All my bags are packed.

My bags are actually still packed for the most part and I am looking forward to moving into my new apartment this Friday. It won’t be able to compare to my condo on capital hill but it will be home. At least for a while. I  used to try to sing that John Denver song on the Appalachian Trail but could never get beyond the first line or two.

Today is my two week ‘anniversary’ – having returned two weeks ago today from Kathmandu. I’ve worked through the fog of jet lag, enjoyed the wide empty sidewalks and beautiful houses of Seattle’s Capital Hill and Montlake neighborhoods, visited my belongings in storage, been troubled by the sedentary lifestyles I see, and have fallen in love again with the pacific northwest.

The first few days were a haze. I got back Wednesday night on 9/29 and went to work the following Thursday and Friday. I think I worked about half of each day but honestly can’t remember a thing I did. On Saturday I did a great ~14 mile trail ‘run’ with Kelly to Tuck and Robin Lakes, the ‘mini-enchantments’ and definitely enchanting. I put ‘run’ in quotes because we probably scrambled 2.5m up and down and I limped the last few miles of the flat trail back to the car, my ass clearly kicked by running.

Last week at work is also a bit hazy but I was finally able to get on top of posting pictures from Nepal as well as some things at work – only to get derailed with apartment hunting and big & small things at work that barely relate to my funded projects. Most if it resonates with me in the wrong way. Let’s just call it reverse culture shock, shall we? Last weekend brought a lot of rain and cancelled plans for a nice long run on the wonderland trail. But the rain did bring about fun with a new monthly membership (rather than the lowly punch card) at Vertical World. Now- if I could just climb like Kelly, Max, and Arj….

I have not had time to dig up my notes about the Imja Tse (Island Peak) climb. Suffice to say we did not summit but we had fun trying. We met several teams/groups on the way up to ABC and all had turned around. It sounds like no one this year has summited. Some teams we met had turned around due to a huge crevasse on the summit plateau, others due to post-holing up to their waist along with avalanche concerns. We camped at ABC ~18,500ft and spent the night listening to avalanches and rock fall. Our alpine start at 3:00am was a non-start because it was snowing like crazy. When dawn finally came around  there was a foot of snow on our tent. A little cabin crazy, at 6am I followed Chee Wang up 500 vertical feet to retrieve some gear he had stashed the day before – it was a surreal scene and I felt like a wreck trying to match his pace and a little sketched out on some exposed sections that were slippery with snow. The guy is superman and I’m looking forward to meeting him again and having another crack at the mountain,

Today we had a mini Nepal reunion, meeting up with several of the students from the class trip in a sterile conference room at work. Quite the change. It was good to see Tandra – she is more transitory than me and we both laughed about still living out of our suitcases and the same merino wool as what we had on the trek. It was great to meet up with the students too. We caught up, commented on how clean we all looked, watched a slideshow from my laptop, and laughed so hard at quips that the department administrator Laurie came and closed the door to the room (in a nice way). Tandra and I gave them T-shirts with the logo they designed (‘Himalayan Huskies’ and ‘Get your trek on’) – the shirts were made thanks to Dorjee after the class was over and Tandra and I packed them home after our trek/climb.

I’ve signed up for the Point Defiance 50k this Saturday. I don’t think I am ready – but feel a need to ‘get out there’ just the same. If I can’t get these NIH reviews done in time, I will have to flake out – but putting money down and putting it in writing is motivating and it sounds like a beautiful course, plus it is relatively close to home. I know Pablo ran the Victoria, BC marathon this past weekend but haven’t heard how it went. Reading Scotty’s blog makes me envious. I just stumbled across Candice’s ‘Run Eat Swim‘ blog and I am even more envious. Way to get out there. Sigh. Back to my NIH grant reviews. ‘night  -Seth.

One Response to “All my bags are packed.

  • Hi Seth–just checked in with your blog, and wanted to say welcome back! FWIW–coming back from over there for me was a bit tansformative. I haven’t otherwise traveled a lot internationally, but even today there are days when I think back to how people live over there. Great pics–thanks for sharing! S.

Feedback welcome