Treinish and Schlosberg can see light at end of tunnel
Finally, the end is near.Gregg Treinish and Deia Schlosberg have been hiking through South America for nearly two years and it’s almost time for them to come back home to the United States.The couple, which first crossed the Summit Daily News’ radar in June of 2006 when they were based in Leadville, began their journey in Quito, Ecuador. From there, they hiked south toward Tierra Del Fuego.
The people Treinish and Sclosberg have met, the sites they have seen and the long distance they have covered are the stuff of story books.How many 20-something couples decide to pack up and leave their home country to trek through a world of unknown wilderness (and how many have such a dream and let it get deffered)?Treinish and Schlosberg, both of whom hail from Ohio, have taken the time to write periodic blogs, which can be found on www.acrosstheandes.com. The following excerpts and above photos were taken from that website.
Gregg TreinishWe managed to escape from the clutches of Cochrane (Chile) in the afternoon, the usual internal debate of whether to stay for one more beer or to go taking place like it always does on the way out of town. The week ahead looked promising, the maps showing a good trail the whole way, no roads, and no major obstacles that we’d have to navigate around. We were excited to have a third along. We had met Ross a week earlier while hiking through Cerrro Castillo National Park, he was the very first gringo (along with his hiking buddy Thatcher) that we had met backpacking on his own in over 610 days of hiking. He had decided to join us for the section and we were stoked to have someone else to talk to, even if for only a week.
As we left town it quickly became clear that in the Chilean government’s race to show the rest of the world how advanced it is, they have built yet another new road where only trail had existed before. Reluctantly, and without much choice in the matter, we followed it hoping that maybe it wasn’t yet complete, that we would still have the majority of a week to hike in nature. Twenty kilometres or so later, directly across from the San Lorenzo glacier and icefall, the largest peak, and one of the most spectacular in Patagonia, the military stopped their placement of dynamite and turned off the engines as we walked by. The road had ended, leaving the valley virgin for now. We realized that we may be the last gringos to have the privilege to walk through the valley before the new Carrertera Austral destroys it. The detail of what we can remember about each and every day over the last two years is pretty incredible. I remember that tree that we ate lunch by, what I ate by it even. If you have been hiking, you know what I mean, time goes slower, memories are linear. If it has a before and after to go with the memory the human brain retains with an incredible accuracy. I wonder though, in five, ten, or even twenty years, how vivid these memories will be, how long will I actually be able to picture myself back on the same rock, looking at the same ridge, and know that a certain jagged difference makes that spot unique to all others on earth. I am sure that several details will fade, they already have from some hikes that I have done earlier in my life. What I know is that several moments that have passed since that view, since feeling so entirely done, are moments that will stay with me for a lifetime. Sitting now with just over 340 miles (crow) to go, it still has not even begun to sink in that we are going to be finishing this quest in just under five weeks (assuming all goes well). For so long this has been our struggle, our goal, our everything. What next? As you might imagine we have been talking a lot about the next step, the next move. At this point, we haven’t come up with any concrete plans. There are a lot of people we want to visit, a lot of catching up we want to do. We will be leading a trip or two this summer, so, if you or anyone you know wants to go backpacking with us, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org In addition we look forward to speaking at various hiker gatherings, schools, tradeshows, etc. For now we will remain focused on the task at hand. We will be crossing into Tierra Del Fuego in just under two weeks. We are filled with hope of seeing penguins, still keeping our fingers crossed for a puma in daylight, and very much looking forward to reaching the lighthouse at Cabo San Pio, the southern-most point of Tierra Del Fuego. The next time we write, we will be done with this chapter, a concept that although I still cannot comprehend, I think I am ready for.
By Deia SchlosbergThis is, believe it or not, the last update from the trail. The next update, God willing, will read: “We have finished.” And then perhaps a few more details. But that is jumping ahead. Thoughts on the end will be saved until the end. For now, there is much to say about the hike in its current, presently happening form. We have walked our way to the northern end of the Torres del Paine National Park, perhaps the most famous, iconic site in all of Patagonia. To get here we have gone through and next to many of Patagonia’s other goodies: Cerro Castillo, the North and South Patagonian Ice Fields, Mount Fitzroy, the Perito Moreno glacier, and so on, plus many less widely-known, also magnificent places. I sit here awaiting the arrival of my parents, who decided to come down and walk with us briefly to be a part of journey (not that they weren’t already, but in a more literal sense now). I am thrilled that they have chosen to do this and can’t wait to share some of my South American life with them. Gregg and I have 360 crow miles left to walk (but quite a bit more than that in reality, as we have a large curve in our route) to get to our destination: Cabo San Pio, the southernmost point on the island of Tierra del Fuego. The number is getting smaller, but the unknown is always infinite. I look forward to what it will bring. A special thanks this time to the wonderful people we have encountered lately. So many locals and fellow travellers have given us an unbelievable amount of warmth over the past several weeks, and it has certainly made a huge impact on both of us.
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