I finished hiking through India, to the Pakistan border a few days ago. I got to the town of Kargil, right near the India/Pakistan border. The border is also known as the Line of Control since it is an always changing point of contention. The areas near the border are heavily militarized with the Indian army and just a couple ridges away from K2 and Nanga Parbat (the westernmost 8000 meter peak) and the Siachen Glacier coming off of K2 is the highest battleground in the world, at over 6000 meters. In fact, many more soldiers have died from altitude and exposure than from the fighting.
After 2 days of bone jarring bus rides to get to an airport, a plane ride back to Delhi, a taxi ride to the Taj Mahal and back to Delhi to catch my flight at midnight, 23 hours of plane travel, 1 hour of train travel, and an hour and a half bus ride; I am writing this from the comforts and luxuries of a house with a refrigerator, tv, computer, sink, shower, and toaster oven. It is amazing and I am ready to join the ranks of the competitive eating circuit.
Day 57: Got Eggs?
Late this afternoon I was pulling in the sea anchor, and got quite a surprise. Last year on the Pacific the sea anchor drew in a very exciting visit from a baby whale shark, evidently fascinated by the big red-and-yellow jellyfish-like thing. The whale shark then spent the next 20 minutes circling my boat.
Today’s haul wasn’t quite as exciting, but was definitely the second most interesting thing I’ve found accompanying my sea anchor. It was a big bunch of eggs.
There is an orange mooring buoy, about a foot in diameter, that attaches to the apex of the sea anchor a) to help keep the sea anchor at the right depth below the surface, and b) to mark where the sea anchor lies. And in the 24 hours or so since I had put out the anchor, the buoy had acquired a necklace of pale pink fish eggs.
Day 52: The Most Remote Human Being On Earth
Tonight I was out on the deck of my boat a couple of hours after nightfall, brushing my teeth. As I looked up at the Milky Way and around me at the dark ocean, the thought occurred to me that I could quite possibly be the most geographically remote human being on Earth – as in, the furthest distance from the next human being.
I am over a thousand miles from Perth (which, incidentally, is the most remote city on Earth), and it has been five or six weeks since I last saw a ship, or since the Sea-Me radar enhancer last blinked red to indicate the presence of radar.
There might be other solo ocean rowers out at the moment on other oceans, although it’s not Atlantic rowing season right now (that happens in the Northern Hemisphere winter, when the trade winds are at their most consistent) and I’m not aware of any solo rowers out on the Pacific. (Feel free to check out http://oceanrowing.com and let me know if I am wrong.)
Coming up this fall - a family of adventurer-scientists treks the edge of Malaspina Glacier.
What would it be like to live on ice? In the fall of 2011 we will set out to spend two months living on the shifting, melting surface of North America's largest glacier, along with our two young children. Trekking between a series of camps on the Malaspina Glacier, on Alaska's remote and harsh Lost Coast, we will explore this dramatic and wild landscape, weather the fall storms, and document climate change in action.
Working with ASC, we will make observations of the glacier's rapid change, and maybe find some ice worms along the way.
We (Erin McKittrick and Bretwood (Hig) Higman) are a part of Ground Truth Trekking - a small Alaskan nonprofit that seeks to explore the big conservation issues facing our state through a combination of careful scientific research and on-the-ground expeditions. Our work includes issues such as coal in Alaska, Alaska mining issues, and climate change. And we always have a few new Alaska expeditions up our sleeve.
We'll be updating from the ice. Tune in. 9/15/11 - 11/15/11
Solstice in Anchorage, AK after a fine climb of Denali. Thank you Jim, Jimmy, Hilaree, Ingrid, Guilia, Emelio, Matt, Lucas, Adam and Sage for a wonderful expedition.
Posted on June 21, 2011 by admin
Finished and back in the States
I finished hiking a few days ago! Been gorging on food the last few days while I have been making my way back home; 1)a rickety, bumpy jeep rides for 2 days in India to get to the nearest airport, 2) a plane to get to back to Delhi, 3)a taxi ride to make a quick run in my 16 hours between flights to the Taj Mahal, 4) a nice 15 hour plane ride and 5) 6 hour plane ride, 7) to connect to a 1 hour rail ride, and finally 8- a 1:30 minute bus ride to get back home. Will get together some stories and photos to post in the next few days.
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