Boots of the Long Road to the Moon : A story about a journey that started as an inside joke. That eventually took me up to Everest Base Camp, one of the highest peaks on earth. I was there for 18 days with my climbing companion, who had never been to Everest before or since. The most awe-inspiring experience.

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It was a cold, frosty morning when she set off on the journey. Her cloth-wrapped feet sunk deep into the snow with each step, and her fingers felt like they would never thaw out again. The tattered cloak she wore over her shoulders offered scant protection from the harsh winds that whipped at it, threatening to tear it from her. But all these things she had expected; it was, after all, the season of snowstorms, blizzards and freezing temperatures. What she did not expect was that the road ahead would be so long… so very long.

boots of the long road
boots of the long road

Eventually she came to the gates of the city. Here, the snow had been trampled and packed down into ice, which had in turn been frozen over by the morning frost. This made walking easier still, and so she set off along the road that led away from town. She’d left early so as to reach the city before nightfall, in the hopes that she would find a place of safety for the winter. She’d been told of the strange and dangerous creatures who roamed the lands in winter, taking advantage of any humans who had not yet reached shelter. With luck, she would make it to the city gates before sundown.

boots of the long road
boots of the long road

Boots of the Long Road to the Moon: A Story about a Journey that Started as an Inside Joke

I would also like to say that I am the author of this story, a friend of mine is the artist, and that they have given me permission to post this on the wiki. In short, if you see a link to this story on the wiki, it is not my article.
In college one night I was talking to my best friend Brendan about writing a story that would be at least 3,000 words long and have a serious tone. After hours of brainstorming ideas for the story, it became clear that we had no idea how we were going to come up with an idea for such an epic work.
Working together, the first thing we did was to split up the story into sections and assign each one of us a section. Then it became obvious that given our time constraints and our general lack of technical knowledge, we would have to compromise on what we could do in that day. We came up with an idea for a journey from Earth to the moon and then return home. Since my main interest in astronomy is photosynthesis I suggested that it could be about plants on the moon, but Brendan suggested instead taking pictures of people on a spaceship.
This idea seemed interesting, but I still didn’t think it was effect enough to make an epic tone. We came up with the idea of a trading card game inspired by the Trading Card Game “Magic: The Gathering”. This idea had more potential, but it only gave us a possible theme for the story.

boots of the long road
boots of the long road

Why do we go for Everest?

I am not a mountain climber or an alpinist, I do not go for Everest or K2, which is my favourite mountain. I like mountains and mountains are useful, and me too, but the real reason why I love mountains is that they are bridges to the sky. And in my opinion there is no more beautiful bridge than the Himalayas: they have an architecture and they have a meaning. I don’t know why, but I have always felt a strong connection to the Himalayas and the Andes. I can explain why: my father was born in Quito, Ecuador, and his family moved to Ecuador when he was three years old. They lived in a very small town near the Andes called Ambato. Ambato is an old colonial city surrounded by beautiful mountains: Volcan Cayambe, Volcan Pico Blanco, Parinacota…and there were lots of others too. The most important thing is that they were in the Andes.

boots of the long road
boots of the long road

Everest Base Camp : My Shortest and Easiest Climb Ever After 18 Days

In 1980 my father took my sister and I to see the mountain that has always been his favourite. The mountain is called Illimani, but because of its close proximity to Panajachel (a city in the middle of the lake Atitlan) people use this name too. It is a very beautiful mountain with a perfect shape. Illimani means “Blue Mountain” and it attracts everyone who comes near it because it is surrounded by blue lakes: half-blue water, half-green water. At night, we could see the lights of the town reflected in the water. We camped on a flat part of the mountain, near a cliff where I could jump into the water and swim.
The next day I walked between rocky cliffs and found the Bus Stop of Illimani. It looked like a sculpture, where two bus seats were stacked on top of each other, with the wheels inside. There were 3 stairs to get to it: the big one, that was actually a stone bridge over broken rocks; another one above it, which you had to climb with baby steps and a third one at the end; it was really steep and also had big steps. In this area, there were many buses that went back and forth, and people had to wait here for long hours.
The mountain seemed to be waiting for the last day of the expedition. It was waiting, but not in a peaceful way. Illimani was making us suffer. And we suffered, as if it would eat us one by one.

boots of the long road
boots of the long road