October 22, 2015
Dear Family & Friends:
We were up this morning at 4 am and in the lobby of the Yak & Yeti at 5 am. We arrived at the airport early and our flight to Lukla departed at 6:50 am. Our team occupied the entire aircraft.
The 50-minute flight to Lukla was uneventful, although many of us were sure the pilot was going to head back to the airport at KTM because of heavy cloud cover near Lukla.
We had a good breakfast at the Panorama Lodge in Lukla, took a group photo at the beginning of the trekking trail and the expedition officially began. No matter how many times I come here, the excitement of being in the Himalaya Mountain Range is always fresh and new. I love it here.
The trek to Phakding, which is downhill from Lukla, took 3 hours, and we arrived in Phakding at 1 pm. We enjoyed a fabulous lunch and most everyone took the afternoon off.
We are staying at the Sunrise Lodge in Phakding, which is one of my favorite lodges on the entire Everest trekking trail. The dining room and kitchen are immaculate, with beautiful, rich cedar wood. The food is excellent, and they grow many of their own vegetables. The sleeping rooms are also clean and nice.
Tomorrow, we head for Namche Bazaar, where we will stay for two nights.
Everyone on the team is happy and doing well.
For those family members and friends who are worrying about a loved one, please know that the trekking trail we are moving up is wide and safe, we always move together as a team and we constantly monitor the condition of each other. In the unlikely event a team member cannot continue to move up, he or she will be accompanied back down to Lukla for the flight back to Kathmandu. In the even more unlikely event that a team member is injured or sick and cannot move up or down, helicopter evacuation is easy, safe and effective.
Most importantly, throughout the day, I communicate regularly with God concerning the safety of the team, and I can assure you from many personal experiences up high on Mt. Everest that He is always listening. After all, when we journey in the Himalaya, we are traveling in God’s Country.
Please try to replace those thoughts of worry and anxiety with gratitude that your loved one is partaking in the adventure of a lifetime and will come home with warm memories and many stories to tell.