Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

November 19, 2012

Trekking through the Himalayas

By Madison Oakes
Chronicle contributor

CROSSVILLE — Of life’s most exciting adventures, I’m sure that my trip trekking in the Himalayas will make the top of the list. On my first day of school, my English teacher mentioned a trekking trip would be organized for Spring Break. And I went. I'm so glad I did!

Those 12 days, in the most beautiful and rough terrain, were the best (and worst) time of my life.  I have never seen such absolute beauty and felt such elation at the sights I viewed.  I have also never been so happy to ride a pony up a mountain side for two short hours!  My feet, my back and my legs have never felt more strain!  We covered about 20 km per day and some days climbed 1,000 meters in as little 4 hours! The days were glorious and the nights were chilly. I’d wake up before the sun, to a very cold tent, but a hot cup to tea would be delivered to me personally by my Sherpa. Every morning when I stepped out of my tent, the sun would rise and show me beautiful scenes that only nature can create. It was glorious! I was actually seeing with my own eyes what most folks see as screen savers.

My experience in the Himalayas wasn’t just a physical one, but an emotional and personal one.  I was able to get to know the people on the trek in a much deeper manner. You really form bonds with friends and teachers when you’re needing an extra push up the mountain or lending a helping hand and sharing words of motivation. I’ve never felt more alone and more surrounded at the same time. Each day, each step, was a wonderful journey, both geographically and personally.

When asked about food in Nepal, I have to say, “Snicker MoMos and  Mac & Yak are my favorites!”  If you are wondering what Mac & Yak actually is, imagine something similar to macaroni and cheese, but you using fresh cheese from local yaks!

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Madison Kaye Oakes, granddaughter of Pauline Sherrer, is a junior at the American International School of Chennai, India. Her father, Dean Oakes, works for Michelin, who currently is building tire manufacturing plants in India. The family plans on living in India for at least five years.