This is where I’m going to live for the next five weeks. The tent, not the lawn. The tent is going to Namibia with me and the lawn will stay here outside of my house in Boulder. (The poodle, unfortunately, will also stay at home.)
There is chance this tent will get trampled by an elephant. Either with me inside of it, or not. Kate Rutherford, who is joining me on the trip put it this way “if I have to go by getting stepped on by an elephant, I have to go.” Maybe. I hear most elephants don’t like to step on tents. Lions, scorpions, hyenas too, right?
For my friends in South Africa and Namibia, our trip itself is casual—at least the start of it. We will be on roads, after all. We will be camping. We will even be car camping, mostly. The ease was what initially drew me to Namibia. I was in South Africa in December of 2007 and heard about desert climbing on a granite dome, with your camp at the base. It didn’t take me long, however, to find out how to make the easy and established become the unknown.
I was not the kid who dreamed of Africa. I dreamed of everywhere. When my sister would pick up my index finger and hold it, hovering, above a spinning globe, I didn’t want the orb to stop. I wanted the whole thing. Born in, married in, die in—those were our chants. What about worked in, loved in, climbed in, understood in?
I leave in eleven days. Right now it’s a constant stream of expedition team banter: who has which aid hooks to what person should never go without coffee for more than 27.5 hours. I crawl into bed each night with my bags silhouetted against the moonlight from the window. I’m packing way too early—I’m packing way too late.
Read More About Namibia Here