Tuesday, October 2, 2012
A year ago today, we rose before dawn in cliffside tents and hiked the final 6 kilometers to catch the white rays of sun break over Machu Picchu. We were in the middle of hiking the Inca trail, what we learned was an unconventional honeymoon activity even by the standards of our dreadlocked, base-layered trekking group. I didn't write much about it last year because I didn't want to shake the magic off of it quite yet, but it's been on my mind all week.
Sometimes the altitude would just clothesline me and I'd want to sit down and quit. And Nick would take my backpack and wear it on his front, an extra 25 pounds. And he'd pull me up to my feet (oh, yeah, when I said "I'd want to sit down and quit" I mean I would very much sit down and say "I am quitting"). Then he would march onward in front of me singing to himself. That sounds whimsical? and odd, but in the setting it was very logical. During the course of the day our small trekking group would thin out into pairs, and Nick and I would find ourselves isolated on the trail together for hours at a time. Shouting songs we both knew, independently working on our celebrity impressions free of commentary from the other (sometimes one's Bill Cosby blurs into one's Grover?), hurling sophomoric insults at the mountains themselves for being so rocky and shit, it was all fair game. I have a distinct image of my new husband, wearing two damn backpacks, parting a for-real cloud with his person as he tonelessly shouted The Pogues' "Navigator".
I paused, now feeling helium-light without my millstone of a backpack, and fixed the image in my mind. I wanted to keep it, to always know it.