When you are on your right path, the universe conspires to help you.


This saying is one of my favorites. Susie and I share it with our Senior Campers and counselors. I am not sure whether it is really true, but my experience convinces me that it is.


Today has been a perfect example.


Please remember that Susie’s knee is very tender after our long and arduous trek 3 days ago.


We knew that today would be a good day for her, but we saw problems on the horizon. [Note: I will describe our lovely excursion from today below, but I please let me discuss the universe first.]


We are now in Chile to see some of the highlights of the Chilean portion of Patagonia. Tomorrow’s scheduled excursion includes the following sentence, “the 9 hour hike demands good physical condition”. This description prompted some follow-up research that yielded the following details:

  • It is almost exactly the same length as the last trip – 14-15 miles.
  • It is just as steep as that one, “except when it is steeper”.
  • The footing at the end is rough as the hike ascends over glacial moraine. I looked this up. Moraine is “any glacially formed accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris”. This basically means “loose soil, pebbles and other substances that induces massive slippage . . . especially when walking down hill”.
  • 85% of the hike lacks any true vistas, but the arrival is worth it – a perfect view of the Torres Del Paines (the Towers of Paines). This revelation comes with a critical caveat – “unless there is cloud cover”.


Today’s excursion was fun, but the weather included 60-70 MPH winds and lots of clouds.


Susie realized that there was no way she could survive this hike. Losing her was bad enough, but the thought of hiking 15 miles in gale-force winds had zero appeal to me. Even Liam’s tendency to “embrace the challenge and create a great story” found nothing appealing about that prospect.


But we had prepaid for this expedition. No refunds.


Rats. We have no good options.


Enter the Universe.


When we checked into our hotel, a nice man named Christopher approached us, “You have an excursion tomorrow, correct? I would like to talk with you about it.”


We checked into our room and returned to talk with Christopher. Here is what he said.


“Tomorrow the weather is bad. It will rain all morning. The mountains will be smothered in clouds. The hike you have chosen is good if the weather is good, but not in rain and wind – especially when you will not see the mountains. Can we offer you two half-day treks instead? They are not as challenging, but they will not be disappointments.”


He did not know about Susie’s knee. He had not heard our children question the sanity of hiking in 70 MPH winds. He just thought it would stink to walk 14 miles round trip to stare at clouds. His alternative was perfect for Susie and substantially more costly than our initial plan, yet he wanted to offer it to us as a straight trade.


We are saved.


With that discussion of fate, the universe and predestination aside, I will share the briefest of descriptions of today’s expedition.


We were part of a bus trip that took us to the “greatest hits” of Torres Del Paines and the surrounding area. We saw cerulean blue lakes, viscous waterfalls and stunning mountains. In particular, we marveled at the “horns”, mountains that looked liked layered cakes: chocolate on the top and bottom and caramel in the middle. The top and bottom are sedimentary rock from the Pacific Ocean while the middle portion is granite that formed from magma and became exposed as the outer layer eroded from glaciers.


Once again, we are the victims of limited connectivity. Here is a good rule – if the view out your window takes your breath away, it also took the internet with it as well. So I have posted a small stock photo and will add our own photos when we are back in the real world.


Steve Sir