Tiger Balm Tales vol. 13

The Longest Day


The sounds of hiking boots on wooden floor echoed outside my door. I poked my nose out of my warm sleeping bag cocoon, breathed in the cold air, and let it out only to see my hot breath evaporate into the darkness.

I’m aware those footseps are a ‘wake-up’ call to begin this worrisome day, but I know the footsteps aren’t for me; they are for my neighbor. I tried to put my head beneath the sleeping bag again like a turtle reverting back into his shell. I didn’t want to think about the coming day; I just wanted to sleep another 20 minutes. Soon my watch alarm went off beckoning us to stand upright and face our challenge. However the reality was we were both already awake thinking and wondering about what lie ahead for us.

Dad going to Thorung La Pass

We started at 5:30AM in the complete darkness. I was wearing nearly every piece of clothing I had been carrying for the last 12 days. Well-outfitted Europeans breezed by us in their down jackets and other technical gear covering them from head to toe; they were a walking Northface billboard. On the other end of the spectrum, my dad and I looked like we had raided a garage sale with a hodge-podge of winter type trekking gear. Honestly, we were poorly prepared when it came to technical, winter clothing. I had just spent the last year living at the equator in Vietnam, I didn’t even own a coat, so I had to borrow one. We operated under the idea that as long as we kept moving we would stay warm.

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  • Sherry Ott

    What is Ottsworld? It’s my journey! I quit my corporate IT job 2 years ago and said goodbye to blackberries, meetings and New Y…

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