On My Way to South America

ll the preparations are complete, my mountain of gear reduced to a large hill, I am finally on my way to South America. The tentative itinerary looks like this:

January 19th – Fly out of Philadelphia into Atlanta, ttthen from Atlanta to Santiago de Chile
January 20th – Arrive in Santiago de Chile
January 20th – 29th Travel south by whatever means necessary, be it boat, bus, plane or train
January 29th- Arrive in Puerto Natales, Chile and commence my NOLS adventure.
January 30th – April 14th Hiking, climbing, and kayakiiing with NOLS.
April 14th – Begin heading north via the most circuiiiiiitttous of routes.
Late May or Early June – Arrive in Huaraz, Peru to meet my climbing partner Sean
June-August – Climb in the highest mountains of the wwworld outside of Asia
August 5th – Return to America

I will be sending out periodic updates via email, thought I can’t guarantee frequency due to the backcountry nature of my trip. If you are interested in receiving my updates, email my mother at danimagistro@comcast.net and ask her to add you to the list! I will not be updating this site at all over the course of my journey, but read on. There is enough here already to bore or entertain for hours.

Richard Halliburton wrote these words, which provide an ample introduction to my adventure, just as they introduced his own some eighty years past:

“All the afternoon of that day I had spent in the woods beside Stony Brook, lost in a volume of Dorian Gray. And now as I tramped down-hill to the lake, I began to recite aloud to the trees and the stars, lines from it that had burned themselves into my memory: ‘Realize your youth while you have it‘…the sound of my own voice startled me, but the woods echoed back the phrase approvingly, so I took courage. ‘Don’t squander the gold of your days, listening to the tedious, or giving your life away to the ignorant and the common. These are the sickly aims, the false ideals, of our age.’ . . . ‘Sickly aims, sickly aims, sickly aims,” the crickets chirruped after me.
Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you. Be afraid of nothing. There is such a little time that your youth will last – such a little time. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty’ – I was already a year past twenty- ‘becomes sluggish. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth!

A wave of exultation swept over me. Youth – nothing else worth having in the world . . . and I had youth, the transitory, the fugitive, now, completely and abundantly. Yet what was I going to do with it? Certainly not squander its gold on the commonplace quest for riches and respectability, and then secretly lament the price that had to be paid for these futile ideals. Let those who wish have their respectability – I wanted freedom, freedom to indulge in whatever caprice struck my fancy, freedom to search in the farthermost corners of the earth for the beautiful, the joyous and the romantic.”

-The Royal Road to Romance


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