Year: 2019

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The Huskies of the North

The air is bright cold. That is how I'll remember it. And noise through the air is so loud I almost reach my mittens to my ears. The dogs just want to run. They are made for this and they are pulling and squealing to be set free to run. I'll admit, one of the deciding factors in choosing Lapland as a destination was the appeal of mushing huskies I saw in all the photos; something about it seemed so far away from city life. So when we booked our trip, it was my top priority. In the van on the…

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Helsinki

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, was a natural stopping place for us on the way up to Lapland in the north on our recent trip. I didn't realize until later it would have been possible to fly straight from Amsterdam to Lapland, but we're still so glad we made the stop. Just look at these golden hued homes! We made two visits to Helsinki, and spent a total of three nights in the city: two on the way up and one on the way back from Lapland. And we wish it had been more. I'd heard the city had a…

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The Lapland Snow Globe at Kakslauttanen

The land is white below the plane, and the pines straight up, not a hint of an aching back among them. We are flying over the land I have been imagining almost a year, the land above the Arctic Circle: Finnish Lapland. We land in a field of snow, and even more falls around us.  I'm simultaneously glad I have carried my heavy coat on the plane, but also stinging with cold and trying not to slip as I head toward the airport. When I dreamed of a surprise trip for Walker's birthday, I knew it…

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Awasi

(Meant to post this 2 weeks ago, but here it is at last!) It is the bleak midwinter around here. Not too cold, and little snow. I've had a cold (flu?) over 2 weeks. And even the pigeons are too bored with the gray to be out. And so, I have two strategies for dealing with this. Ok, three. 1. Cook something new every night and end up with way too many leftovers. 2. Dream about an upcoming trip that is a surprise to my main man and 3. reminisce! And right here, right now, we're at #3.  Look…

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Sierra Baguales: My Favorite Day in Patagonia

A six hour drive from the winds of Eolo and the Calafate region of Argentina, and we arrived at the place I had dreamed of for years: the Torres del Paine region of Chile, and what truly feels like the heart of Patagonia. I'll come back to our arrival at the Awasi lodge in another post, our home base for the next 6 days, but wanted to share our first day of excursions in the region. The lodge where we stayed is situated just outside the famed national park. On our first day of excursions, at…

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Estancia Cristina

Before taking off on our adventure to Patagonia, a colleague mentioned she had done a hike at Estancia Cristina and that it was very long. Gulp. That hike was in our itinerary. Add a 7 hour glacial hike the day before and very sore quads, and I wasn't sure what to think.  Knowing me (if you do), how exciting do you think a fossil hike sounds? About half of that phrase is interesting to me, and the fossil part is not it. It's not that I don't think fossils are cool, but a long hike to…

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Icebergs and Glaciers on Lago Argentina

My legs being a bit touchy from our glacier hike, I was a little wary of the 14km hike that awaited us the next day. In fact, when we arrived back at our lodge from hiking the glacier, I feverishly texted my track-coach dad for some sore muscle relief tips. Thankfully, the hot bath did the trick, and I packed up, ready to roll the next day. With ma sunglasses + hat look because that glacial glare was fierce. The trek of the day was to a historic ranch called Estancia Cristina, but to get there,…

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Eolo and El Calafate

All the E's! And all the eeee's for how the wind sounded absolutely whipping across us here in Argentina. I mentioned our stay in the Argentinian side of Patagonia here, but wanted to share a bit more about our home base stay, because it was a destination just as much as our glacier walks and hikes were. In fact, the presence of our remote lodge, Eolo, remains one of our very favorite stays ever, anywhere in the world.  The lodge's van picked us up at the El Calafate airport, and thanks to…

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When Glaciers Run Blue

During our Patagonia trip, I had a realization that writing it now seems so apparent, but I had never formulated into a whole thought before: what I am longing for in a good trip is often someplace remote. The set-apartness from cities, crowds, and technological noise is really what makes a place refreshing, even if it involves multiple flights. At the same time, when we are in remote places--places like Sapa in Vietnam or the wilderness of Tanzania, I feel a bit of fear. What if I fall? Can I…

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Perito Moreno

Walker and I met in Scotland, but what we didn't exactly realize for years was that this meant we both had a bit of an arctic magnetism in our blood. We thrive on trips north to cooler climes: Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Sweden and Norway. And so for years, we dreamed about the other extreme: the south. And in the best surprise ever, Walker's parents gave us the incredible gift of a trip to Patagonia in November.  After a few day layover in Buenos Aires, which was surprisingly bursting…