Inca Trail - Day 2 August 27, 2002

Livo had warned us that the second day would begin with the toughest trial of the trail, a five hour climb up to Dead Woman's Pass at 4200 meters. So, after a late, reluctant start, we began to head up the trail. There wasn't nearly as much talking this day, as everyone began to take the trail at their own pace, balancing the desire to be up to the top with the pain of hiking any faster. The saving graces of the hike were the incredible views, and the sense of group accomplishment when we all met for lunch afterward (even if Robin and I both overshot the lunch tent). The pictures of people reaching the drop do a much better job of telling the story than any words that I might write.

After lunch, we had a knee-jarring downhill hike to our campsite for the evening, where were were greeted by a spectacular valley and tiny, but ravenously hungry, mosquitos.

There was some angst over the difference between dusk and twilight. According to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary:

Main Entry: 3dusk
Function: noun
Date: 1622
1 : the darker part of twilight especially at night
2 : darkness or semidarkness caused by the shutting out of light

Main Entry: twi·light
Pronunciation: 'twI-"lIt
Function: noun
Usage: often attributive
Date: 15th century
1 : the light from the sky between full night and sunrise or between sunset and full night produced by diffusion of sunlight through the atmosphere and its dust
2 a : an intermediate state that is not clearly defined <lived in the twilight of neutrality -- Newsweek> b : a period of decline <the twilight of a great career>

So, while none of us were precisely right, kudos go to Billy, for having the closest answer. I think that it's amusing the dusk is technically a subset of twilight.

Despite some stress around whether or not to split the group the following day (which was potentially necessary for all of us to make sunrise at Machu Picchu), the evening managed to close out pleasantly enough, with Livo playing on his flute, a bunch of us making too much noise playing cards, and "Lance" and "Chaski" establishing themselves as the offical nicknames of Zack and myself.

[If you can't see the "twilight" navigation on the left please click here.]

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