Somewhere on the end of the earth, between China and Pakistan is a remote road in the Himalayas. This dirt road is only open 2 months out of the year because the snows of the Himalayas obscure it from human view for most months in the year. Magically the road opens for a short period of time and the rugged colorful trucks from China bring their commerce into India.
Right now I am at the peak of training to return to the Himalaya’s July 29th. THE HIGH race is August 11, 2011. 138 miles, non-stop through the Himalayas. I have waited all year to return to that beautiful part of the world.
To say that India has changed my life is an understatement. I have thought about my experiences there ever since I left to come home 17 days ago. My head and my heart are floating somewhere at 18,000 feet, resting on the soft snow of Khardung La.
Ironically, that is where our family prayer flag is stretched across and waving in the mountain winds, at the peak of Khardung La.
I am back from one of The High’s of my life…running The High in the Himalayas. Where do I begin when there is so much to share? Do I tell you all the details? Do I speak about witnessing acute altitude sickness on an unknown Indian man? Do I tell you about Yaks and mongooses and herds of goats roaming at 17,500 feet, in a place that is as remote as the Moon?
Hey everyone, Bailey again! The generator in Leh has been down for 2 days but here is the update of the past couple of days:
So, hello to everyone! I love and miss you all!! Everyday has been filled with amazing things here. Training at altitude has gone well but I have to say I am nervouse about the race This Saturday!! We leave Friday for our base camp where we will be camping with our crews. Then 6am Saturday morning I will be attempting to run a race that no one has done before. It is a daunting task but one that I am excited to begin. It is such a remote area…so beautiful, so unique. I am always nervous before a race and this race isn’t any different. I do have a great crew.
My whole crew, Billl and his crew and Mark Cockbain from Britian and his crew, went to see Lama Tsphael yesterday. When we got to the temple another Lama was there and said he was the only priest there that day. I was sooo disappointed!! I really wanted Lama Tsphael to bless our crews! So I walked out of the temple to tell the crews that they would not be meeting my Lama friend… I turned the corner and there was Lama Tsphael! He said he had a feeling he should stop by the temple on his day off and he spotted me! So He ended up blessing each one of us by tying a red sacred ribbon around our wrists. Then after the ceremony he pulled me and Bill aside and gave us special prayer beads. Saying good bye to him was really hard! He is like a family member to me we have gotten so close these last few days. He told me he will see me again…
Lama Tsphael left yesterday to go see His Holiness the Dahli Lama in a neighboring town. So I gave him a big hug goodbye. Then today all of us went up to Khardung La to train. It is a couple of hours from town. When we were coming back to Leh in our car caravan we stopped at a remote village for a quick break. It is in the middle of nowhere! I got out of the car and there he was!!! Lama Tspheal walking out of a little tea stall by the road!! He smiled and gave me a huge hug. All the crews were cracking up that he was there in the middle of nowhere. His driver had stopped there on their ride to see His Holiness. So, we laughed and visited… then when he was ready to leave, he looked at me, clasped my hands and said “I will see you again”…
This morning I went to the Shanti Stupa the giant temple at the top of the city of Leh. I went to a Buddhist prayer service at 5am. The monk giving the service is the founder of the Stupa. After the service ( there was about 6 of us in the temple) he asked the french guy behind me if he could please play his guitar for him. The french guy played a song that was lovely. Then the monk asked if he could play his guitar. The monk took the guitar and started playing classic guitar!! Absolutely flawless classical music. I thought I was in a dream . THEN he started playing Rolling Stones early music!
Okay, you all are probably thinking that I have gone mad and immersed myself into the Buddhist culture. But, the truth is, I am in my second week of living in a city that is the mecca of monks. It is a magical place and every day there is something new. I am so glad that I have all this positive energy before this daunting race. It gives me strength to be around all this incredible powerful and positive energy. This is truly a sacred place. I have never experienced anything like it.
I hope some of you will want to come back with me here next year.
Okay dear loved ones…generator going down!!