Passages - Chapter 9 | Tres Cruces, Chile: Climbing with Friends

All Passages

"I saw the most amazing thing and have a photo to prove it!"
"Yeah, what's that?"
"A guanador. My first sighting."
I cannot disguise my enthusiasm and happiness at my incredible fortune.
"A what?"
"A guanador. They're a cross between a guanaco and a condor. They're very shy, so to get a picture is quite a feat. They're akin to the jackalopes out in Arizona. You know, seldom seen, and then only on postcards."
Chuck looks at Dan for several seconds. It takes time until things sink in, since their headaches are a distraction; still, they eventually manage wan smiles.
"Bob, if you have pictures of this creature in that camera of yours, you'd better protect it from me the rest of the trip. It's priceless!"

In an existential way, I feel the mountain's pleasure at my return. My presence here lends a price to the sand, a value known only to the mountain and to me.