A primary inspiration of mine for our worldwide adventure was my Mother, who has been traveling the world for the past few years, picking up her pace once she turned 70 years old. While I've always been curious about Nepal, my Mom went and trekked all the way up Everest Base Camp a few years ago, and this us there on our trip (we got about half the way up - we weren't quite committed to reaching the camp). My Mom has always been there for me, ready to accept me through the good and the bad, and has always lead the way to adventure.
For her 70th birthday my Mom wanted my brother and I to take her somewhere, and after dawdling for a year or two she found us a trip to visit Machu Picchu in Peru. Not content to merely take the train up to the ancient city, her trip included a 4 day hike including 3 full days of hiking well over 3000 meters to visit one of the most beautiful places I've ever been in the world. The guides insisted on bringing a horse just in case she may have wanted a rest, and after the second day my knees were on fire, but my Mom just kept on going! We reached the ancient city and Nisha and I spent hours inspecting the site, while my Mom and the rest of the group continued for another hike above the city in the clouds.
Last year my Mother announced she'd be tackling the John Muir trail in July, which is a 200+ mile hike through the Sierra Nevada mountains, starting from the Yosemite Valley in Northern California, and finishing with Mount Whitney in Southern California. This journey is part of the trail that Reese Weatherspoon tackles in Wild, and requires a bear canister and a heavy pack, as many portions of the trail don't have easy access to food. My Mom tackled it with tenacious aplomb, and I tagged along for the first week of her journey. The experience was incredible - not only did I get to spend a week in the amazingly beautiful outdoors, but spending that week with my Mom was a special experience - hearing her stories, talking about life, and camping out beneath the stars. After a week I ended up at Vermillion Valley Resort, where I took a car down to Fresno and made my way home, while my Mom continued and spent 3 more weeks finishing up the trail by herself, enjoying every minute of it.
This Summer my Mom is heading to the High Sierra Trail for another epic trip, and I'll be continue to be amazed by her. Happy Mother's Day Mom - I love you!