Wednesday, November 26, 2008

From Walking The Gobi

Here's an excerpt from Helen Thayer's Walking the Gobi: 1,600 Mile-trek Across a Desert of Hope and Despair:

“On long treks, we’ve found, our sense of time evaporates with the ceaseless miles, and it’s especially easy to lose track of the date. I had worked out a fail-safe solution to this problem on my solo trek to the magnetic North Pole in 1988. Immediately before taking the first step of the day, I would say the time and date aloud to Charlie, my canine companion. He really didn’t care about such matters, but the verbalization imprinted the date on my mind.

“Now, on this journey across the Gobi, Bill and I used the same tactic, in unison, at the start of each day. We also carried a small calendar in the back of our journals to mark off the days at bedtime. We soon understood the nomad’s expansive sense of time. Appointments made on the hour seem nonsensical to a culture that tells time by darkness and daylight, and Westerners’ habit of constantly checking a watch to “be on time” seems an odd, unnecessary habit” (54).

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