…I’m much more comfortable hiking!

Wadi Ghwayr, a tributary of Wadi Araba, Jordan

From Hiking in Wadi Araba

This is more my pace, a nice moderate hike up the Wadi Ghwayr, a tributary valley to the Wadi Araba. I only wish I’d known in advance that we’d be wading in the stream on the way up, or I would have picked up some hiking sandals instead of wearing my hiking boots, which gave me blisters when they got wet, and are going to take days to dry!

I couldn’t help but think, as I picked my way across the rubble-strewn ground, of the Eastern side of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State, USA. After our Swisschicks reunion for Christi’s wedding in Seattle, Karla took Staci and I hiking up a very similar mountain valley on her side of the Cascades. It was also a trip in which I failed to keep the water from spilling over the tops of my hiking boots. I remembered, too, how I had said, on my first trip to visit Karla in the desert of Eastern Washington, how much the cliffs and hills looked like Jordan, and she said, “That’s why I didn’t need to visit you in Jordan!” (I still think she needs to come and see Bethany Beyond Jordan, Mount Nebo, Um Qais/Gedara and the other religious sights in Jordan, plus Petra, Jerash and Wadi Rum, of course!)

After the halfway point, though, the Wadi Ghwayr looked less like the Cascades and more like the siq at Petra or any of a number of other sandstone canyons across Jordan. At one point, the most athletic and confident of the group had to brace themselves horizontally between the siq wall and an enormous boulder so that we could, essentially, walk across the sides of their feet in order to pass. Next time Wesley comes to Jordan, I’ll know just who to introduce him to!

There’s one club member in particular, Anis, who fascinated me on the hike. He’s one of the professional cyclists in the group, so of course I barely even saw him yesterday. On the hike, though, I was first struck by how much he looks like Carter, and how, like Carter, he can interact in a group like natural introvert, but as we were hiking it seemed more likely that he is actually a solitary sort. While everyone else was hiking in clumps of two or three or five, Anis always hiked alone. A couple of times, he took the high road, scrolling effortlessly along the slick sandstone walls of the siq some 10 or 20 feet above the rest of us. That was when it occured to me how much he looks and acts like my brother Wesley, too!

It all just goes to show you that Jordan and America are not all that different after all. The scenery can be similar, and of course, people are essentially the same everywhere I’ve travelled.

Despite how sore and blistered I was by the time we got back to the bottom of the wadi, I’m so glad I went on this trip! Glad because, despite my wimpiness on a bike, I proved perfectly competent for a moderate hike. And glad because the people I’ve met are fun, lively, interesting and engaged, and constantly plannning for something new and exciting.

From Hiking in Wadi Araba

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