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Acclimation Day & The Big Reveal

Miscellany from the trail and the path ahead for 2017 - PAS

Candace and I are taking 24 hours to acclimatize to the lower oxygen levels today in our palatial tea-house suite, which feature expansive gardens, breathtaking views, our very own hole, and even a non-bucket-style shower! And so, gentle readers, we would like to take this opportunity to respond to your questions, provide a few trip details and, (pregnant pause) make our formal declaration on where we will be calling home for 2017.

So as not to lose the big announcement in the trivium that will make up the rest of this post, I have been offered an attractive position with a firm in Pasadena which I have accepted. It will mean moving to LA, which is a change for both Candace who was long pulling for San Diego, and yours truly, who as many of you know is deeply attached to Boston and the North East in so many ways. It has not been an easy decision, but as we start our life together in a new place, we are excited for this new chapter to begin in 2017.

Now onto more levity:

Q: What have you been reading?

A: Candace and I just finished The Golden Compass trilogy (also know as His Dark Materials). We started the trilogy back on the Camino and just finished the last book a few days ago. It is an adult-children's book type series that draws heavily on the writings of William Blake and John Milton. We are now moving on to Ishmael and The Snow Leopard. I, Andrew, am also, to Candace's consternation and the detriment of my sleep cycles, 700 pages into DFW's Infinite Jest. I cannot tell if this is a poor or judicious choice for a sabbatical read on my part, though I suspect the former. It is gripping and utterly transportive. It also, as anyone reading who has made it through (it may be the most started-and-never-finished book of the last 20 years) knows, is incredibly difficult to discuss with those who are unfamiliar with it, much less David Foster Wallace in general. This leads to a bit of loneliness, conveniently one of the big themes of the work itself.

Q: What about the rest of your spare time?

A: We take 20 minutes with the spotty wifi in the area to upload each picture onto FB, dare each-other to try new things on the menu, discuss politics, get on each-other's nerves, play chess, budget, get sweet on each-other, remonstrate the person trying to get affectionate because they are unclean after a day on the trail, you know, the usual. (And this is all in just the last 24 hours). Between us, our discussion changes regularly and with our ultra proximity we never go too long before something small comes up between us that, for one reason or another, we choose to harp on. I see these more as issues because we are tethered together so tightly and constantly and therefore need to examine any little relationship issue under a microscope. We are usually good about laughing it off in short order.

Q: What changes have you been noticing?

Well we are just getting into snow-caps territory and should be leaving green hillsides in the next day or two. Monsoon season tends to be more severe under 3000m, so we are up in the drier zone now. Both of us are relaxing a bit more into the country and feeling more like trekkers and less like tourists. We just made the switch from primarily Hindu country to Tibetan Buddhist lands here in the higher altitudes. Also, yours truly has taken to drinking "Nepali" (or "Tibetan") tea which consists of hot water, salt and melted Yak butter. It is now my favorite road fuel and I plan to market it back in the US on my return, so dust off the ol' coin jar and sell off the stamp collection, because I may be looking for investors soon or look in select stores for YakLactAttack(r).

Well, we have a long trek tomorrow and 8:15pm (local) is about bedtime for us these days. Stay tuned for more and happy trails!

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