Ode to Dirt Roads, Western Nepal - kelly klein

Home away from home, dirt roads have been a lifelong comfort. No maps, just wandering, they always end up somewhere. Dirt roads are the heart of any land.  As a female traveling solo on this planet, it is where I feel safest, most at home, most alive. Dirt roads have carried me on roofs of buses in Africa, in Guatemala playing vendor in an ice cream car, by horse in Bolivia, by motorcycle in the Himalayas, in between humps of a Bactrian camel in India. They slow me down, bring me fully present, and capture time.

Today’s dirt road, high in the Himalayas of western Nepal, I believe topped them all. Four grueling hours to travel 40 km (24 miles) across rivers, under cliffs of falling rocks,
bouncing up rock ridges, and sliding through hip deep mud, I arrived at a village, … and stayed. 

Just before the onslaught of rain, I found a clean room painted blue and green with the Himalayas looming out my window. Actually, they surround me, or I am in them, and I feel they are in me.  The land dictates the way and pace of life. Mountains slow me down, slow everyone down. They allow us the opportunity to be solidly grounded and aware.  Where will this dirt road take me? What new adventure is unfolding at this moment?


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