Sunday, July 23, 2006

Remembering the Tau Bates

"Happy belated birthday"
"Where were you all weekend?"
"Camping, that's what I couldn't call earlier."
"You and camping, ya right."

A couple of years ago, this comment would have been correct. Aside from living in cabins for religious retreats and one real winter camping trip, my experience with the outdoors was fairly limited. I definitely was not the one who would plan a camping trip. Then three years ago, I became a Tau Bate and everything changed. Hiking, snowboarding, backpacking, we did it all. If I ever wanted to do something random or outdoorsy, I always knew I could mention it to some Tau Bates and get a group together.

As I climbed up to Yamnotri, walked/horsebacked my way to Gaumukh, I couldn't help but remember my Tau Bates. There was no morning food preparation or Karen with her endless supply of nourishment; no Zach with his map or Pokai with his camera; no discussions with Trent or bugging Ms. Diana; no Sanjay leading us through brush, claiming there is a clearing or shirtless guys at the top of the mountain. A different experience to say the least with my uncle walking portions alongside me in sandals, while I wear hiking boots; my mom on horseback (more like ponyback) and cousin in awe of the majestic mountainous landscape, which she has never seen before.

Over these walks, I recognized how much I had grown through all of our outdoor experiences. With a pack on my back with food and water, I walked with a good amount of ease, despite being "out of shape." Angela and all the other adventurous ones came to mind and I climbing rocks, just to see the view from the top.

"What do you eat?," my driver asked as the two of us venture past the others to get as close as possible to where the Ganga emerges from the glacial rock.
"You have so much energy and are going everywhere."
"I do this fairly often and I have a lot of friends, whose examples are my inspiration."

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