Back at it: Treinish and Schlosberg return to South America
October 10, 2007
A month of rest and relaxation has come to an end for Gregg Treinish and Deia Schlosberg.The Leadville duo returned to their epic South American hike last Friday, recharged by their time in Ohio with friends and family. Treinish and Schlosberg, who began hiking south from Quito, Ecuador in July 2006, have logged 5,000 miles toward their goal of making it to Tierra Del Fuego on foot. Having recently returned to Santiago, Chile, Treinish and Schlosberg have about 2,500 miles left to go. The Summit Daily News, which has been tracking the journey and publishing periodic blogs by the travelers, caught up with Treinish and Schlosberg for a brief phone interview during their home stay.SDN: How ready for this break were you?DS: I was getting pretty burned out during the end of our time in Peru, and my foot was acting up. I feel like (resting for a month) was a good move.
GT: I needed to stop hiking for a while. The last 45 days of the trip, I had diarrhea eight times a day and lost 35 pounds. Every step became such a challenge. I remember walking up small hills I would normally be jogging up and thinking they were Mt. Everest. … They think I had Typhoid Fever, but I was also treated in Peru for a rare bacteria. I gained all the weight back when I came home.SDN: How have you spent your time off?GT: We’ve been working hard to get movies, photos and maps online, so people can follow our progress a little better. We’ve also been getting more warm-weather gear for Patagonia and looking for funding, but the main project has been recovery.SDN: Do you have enough money to work with?DS: Not right now. Our sponsors have been great, so we’re not too worried about gear, but we still need food and basic stuff. We’re not opposed to finding jobs (in South America), but we don’t have time before the seasons change.
GT: We need to be done hiking by May 15. It would be a big mistake to go later than that because of the cold, wind and snow.SDN: Are there things you can’t wait to get away from again in regards to American culture?DS: I won’t miss driving around in a private car every time I have to go somewhere. There’s no public transportation where we are in Ohio. … I expected American society to get to me, but it hasn’t – I see it more as part of a whole now.GT: There’s a lot of things I like better (in South America), but there’s also things I don’t like. There’s a lot of waste that goes into food (in the U.S.). I don’t think I’ve seen one (food item) since I’ve been home that didn’t go through 50 people’s hands to get to my mom’s fridge. I think it’s important to have a connection to your food and to know where it comes from. One morning when I was staying with a family in Bolivia, we were up at 5 a.m., picking out a sheep by 6 and eating its ribs by 8.SDN: What obstacles do you anticipate on the next leg of your hike?
DS: The next part should be very different. We know there’s more backpacking and tourism (in the southern part of the continent), therefore there are more trails. We’re just not sure what we can rely on. There’s a lot more features like lakes, glaciers and fjords, so we have to be more careful with our route planning. The cold is also a concern. SDN: Are you feeling ready to return to the trail for at least eight months?GT: I had some apprehensions about coming home because I thought after a week, I would be miserable – looking at the map and feeling ready to get going. But it’s not like that. We know what it will be and what we’ll encounter, which takes away the apprehension, excitement and urgency to get there. I’m tranquilo – that’s the best way to say it.SDN: What will you do after you reach Tierra Del Fuego?GT: We’ll have to hike a few hundred miles back up to the first road, then we plan to hitch hike to Buenos Aires, Rio then straight to the Amazon. We want to spend as much time there as we can. … We’ll probably leave from Venezuela and there’s talk of a friend of ours coming to meet us with his sailboat. We would sail home with him through the islands.
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