In August 2017, we backpacked deep into Wyoming's wild Wind River Range. Our motive-- the solar eclipse which we viewed atop Gannett Peak (Wyoming's highest mountain) after a 12:00 am wakeup and demolishing all of the strawberry Shot-Bloks we took on our weeklong journey.
If you're ever in New Mexico, always head to Chimayo. You'll be greeted by endless mud formations and places to explore.
The Bisti Badlands-- where you aren't sure if you got beamed by aliens and taken to the mars.
From romping off dirt mounds to sending volcanic rock in the gorge New Mexico's playground has it all.
Over the summer of 2014, I hopped on an opportunity to join an expedition group to assistant guide for a once in a lifetime trip to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. We spent a period of six days climbing the mountain, each day acclimatizing to new heights. Kilimanjaro is the highest free-standing mountain in the world and the highest in Africa at 19,341 feet. On our journey, we ascended on the Machame Route and descended down the Mweka Trail.
What I found was that one of the coolest aspects of the climb was working alongside the native Tanzanian guides who climb this mountain for a living. It is required for all groups who climb the mountain to employ a local guide company to ensure that finances for the trips are also feeding back into the local economy. The locals benefitted the group because we got to experience the culture, learn the language a bit, and understand the environment better.
One of the trickiest aspects I learned about guiding a group on the trail was to choose a pace so that everyone can continue for the following days. Particularly on summit night when the temperatures are well below freezing, it is extremely important to keep the group warm and not to overtax your body of oxygen at such a high altitude. It is important to make sure everyone is comfortable and pay attention to each member of the group by constantly checking that there is enough water and food intake and that no one is getting cold or light-headed. Since we were in a third-world country and relatively exposed high on a mountain, there is no option of a fast descent, and therefore group management is critical to keep the team strong.
While exploring the dirt streets of Moshi, Tanzania, my group and I experienced so many warm people who showed us that living simple is the purest way to happiness. After a few days of exploring the village, we went seeking of the untouched wilderness in Africa.
We hopped in an old Toyota and left on a three-day safari where we experienced three unique wildlife reserves. We started our safari at Lake Manyara National Park, then went to Ngorongoro Crater, and lastly to Tarangire Preserve. It was a surreal feeling seeing the animals I have seen on TV in real life living how they do in the wild and protected from poachers.
My group and I learned from one of our guides on the safari was about some native routines. Since the land around these safari areas is protected, some folks from the Maasai Tribe have decided to monitor the streets for poachers and scout for tourists. There is commonly a boy and a girl; the girls wear red, and the boys wear blue traditional outfits. The two colors are supposed to ward off the wild animals so people won’t be harmed.