3/18/10: Ushuaia, Argentina
“I’m confused – did we ever actually see the glacier?”
– Zhou, after our hike to the somewhat ambiguous Martial Glacier
The nice part about growing up in Ohio is that there’s never any doubt whether or not you just saw a glacier. You didn’t. There are no glaciers in Ohio. Here at “the end of the world” though, there are glaciers. In fact, we almost splurged to do a hike on the Martial Glacier, then thought we’d save our feet from crampons until visiting the famous Perito Moreno glacier next week. Instead, today we spent a few hours hiking up to a scenic viewpoint of the glacier.
The hike itself was only three hours round trip, but it was on a steep enough incline that we felt for sure we’d reach an amazing lookout. As we crested the final ridge to the top and saw people milling about in a jovial manner while taking photographs, we couldn’t wait to reach the edge. As it turned out, this is what we saw:
To us, it just appeared to be more snow and mountain, the same thing we’d been looking at for the entire hike.
We stood around for a little while, perhaps hoping that the awe-inspiring glacier would appear if we waited long enough. It didn’t, so we reluctantly trekked back down.
It was back in the comfort of our cozy dorm room that I began thinking. Kids, you might want to get your pens and paper and write this down, because here comes a nice little moral of this story. We’ve spent a lot of time on this trip doing things with a specific goal in mind. We did eight days of game drives in Africa hoping to see big cats. We hiked 11 days on the Annapurna Circuit trying to get to the Thorong La Pass. We took a three day trip to Xian just to see the Terracotta Warriors. And today we trekked to the Martial Glacier hoping to see a glacier.
When you get caught up in a specific goal though, sometimes you lose sight of the journey. Our best experiences have almost always come while trying to accomplish something else. In Tanzania I’ll always remember being charged by an elephant one morning at camp. In Nepal I’ll remember our visit with the monk and our stay with the family in Ghara. In China I’ll remember our visit with the baby pandas. And today? Today I’ll remember the hike to the top.
Picture of the Day: A Penguin in Zhou’s Clothing.