Answering the big question…Was it worth it???

December1

Our stay in China has come to an end after 5 months. It has been an interesting and valuable experience. Medically speaking, I feel that the treatments have had some benefits. I did not get the miracle cure that I once may have hoped for, but I found other things. I found out how to better manage my condition; what makes it better and what makes it worse. I found out that I get results when I stick to my regular strengthening exercises, and that when I slack off it shows. I have learned that daily meditation is my greatest ally and that my brain needs to be ‘turned off’ for a while every day. Most importantly, though, is something that I already knew was confirmed; a positive mindset goes a long way to healing and feeling better. When doubt or anger or impatience clouded my mind, I did not show any progressive results. When my thoughts were positive I did. So I am happy to be at more or less a similar state as I was 5 months ago, which in my opinion is a positive when all I have been promised in the West is a steady decline of health. I am continuing my daily herbal tea (or capsules) and hope to continue on this path of positive progression.
Also, it is always worth it. The things that my family and I have experienced, seen, tasted, touched and lived were like no other in our lives. As always, life is an adventure…!
There is beauty in life

A gruelling climb…

November2

As some of you may know, I am an avid participant in the Revelstoke Pedal and Pint crew. We go on a long mountain bike ride once weekly, sometimes up to 30 kms on trails, then glide into the Regent Pub for some hard-earned beer, nachos and dinner. We consider ouselves a fairly mellow bunch but we like to ride ALL the local trails; ups, downs, hike-a-bikes, cruisers, gnarly stuff, whatever; bring it on! I was thinking of my crew as we luxuriously rode in a van to the top of a mountain pass in Tibet, on the road to Mt. Everest. Approaching the rarefied air of the 5120 metre high (17,000 ft.) Pang-La pass, we came up on two bike riders. Now this road is 102 kms long with this huge pass in the middle, dropping down to valley bottom and another climb back up to 5200 metres at the end. Talk about endurance!
Heading up to Pang-La pass
If you didn’t see them in the previous photo, here they are:
Gruelling biking
So, pedal and pinters, this pic is for you! As you slog up the rain-soaked trail in search of heavenly singletrack, think of these two poor souls!
RIDE ON!

Everest!!!

October31

We were absolutely blessed by good weather on our trip. The few days at Everest were no exception. As we neared, the clouds kept clearing and by the time we arrived they had mostly vanished. We took the mini-bus up the 8km road up the moraine to the base camp proper. From a small hill we had commanding views of Everest and the surrounding area. The air was quite thin at 5150m and even the hill made us somewhat breathless. Apparently it doesn’t slow you down if you’re 3 or 5, they were running around as usual.
Girls at Everest
Girls at Everest
Emily, Maddie and their Pops
Girls and Pops
Girls and Simon
Happy family
After our time at the base camp, we made it back to our accomodation, among the nomadic yak tents. Heated by a yak dung stove it was quite cozy. And no, there is no smell associated with the stove inside, it has been ‘aged and dried’ for at least a year so is just organic matter. We had a delicious meal prepared by the hut owner accompanied by our first taste of Tibetan butter tea. This is a tea made of yak butter which is quite salty. I did not care much for it but Simon and David were big fans.
Yak tent
I snuck out of the wamth of the tent before bed and took one more photo on the moonlit night.
Everest at night
Snuggled in our beds, warm even when it went down to -15 that night.
Cozy beds
We awoke to a crystal clear morning, and unfortunately myself to nausea and a blinding headache. We packed up to leave on schedule and before I got any worse. It was an awesome trip to the roof of the world.
Clear morning

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