Saturday, September 20, 2008

Into the Mountains

Last week, one of the PC directors organized a trip for us to visit the magnificent Lake Issyc. This is actually a somewhat famous site, even outside of our small town. You can check it out here: When we got there, the site was breathtaking. We had ridden up into the mountains to discover a bright blue, glacier fed lake. Around the lake were a number of ridges speckled with trees and brush. Well you don’t have to take my word, you can look at the pictures.

We began walking around the Lake and quickly found out that the trip did not go all the way around. We had to choose at a fork: up or down. We chose up (me, Jamie, and Dave, that is. We had left the other volunteers taking pictures a few hundred yards away).

So we went up. Some on paths, some just following the path of least resistance.
And we had an amazing view.
And to top it off, it was Dave’s birthday!
We could pretty much see Kazakhstan.

And we climbed. Until we thought we had gone as high as we could. And then we went higher. Not like crazy high, but we hiked up for about an hour.

And then, there was about an hour left before we were leaving, so we decided to go down. down we went. Mostly walking. Some sliding. We got down in about fifteen minutes.

We finished walking around the lake, hopping through some small streams, and eventually making it back to the group of volunteers we had left.

Joe had been waiting on me to go swimming, but eventually went without me when I took so long. Jamie, Dave, and I did brave the cold waters for a brisk dip. (To give credit, Andrew, Meriah, and Joe went swimming as well).

We dried off and posed for some pictures.
And we showed our battle scars from our day’s hike.

Overall, it was an amazing day. I almost didn’t bring my hiking boots to K-stan, because hiking isn’t really my thing. I’ve probably hiked like four times in my life-total. And even though this wasn’t the most extreme hike by any means, it was a lot of fun. It was the first time that I felt like I was doing something on my own in Kazakhstan. Well I guess, it was a continuation of the day before in Almaty. And this feeling of independence and capability has continued over the past week as well. But this blog post isn’t so much about self reflection, as the chance to show off my sweet pics!

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