Thursday, September 10, 2015

15 Months: Stats, Mountain Climbing, and a Guest Blogger

Miles biked: 12,951 miles (20,843 kilometers), give or take a few hundred miles
Bird species positively identified: 490
Highest altitude achieved: 18,655 feet (5,686 meters), Vallunaraju, Cordillera Blanca, Peru
Highest altitude biked: 15,633 feet (4767 meters), Portachuela de Llanganuco, Cordillera Blanca, Peru
4000 meter (13,100 foot) passes ascended by bike: 9
Number of cities/towns visited whose names end in the suffix "-bamba" (ie Riobamba): 7

We´ve been working furiously here in Huaraz to fix up our bikes and prepare them for the next remote segment of our trip, but we took a break from the errands to take advantage of our time in this mecca of mountaineering. Not having much experience, even the apparently moderate Vallunaraju provided quite a challenge. I´ll let the photos take it from here...

An afternoon snowstorm at base camp buried our tent and left the surrounding peaks covered in a shimmering layer of white
Sunrise while heading up the glacier

You can see the city of Huaraz far below on the right side of the photo
A beautiful morning view of Huascaran
Making our way up, our guide Stephen leading the way

Lots of snow!

The last push to the summit
Made it to the top! 18,655 feet

The photographer

The obligatory couple shot

Tam´s parents, Andie and Michel, have also been having plenty of adventures! They are our guest bloggers, and here is their post:

Tam´s parent's here with a guest blog appearance! So we thought a trip to the northwest would be a good idea mid-August to escape the heat of southern Georgia. We picked Portland, as a country music festival was happening there and it's a reasonable drive to Walla Walla where there are many wineries which we would enjoy tasting out. Once we got the travel arrangements done we realised we would be heading to an area that our cyclists had gone through nearly a year ago. So a great opportunity to visit a few of the wonderful people they have met during their long journey.


Nice couple!
1- arrived in Portland where a record 25th day of 90 degree weather was achieved. So much for escaping the heat, but I guess it was a dryer heat...

2- Tasted 21 different grape varieties in all sort of combinations (i.e. 100% semillion! And some blends of 6 grapes). Success! Quite an area to enjoy.

3- we took a drive towards Pomeroy and dropped in to see Curt and Julie (see blog post of 9/17/14). They were a bit shocked at first to see strangers show up bearing a basket of goodies. After introductions they quickly welcomed us in their home and regaled in the recollections of Tam, Danny and at that time Cameron's visit. It was great to personally be able to thank them for their hospitality. 

Happy at the farm

The next day we stopped by the Welcome Table farm (See blog posts 9/18-9/21) and met up with Liz and the farm family. Liz came out of the fields where she was picking corn to see who the announced visitors were, and her confused expression changed quickly to astonished enjoyment after we mentioned Tam and Danny. We had a nice chat on her work and life at the farm; she is enjoying it greatly and we can see her happiness shine through.

It was a terrific experience for us, and our future travels will seek to connect with some more of the fabulous people that Tam and Danny have met.

Andie and Michel

P.S. The country music festival was fabulous fun!

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