Tuesday Aug. 11 LAX to Las Vegas to Fort Lauderdale


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August 14th 2015
Published: August 14th 2015
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Everything I'm bringing. Almost all the clothes fit rolled up in the green bag.
Hello friends and family! This entry is from Tuesday’s flights; I’m a few days late in posting this due to computer problems. I’m now on an overnight bus to Cusco.

Partial packing list:

2 pairs pants. One is for hiking. The other is my mother’s 30-year-old long underwear, with a cream background and tiny pink rosette design. I swore I’d only wear them under the hiking pants. But here I am writing this, wearing them loud and proud in the bus terminal. It’s cold and the other pants already smell.

4 t-shirts, 1 sweater, 6 pairs underwear.

1 pair hiking boots, 1 pair canvas shoes. I bought cheap flip flops after becoming acquainted with hostel shower floors. Even my barefootedness has its limits.

3 rolls biodegradable toilet paper.

3 packs of anti-diarrheal pills to pass around the camp fire.

1 malfunctioning miniature laptop

1 badass water bottle with antimicrobial filter. You have to vigorously suck the water up through the filter, making one appear like a hamster. Without the filter, each gulp blasts a hiccup of air into the back of your throat, making one appear like a

Over LA
choking mess.

2 books.

No machete. Just a dull Swiss army knife.

1 pepper spray. The kind in the pink case. I support breast cancer research, not violence.

1 rosary, 1 shell, 4 dozen photographs, 4 letters, 1 compass, 1 ring to buoy up the sinking heart.

1 traveling apothecary’s case of various pills I am ready for any 15,000 ft mountain, any insidious stomach bug, any mutiny my body decides to attempt.



All told, my pack and small bag weigh 24 lbs. It is a new and good feeling to have all that you depend upon for survival (albeit a soft survival) on your hips and shoulders. Power is the lightness of self-sufficiency.

We flew from LAX to Las Vegas on Tuesday. To distract myself from the cocktail of excitement, dread, and moroseness that my heart’s bartender was pouring down my throat, I took pictures of your city. I thought of all of you down there, unaware of my surveillance. Downtown LA spiked into view, and I imagined I saw Eagle Rock.

Flat circuitry of city gave way to crumpled desert mountains. Trails traced the spines
Las VegasLas VegasLas Vegas

Where America got it so wrong.
of some of them. I thought of how we grid our civilization above ground, carve trails across the rugged parts, and all the while, millions of years existent, there lies below a labyrinth of faults, the torn seams of the earth. Regions of weakness, pressure, and deformation overcome themselves to form the great stony beasts we like to climb and think we’ve conquered.

From the plane all you see is furrowed brown. The feathery shadows of clouds on dusty hills. Desert towns, then the suburbs reappear, and we are descending over the Strip.


Additional photos below
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Stealthy photo of random people


15th August 2015

I love reading your words but feeling you're a million miles away. Please keep on writing while I keep on praying. I hate to say "I told you so" but I was right about the pants; a third pair would have added a mere 2.2 kilos. I love you and take care of my 30 year old thermals.
17th August 2015

Hi Sara!
HI Sara! I am very much enjoying your posts! I am with you vicariously!!
18th September 2015

/To distract myself from the cocktail of excitement, dread, and moroseness that my heart’s bartender was pouring down my throat/ what a beautiful line? ur writing is, honestly, just as much of an experience as reading about ur experiences. love the way u describe the landmarks that u pass and that bitter sweet feeling of leaving home but going someone new. also, huge kudos on packing so light and being such an experienced traveller. :') wishing u good health at whatever stage of ur journey ur at rn
18th September 2015

this is so cool!!!!!

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