On Wednesday Ben is leaving for a two-week trekking trip in Nepal. I write that calmly but it's beginning to dawn on me that he'll be gone for longer than at any other time in our marriage. And quite a bit of that time he'll be "silent" with no phone or Internet.
But how could he pass up such a great adventure? When he learned that some friends were joining a trek organized by Sherpa Mountain Adventures, a small company run by two brothers who grew up as Sherpas near Mt. Everest, he was intrigued. One of the brothers now works in a Boulder restaurant and goes back to Nepal each year to lead a trek in the area around his old home, hiring his Sherpa friends and family members to guide the tours. Last year, after the earthquake in Nepal, the brothers organized a medical mission trip which one of our friends joined. She had a great experience and is going on the trek this year with her husband.
So, a small group of Boulder residents including two Ben knows, led by native Sherpas and organized by a Boulderite with a good reputation, trekking in the foothills of Mt. Everest.....well, what's an avid hiker and climber to do?
Just to be clear, he's not hiking anything higher than 15,000 feet (for comparison, we live at 5,500 feet and Everest is 29,000 feet.) But he'll see some great views of Everest. And have lots of opportunities for meeting local people and experiencing a completely different way of life. Should be quite an adventure.
It's my choice not to join him, and I expect to have my own adventure of living without him here for several weeks. No, I'm not talking about sex! You've been listening to too much Trump! But I do wonder, will I hike as much when Ben isn't here to encourage me? Will I really do more quilting when I have the extra time? What will it be like to manage all the chores without Ben's help? How will I deal with missing him? When you've been married almost forty years, a little time apart can be its own adventure.
Ben's first stop is Hong Kong, where he has a twelve hour layover. Lucky Ben is being met by the daughter of our friends Ray and Paula, who is now living in the area and is willing to give Ben a personal tour of the city. Then he flies to Kathmandu, where he'll be for two days before the tour officially begins. The group will take a jeep drive to an area east of Kathmandu and south of Everest and then trek around the area, visiting monasteries and hiking Pikey Peak until they arrive in Phaplu on the 26th. On the 28th he leaves Kathmandu for home.
It's not easy finding the places he's going on a map of Nepal, but we have found a few.
The past few weeks Ben has been busy finishing up some home improvement projects before his trip.
He worked with the fence company (one man, locally owned) that installed our new iron fence on the College Avenue side of the yard. I think it turned out great.
And he's been prepping and painting the front door and porch. He'll finish that up tomorrow and I'll show you some "before" and "after" photos. I'm loving how it looks!