership initiative. The point is Ryan is REALLY working. I am helping out a little, but mostly I've been taking pictures and cracking bad jokes. I can't help it - it is just how I'm built.
I had to smile when I opend my ergodyne duffel for a quick gear check. How many places has this duffel been this year? Antarctica, Svalbard, Washington, Minnesota, Mexico (in February). I like well worn routine of this process. Base layers, check. Shell, check. Crampons, check. GoalZero solar panel, check. I loaded everything into my new pack from Granite Gear around Senor Reyes' family compound (an old soap factory) where we are staying. It felt good.
After lunch, Ryan and I spent a little time walking around town taking pictures. For us, photography has become a much larger part of our lives, not only in trying to document our adventures but also as hobby and tool that has improved and changed our way of looking at the world.
As many of you know, I am a huge fan of adventures both big and small. But the reality is that not everyone has the same opportunities to be able to participate in outdoor pursuits. That's why I'm using this adventure to Orizaba to help raise money for an organization that I believe deeply helps improve the lives of the disadvantaged youth. Please donate today at
Donate $50 or more and get a receive a pair of yaktrax!
image: Today we discussed, waiting for the perfect scene or finding the perfect scene in what is going on. Ryan decided to wait.