Month: July 2019

Keskenkyia Loop, Day 5: Back to Jyrgalan

It was noticeably warmer overnight, and so we both slept like babies, not feeling the need to bundle up and nestle in our cocoons to maintain warmth. We are more than 2000 feet lower than our last camp, and we can feel the difference. As the first rays of direct sunlight hit the tent, the temperature inside begins to climb rapidly. Soon we are scrambling to get out of our sleeping bags and into our hiking clothes. (more…)

Keskenkyia Loop, Day 4: Got Mare’s Milk?

We set the alarm for midnight and reluctantly climb out of our sleeping bags in hopes of photographing the stars. It’s definitely hard to get up, but we intentionally didn’t go to the bathroom just before bed, so that we would have the extra motivation of relieving our bladders as insurance. It’s cold, so we layer up as best we can: pants over long johns, rain coat over down jacket, hats, gloves, the works… (more…)

Three Perfect Days in…Kyrgyzstan!

Greetings, everyone! It’s summertime, and that means we are off on another hiking adventure. This year we are headed to Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia of all places where we will do some trekking in the Tian Shan and Alay Mountains. Kyrgyzstan is said to be the Switzerland of Central Asia, and we are excited to spend the next five weeks exploring a brand new destination that is totally off the beaten track.

But before we begin our trekking, we have three days to explore Kyrgyzstan. First, we spend a day bumbling around the capital city of Bishkek. On Day 2, we drive clear across the country to our basecamp of Jyrgalan while visiting some of Kyrgyzstan’s premier cultural destinations, and finally, we spend a day in this tiny village acclimatizing and decompressing far away from the hustle and bustle of Chicago. So, here, a la United Airlines Hemispheres Magazine, is three perfect days in Kyrgyzstan! (more…)