Chronicles of the Wayward Moot

WELCOME TO THE MOOT, oh world-wanderers and word-whisperers. After two years of Peace Corps. After 2,200 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. What. Comes. Next?


Saw this flower on the side of a steep cow pasture slope while hiking back up from that infamous waterfall hike to get the spare video camera batteries. Dad, this one´s for you.

Last weekend, when some other of the new volunteers were in town for a birthday celebration, I spent the night up on the rooftop terrace on the house where the new Zaruma volunteer lives. Everyone else was downstairs either drinking or passed out exhausted and content from eating the lasagna we made, but I didn't want to pass up the chance to sleep under the stars, even here in Zaruma. Nice sunny morning to wake up to, as you can see here.

Father's Day some of us bused into Piñas, about 40 minutes away, to eat at the RHK Asadero. Their roast chicken and fixins is worth a trip twice as long. After chowing down, the guys went to the internet place but I went on a hike up their version of El Calvario. On the slope facing the city across the river there is a path where they've constructed little concrete stations of the cross. At the top one encounters this huge cross and apparently a road where people who'd rather just drive up in their trucks and SUVs can do just that. I'm glad I hiked though. Looking at a map today I learned that the cross is about 900 feet higher than where the trail starts. Like a tiny version of Sugarloaf above Rio de Janiero. The weather that day was spectacular, and from the top I could even see parts of the city of Zaruma off in the distance.

This morning I was up on my roof as is my custom, and here is the view that greeted me. Clouds above and clouds below, but a vista of the mountains clear across the valley, and energetic birds swooping and diving for the sheer joy of it.

THEN I realized I had a visitor on the railing right next to me. This gorgeous grasshopper was about seven inches long and hung out with me while I read some Edward Abbey and had breakfast. I spent the rest of the day in the tourism office making plans and conversing, but things never got quite as nice as this morning.


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