We have finished our second day of the Inca Trail and I can confirm that it was not as hard as the first, but only slightly so. We did, in fact cross over “Dead Woman’s Pass” (that is the picture I open with) at 13,800 and even learned the origin of the name. It turns out that someone deemed that a foothill below looked like a dead woman. How this imaginative person could ascertain any gender when I could not even see a human form is beyond me, but that is the source of the name.


It is difficult to maintain the habit of writing while on this trek. For one reason, we are so off-the-grid that it feels almost silly if not unfaithful to the spirit of this trip to look at an electronic screen. Also, after 9 hours of hiking over mountains and uneven rocks, the bed beckons . . . and it beckons loudly. Most importantly, what little waking time we have in the tents has become card time with the kids. We have played hearts, two-types of poker and a few miscellaneous games. It feels delightfully 20th century and we are deeply enjoying being present with each other.


The poker game was amusing. We had to create betting stakes in a world with nothing to bet with. Here is what we devised. Our chips were as follows:

  • Piece of Candy = 1
  • Almond = 5
  • Tea bag = 10

To designate the “big blind” and “little blind” we used a bar of chocolate and a vial of mucus-suppression capsules. Here is a photo of Terrill’s stash.

Poker stakes.jpg 

The bed beckons.


Steve Sir