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Two Dragons welcome the sunrise with an improvised dance atop the Andes. Photo by Ryan Gasper.

Fifteen Things I Won’t Forget From The Cordillera Real

  1. A white butterfly landing on my hand while taking in the extraordinary glaciers.
  2. The last meal – macaroni and cheese made with all the butter we had been saving for a few days.
  3. Trimate tea in the morning.
  4. Sitting in a tent getting covered with snow with a few other semi-warm humans under a sleeping bag.
  5. Crossing over a very high pass and finally seeing glaciers for the first time.
  6. Looking at the milky way during a late night pee.
  7. The kindness of the guides and mulemen during the trek.
  8. Finally drying out my socks in the sun after being moist for four days.
  9. Watching the clouds and mountains for an hour at the top of a hill waiting for the other half of the group.
  10. Reuniting with the evacuated students (and Itzá) in Santiago de Okola.
  11. Washing my hair and face in glacial water.
  12. Talking with other students in the tents at night.
  13. Waking up with the sun.
  14. The feeling of a warm water bottle at my feet while every other part of the body was cold.
  15. Poop cookies.