Sunday, December 11, 2011

A full moon and an empty soul

 The wide strips of land along the straight roads of Argentina are mostly desolate and lacking in points of commerce, however, they lend themselves to amazing rest areas, though not of the typical fare. Every 20 miles or so the main route passes beaten paths which lead into small but dense patches of mature hard wood trees. During the day these offer travelers some respite from the sun, and I passed many families picnicking, some under the watchful eye of Difuta Corea whose shrines were prevalent on my journey (several of these were comprised of plastic water bottles, thousands of them, she had died of dehydration), and generally enjoying a simple existence which didn't reek of poverty. Much like these Argentinian simpletons (no offense implied) I too was looking for utility maximization as I rode through the night. The full moon was giving quite a stare when I pulled from the road in search of a spot to camp, there wasn't a cloud in the sky. This wasn't too surprising, though this was farming area there are only about eight inches of rain per year here. I decided to forgo the tent and simply toss the sleeping bag atop one of my tarps, taking a moment for pictures before retreating for the night.
   The thunder came loudly at around 2 AM, and from a deep sleep I was somewhat slow to respond. This was going to be bad, I thought as I weighed my options . I had yet to test my tent's rain worthiness and was worried it would not be not up to the task at hand, but looking for another, more suitable, place seemed out of the question, the storm was moving too fast and it was angry. The lightening had struck something in the distance which had sparked an inferno, a towering glow shot out of the ground in stark contrast to a black cloud drenched sky. This should have been of major concern to me as I was camped under an outcropping of lightening rods, but my groggy condition led me to be more worried of the imminent prospect of myself and all my possessions becoming drenched to the core. The patter of rain was overwhelmed by the gusting wind as I assembled my tent on a mound just behind the bike. Upon my entrance into the domicile light precipitation was quickly replaced by a relentless barrage of rain, joining the vicious wind, which lasted well into the day.
    There are lessons to be learned here (I noticed the following morning that all the trees around me were charred,but obviously not dead, from a previous lightening/soaking attack) and they leave me a bit apprehensive about my next endeavor. The weather here is clearly a capricious beast at times and under the right circumstances can be the death of you, as Difuta Corea found out first hand.
      My next goal is to reach the summit of Mt.Aconcagua, though by comparison to the peaks in Asia, it's 23,000 ' are easily achievable, the swings in weather are often deadly. My life to this point has been an interesting mix of charm and failure, my fuck-ups have yet to cost me anything more than progress (as defined by prevailing B.S.)and girls. My chances to succeed here are pretty good, and as achievement and love pass me by (or by default, exclude me), what do I really have to lose?


  1. Jesus is the only shelter from the storm,He even calmed the seas.He also wants to fill your soul.We love you Israel.

  2. Powerful words. Well-written. When is your book coming out??

    Safe travels!

  3. Israel Good to hear all the positive adventurous happenings. Be safe. Jim B

  4. It wasn't my intention to offend, and I hope I didn't, but my mood dictates my writing. It's been a tough semester and at the moment I'm not feeling all that well. I hope the mountain will help foster new optimism.