Sunday, April 5, 2009

Have to Find My Place

Went to an amazing party Friday night, Rampfest, sponsored by the LandConnection at the Garfield Park Conservatory. It was my first time inside and it is a gem of Chicago. I felt like I had taken a trip to the Amazon and it was wonderful to be surrounded by so many green things!!!!!! And the event supported a great organization that is trying to secure land for farmers so more local food can be grown in and around Chicago. Not only was the conservatory incredible but all the chefs that supported the event produced outstanding dishes utilizing ramps. So I was very, very, lucky to be able to participate. Thank you Ann and Becky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I continue to watch some video of Shane McConkey and also the late Doug Coombs who both died doing what they loved in the mountains although years apart. I had been aware of Doug Coomb's operation for years, he was involved with the Exum Guides in jackson for a long time. It is one thing to be aware and it is another to do. As I kept sitting in front of the computers and phone turrets with all the angry old and young men, I kept getting farther and farther removed from being fit and able to ski and hike in the big mountains (in a mellow way not extreme) which was always my love and dreams. I really miss skiing, and I miss trekking in the mountains. I never quite got to the point where I could ski down a chute or couloir easily, that was always one of my ski goals and being fit enough to heli ski (mellow skiing) in Canada(CMH) or Alaska(Valdez Heli Skiing) was always one of my goals. It is sad that both are gone but seeing the videos of the mountains, hearing from my friend Ades of all his great adventures in Nepal has me sad that I am so far removed from the mountains right now and they LIVED their lives while they were alive and Ades continues to do that. Deep down I am a mountain chick at heart. I feel so alive when I am at the top of a ski slope or in the middle of a powder run or crossing a pass when it is snowing. Even though I am far from and don't figure on doing back flips off of a cliff, the joy of skiing in powder surrounded by big mountains(for me the mountains were the Wasatch primarily or the San Miguels) is indescribable unless you have been there and your inner compass is tuned to that frequency, the same with crossing a high mountain pass covered in snow. When I had 2 passes to cross in one day on the Tso Morari trek in the Ladakh region, I was so unfit and so slow and the local guide was so cheerful and so cold waiting for me and so patient, but at the same time I was really happy being frozen and tired, I was happy breathing in the air at 16,000 ft and being in such an open, quiet, beautiful place with snow falling all around me, so although it was hard to finish that day and I had to dig deep within myself to keep going, I was really, really happy and lucky to have such a kind guide who laughed along with me. And on so many of the treks I have been on, the porters and local guides have been such role models of how little it takes to be happy and how to be grateful for the simple things and such amazing work ethics be it Pakistan, India, Bolivia, Chile, China or Mongolia. I am so lucky to have had so many experiences but I am just sad that I am not there right now. I realize that all I can do is say prayers and try to do things that will put me in the right place and that wallowing does not work and is a waste and I am so great at wallowing!!!!!!!! I have been lucky, I have BEEN THERE and have been too MANY THERES!!!!!!!...but I still hope to heli-ski in the Chugach someday or do the Ramdung and Parchemo trek in Nepal or ski to the North Pole or climb and hike in Kamchatka. At the same time I feel guilty that I want to do these things, so many people have no chance ever to do it. And it is funny, working at the retail store, none of the employees except for 1 or 2 really know and I think really love the mountains. And most of the customers who come in, buy a piece of the dream, they will never ski, or trek but by buying a piece of the clothing, they feel cool, they feel like they are one of the mountain people. For me it is just sad, I am so far removed from it right now, all I can do is run and stay really fit that when the opportunity presents itself I can make the most of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So by immersing myself in issues to do with nature and food and land in Chicago helps me to channel some of that mountain energy in the short term and there are so many people that I admire because they are really dedicated to these issues.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally, Michael Ruhlman has a great entry this week on food writing and writing period. His point is write for the reader not for yourself. Most of this blog breaks his rule, but it is nice to get my thoughts out onto the universe of the web because although no one really reads this, it is satisfying to my soul to know they are out there......
I said to a friend I believe enabling people in traveling and she said to say support and encourage. But I guess I just have to be grateful for all that I have done and been able to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On another note, in the midst of making the Serious Eats Red Cabbage with Apples and Honey, it smells great, was pretty easy and I am excited to taste it when it is done. I was lazy and did not let the sauce reduce down enough but I think it will still taste bueno!!!!!!!!! Made it and it is really good..............

And it is snowing and cold yet again in Chicago and I am going to go out for a short run I need to feel the elements and run to Mind's Eye by Wolfmother.

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