jeinemeni national park, chile
a secret gem of wilderness territory
Jeinemeni National Park, Chile is not easy to get to, but it's worth all the effort. Our time in the park was the first four days of a seven day trek from Chile Chico - Cochrane, and one of our favorite sections of Greater Patagonia. Savage, untouched beauty set at the edges of a riverbed valley.
Travel Tip: Make sure you bring your river shoes! Thirty crossings in three days, feet numb from the raging glacial melt. When doing a river crossing, it's always easiest to walk in a tangent to how the river is running. Brace against your front leg and step carefully - rocks are known to scoot beneath your feet.
This is the beginning of our seven day traverse of Jeinemeni National Park. Weighed down with 90 lb packs full of food, we relied on our new friend Eladio for comfort in fresh conversation. Reese Wells.
Yes, it is. A bag of yellow peppers. We never claimed to pack light, but boy did we eat right. Look at all those mountains! Reese Wells.
I love this picture because of the amount of detail available in the mountainscape behind Eladio and Tyler. River crossing one of thirty. Reese Wells.
I like this photo because of the symmetry, and the darkness ahead. The day turned out to be beautiful, but for some reason this photo feels very Tolkein to me. I like the implications of dangerous adventure. Reese Wells.
En route to Galcier Ventisqueros, Tyler and Eladio taking in the outrageously colored purple mountains. Feeling very alien. Reese Wells.
The third of thirty, this got Tyler up to his mid-thighs, and me up to my tenderest region. Glacial melt and short hairs do not go well together. An awkward time to be size-conscious. Eladio looks on, and laughs. Reese Wells.
Eladio and Tyler following this river system to the source - a massive glacier that fed this icy flow, which in four days we crossed over thirty times. Reese Wells.
One of my favorite pictures, the cerulean shades remind me of what's important in this life. The valley stretches on, and so do my memories of an existence simple enough to enjoy. Reese Wells.
Took a spur river up to this glacier, a pregnant spider of icy white spilling forth a glacial spawn. Tyler and Eladio looking like gummy bears with their primary color jackets. Reese Wells.
It took over an hour to get the fire going, after a week of rain things were waterlogged and resistant to flame, but there's little else to do, other than swat at mosquitoes and watch the clouds race behind the mountains. Reese Wells.
Who Are We?
The trees were leaning backwards, totally overwhelmed by the raging wind. Swept up against each other as if they were afraid of what it might say next.
The rocks were stacked high and untidy, Like toppling towers on a grainy shore. Spilling over each other as if they sought to stay above the rising river.
And who am I to stand against the wind? And who are you to rise above the water? And who are we to look together out on a savage scape and laugh?