Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Name Game

Fifteen of the 21 nights we spent in Mongolia, we camped. About mid way through our trip we realized that we had named our camp sites by some special association. By referring to the camp sites by a name, all of us immediately knew what camp we were talking about. This was really helpful since it was easy to lose track of what day it was and we didn't really know where exactly we were (other than in the west, north or central regions). So, here are some of our camp site names and how they came to be. I would love to hear about some of the names of your camp sites and the stories behind them.

Rainbow Camp: Okay, I bet you can guess how we got this one. This camp was in a beautiful glacial valley with a small river. As we were setting up camp it began to drizzle, then it stopped. When we looked across the river there was a colorful arch.

Brain Freeze Camp: Have you ever had a brain freeze from the outside in? After settling in but before sunset I decided it was time to wash my hair (it had been several days and we would have the sun for a few more hours). I took my big plastic mug over to the gently flowing creek, filled it with water and poured it over my head. The pain was instantaneous. That frigid water sent shocks of pain through my skull into my brain. After a few moments it subsided and I quickly decided that I would rather have very dirty hair than to go through that again.

Goat Camp: You guessed it. It ends up we were right in the middle of a goat herding path.

Spider Camp: After a very long day of traveling we decided to camp next to a lake. A couple of us went down to the lake's edge for a short walk and to sit. Within a few minutes we noticed that the smooth, flat, oval shaped rocks were moving. Looking a little closer we realized that those flat rocks were actually large spiders with very long legs. The spider's body was about 3/4 to 1 inch wide and their legs were an additional 2-3 inches. And there were hundreds of them. Needless to say, we moved our tents a few more feet further away from the rocky shore.

Sunset Camp: Although this may not have been my favorite camp, it was the most spectacular. We knew there was a storm approaching and we needed to get over a pass and into a safe valley. We made it and set up camp at the base of some lower hills. That evening, with the clouds rolling in, the sun put on a glorious show. When you looked east, it was dark and menacing, when you looked west, you saw that unbelievable sky filled with radiant colors, powerful clouds and rays of gold punching through.

I hope to hear from you soon.

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