Adventures in Nepal IX: A Stairway to Heaven, Part B

When we last left Emma and Elizabeth, they were climbing approximately a hundred gajillion stairs up a mountainside to visit Pokhara’s World Peace Pagoda.

Our young heroes do not travel light.

I cannot imagine hauling that much weight up a mountain on purpose. Ah, the energy of youth.

They stopped for lunch at a precarious-looking establishment with great views of Lakeside.

And then, back to the trial by stairs. You have to earn the Pagoda.

Colorful Emma!

So. Many. Stairs.

A little Shiva temple along the way:

Surely we are almost to Heaven by now? Follow the light!

Adorable Elizabeth is adorable.

Almost there! The first glimpse of Shanti Stupa!

Zoom-lens shot of Lakeside.


Shanti Stupa, the World Peace Pagoda.

M o a r . S t a i r s .

Sacred area: No shoes. Silence. Some well-earned selfies with the Buddha.

Much more to come!

Categories: Artwork, environment, Friends, Holidays, kids, Life, Nepal, Travel, trees | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Adventures in Nepal IX: A Stairway to Heaven, Part A

These Nepal posts are starting to feel like a work of historical non-fiction, like revisiting a world not yet overtaken by pandemic. Covid-19 is sweeping the globe, changing everything in its path. In just a few short weeks the death toll has climbed into the tens of thousands and is still rising exponentially.

Even so, I enjoy writing these posts. They’re a sweet reminder of simpler days, and of the beauty still waiting to be explored once the danger has passed.

On January 22 – the same day that China’s government announced a citywide quarantine of Wuhan – Emma and Elizabeth visited Shanti Stupa, the World Peace Pagoda.

Getting to the Pagoda is no simple undertaking. It involves buses and boats and many, many, many stairs.

Good morning, Paljorling Camp!

Good morning, picturesque sheep!

Good morning, Elizabeth!

This is a public bus in Pokhara:

The girls took the bus back to Lakeside…

and back to Phewa Tal.

The white dome on the mountaintop is the World Peace Pagoda. You have to climb the mountain to reach it. Not to worry, there are stairs. Lots and lots of stairs.

To get to the mountain, the girls rented a boat.

There are eateries and other amenities near the landing. Here’s a typical restaurant.


Anyway, they found the trailhead and started up the mountain.

So many stairs.

Looking back down at the lake. I like this pic because it sorta looks like the boat is floating in the sky.

A view of Lakeside from the trail. There’s the little island with the Japanese temple!

There are lots of little rest stops and stupas and shrines all the way up the mountain.

And I’ve just about reached the limit of how many images I can cram into one post without making it impossible for my low-bandwidth peeps to access. So…to be continued!

Categories: Covid-19, Death, environment, Friends, Health, Holidays, kids, Life, Nepal, Travel | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Weekly Sketch: F is for Fox

At first glance it appears to be a small coyote.

Look closer, and it seems almost like a cross between a coyote and a bobcat, oddly feline in its face and movements.

Then you see the tail, long and luxuriously full, and you know it can only be a fox.

The Gray Fox is the only North American canid that can climb trees! They even like to live in trees for safety.

He makes a handsome addition to my menagerie.

Categories: Animal Alphabet, Animals, Artwork, environment, Wildlife | Tags: | 2 Comments

Weekly Sketch: E is for Egret

I went a little more stylized and art-deco-y this time.

I love egrets. I love their elegant grace and their luminous whiteness.

They populate the ponds and waterways of Texas like bright visitors from some exotic land, and I love them.

An egret lives alone at the water reclamation pond where I work. It’s like his own private oasis. I thought of him while I was drawing this week’s sketch.

Categories: Animal Alphabet, Animals, Artwork, environment, Weekly Sketch, Wildlife | Tags: | Leave a comment

D is for Desert Cottontail

These little guys are all over Texas.

Fun fact: Desert cottontails hardly ever drink water. I feel like I should make a craft beer joke here, because Texas, but desert cottontails really just get all the moisture they need from the plants they eat.

My Texas Wildlife menagerie is growing!

Categories: Animal Alphabet, Animals, Artwork, environment, Weekly Sketch, Wildlife | 2 Comments

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