Where's Joey? Update from Patagonia
Joey Shonka is a biochemist, amateur herpetologist and writer interested in all things scientific and is currently on a two-year expedition walking from the Panama Canal to the Tierra Del Fuego. While scaling peaks and creating an unbroken chain of footsteps across South America, Joey is joining ASC on our repeat glacier photography and high alpine lichen projects.
Hello from El Chalten, Argentina! The past months have been packed full of intense adventures, rising and falling much like the terrain I am covering!
I headed North from the shores of Puerto Natales to reach the southern border of the Torres del Paine National Park and came to a very tough decision. The park officials informed me of their plans to capture Darwin and relocate him, plans he seemed amenable toward being that after a month of traveling with me he had developed a sense of trust for the people we encountered along the way. I could not allow my friend to be thusly disposed and so spent a day searching the nearby villages for a better option, which came in the form of a young rancher who agreed to board him during my time in the park. As I observed the other dogs of the estate, lounging in lush green grasses and idly chewing on fresh, massive beef bones, a sinking sense of loneliness began to grow inside as I realized that the only reasons I had for bringing Darwin along any further were selfish ones. After speaking with the rancher and relating Darwin's love of herding cattle I did not need to ask twice if he would be allowed to stay on a more permanent basis. The technical routes and glaciers that followed after this would have been impossible for Darwin to cross and therefore reinforced my decision, but there are many nights my hand falls to the empty space in my tent beside my sleeping bag, hoping to find his soft, furry brown ears.
Read the Landmark Notes blog: