As no doubt some of you have noticed my normal domain – anoutofthewayplace.com – is currently out-of-order. This seems to have been caused by some problems behind the scenes on WordPress’s end and has left me in a state of near hysteria the last few days. While I try to figure things out with the folks over at the WordPress help center, I didn’t want anyone thinking I’d retired from writing. So for now just come and visit me at my old domain: anoutofthewayplace.wordpress.com.
That nasty bit of business out of the way I wanted to share memories of happier days with this photo I captured last spring in Nepal. This stunning location is the result of countless millennia of glacial work. The huge glaciers that once covered this whole area (and which are rapidly disappearing) slowly ground the rocks beneath them into small pieces. As they melted away they left behind this vast – and only having been there can you truly grasp the scale – river of rock the extends for miles.
I’m sure they have bigger challenges than broken URLs.
Aside from its innate beauty, the location reminds me of just how tenacious human beings are when it comes to life. Here in this remote barren wilderness, chance had pieced together one small piece of fertile soil. It didn’t go unnoticed and the rugged Nepali people have put it to good use. With nothing but hand tools and patience they carved themselves a home on the rocky valley floor. Finally, when I think about the challenges that life here poses my broken URL starts to seem pretty small indeed.
Like an old computer that can only run one program at a time my creative writing ability seems to be limited to one task at a time. It’s either that or after not having a regular job for three years I simply can’t stand any more time in front of a computer. Regardless, the movie script I’m writing has drained my feeble energies and left my blog writing inspiration on empty.
Even so I know I have readers out there. I see the daily clicks and think of the sad little faces this holiday season and what can I do but feel the need to post at long last? To get myself back in the groove here’s a short post with a photo I took in Nepal earlier this year. With it be Thanksgiving today I should probably mention that I have an unreasonable amount to be thankful for both this year and in general. To think that I spend weeks at a time roaming the Earth with no other occupation but to absorb beauty reminds me of just how privileged I really am. It’s not much, but I hope this photo can add a little beauty to your life too.
Taken on the Annapurna Circuit.
After a stretch of rainy days, I like to remember that I’ve spent a year enjoying some of the most extraordinary beauty this planet has to offer. Today my thoughts returned to the pass at Thorung La on the Annapurna circuit in Nepal. The better part of the day was spent trudging through the snow and panting in an effort to make it through the high pass (for a reminder of what that looked like check out this post), but after reaching the top I was reminded of what a formidable barrier the Himalayas are not only to man but to the clouds themselves.
The extreme altitude and low temperature on the near side of the pass force nearly all the moisture from the air resulting in that side’s daily snowstorm and deep base of snow, but as soon as you pass through the narrow gap in the peaks you are rewarded with an incredible change of scenery. As if you had just disembarked from some spaceship, you now find yourself on a barren, rocky mountainside and overlooking the famed Mustang region, an incredibly scenic area that borders Tibet. I was lucky to catch this image shortly after going through the pass. It’s of the more spectacular sights I’ve been blessed to see…
The Earth has a lot to offer.
After my second trek through the Himalayas I spent a couple of weeks recovering in a small restaurant which, from the outside at least, has little to distinguish it from the many other restaurants that line the sides of Phokara’s main street. I spent day after day there playing chess with a German friend and enjoying the only French cuisine for a 1,000 miles, compliments of a French expatriate who had married a Nepalese woman. In the early evenings intense storms would often pass over the city and we would enjoy the rain and relief from the afternoon heat that accompanied it. I looked up from my game only for a moment the day I caught this image, but in that moment the sounds of the falling water and feel of the storm charged air seemed to take concrete shape.
Buddhists use prayer flags as a way of multiplying their prayers, each flap of the flag in the wind sending off an additional prayer to heaven. They can be found all around Nepal, hanging on bridges that are crossed every day or in the most difficult to reach places like the peak of Mt. Everest. These flags were tied to a fence and were a peaceful ending to an incredibly difficult day of trekking. The dancing white of the flags were a beautiful compliment to the glimmering white of the fading light of the sun on the distant Himalayan peaks.