Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..
Yesterday was an exhilarating, exciting and very special day! My son Adam and I along with a few of his friends drove 2 hours from El Tunco, El Salvador to the Santa Anna Volcano. The volcán de Santa Ana is the highest Volcano in El Salvador at 2,381 meters above seal level.
Believe me….this old body was put to the test – especially during the last leg of the climb. In August 2011 Adam and I climbed the neighboring Volcano that you can see behind us in the above photo. That Volcano was slightly lower in meters, but definitely more difficult to navigate because of its steep incline and very rocky surface.
This climb was not as taxing physically and afforded me more opportunities for taking photographs and enjoying the amazing scenic views and beautiful fauna and flora along the climb to the top. The Santa Anna Volcano hike is an excellent photographic excursion for those hikers, travelers and adventurer’s who are also photographers.
Wikipedia overview…..”There have been numerous historical eruptions of Santa Anna Volcano since the 16th century, both at the summit and from cinder cones on the lower flanks, and also the flank vents of San Marcelino located east of Santa Ana. The San Marcelino vents erupted in 1722 and flowed eastwards for 11 km, destroying the village of San Juan Tecpan.
In October, 2005, the volcano erupted, killing at least two people, injuring seven people, forcing many people to flee their villages. The volcano spat rocks for over 1.5 km (0.93 mi) with rocks the size of cars. The eruption contributed to the damage from Hurricane Stan. The most recent previous eruption had been in 1904.”
There is a lot of time to think about your life as you put one step in front of the other all the way up a Volcano. Strenuous hiking is cathartic in many ways. At least it is for me. I was telling 2 young hikers who were climbing with me that my mind is willing, but as I close in on 60 my body struggles with this type of physical activity. My legs cramp up a little and feel heavy and breathing is more labored as we approached the summit of the Volcano. I just have to push myself harder – its mind over matter and mind must win out in these situations.
Every year that passes it struggles a little bit more even though I work out regularly. The aging process is humbling, yet I think its important to think young and push yourself to your limit.
To be honest, my legs are killing me as I compose this blog post. Being able to do physical things like climbing a volcano with my son means a great deal to me and I hope I’ll be able to climb volcano’s and do other forms of adventurous and physical activities with him in the years to come.
So as my 60th birthday creeps up in 2 weeks I can say I met the challenge and made it to the top of the highest Volcano in El Salvador. You can’t put a price on these types of adventures – especially when you’re sharing them with family.
You only get one life to live and I’m going to suck the marrow out of it with my camera in hand.