maybe leaving? definitely leaving?

(Update: I made it back with no problems whatsoever, it’s almost comical that we worried so much about it. And, even better, Timati was on my Bishkek-Moscow flight, although at first I assumed he and his blinged-out, tatted-up posse were obnoxious Americans who work at the transit center. He’s much shorter than I thought he …

Swimming at 10,000 feet

It was September, there was already snow on the ground, and during the previous night I had experienced moments where I was absolutely sure that I wouldn’t make it to sunrise without a serious case of frostbite (or, more dramatically, dying of hypothermia). It was not ideal weather for stripping down and taking a refreshing …

Tips for photographing stars

I love shooting stars and star trails. Love it. There’s something so meticulous about attempting a long-exposure, the anticipation and delayed gratification of knowing whether it worked or failed miserably. It’s something I’ve only attempted once before in a more rural spot of Colorado, so knowing I would be so far out in the middle …

the road between Kochkor and Song-Kul

There’s not much to see on the drive between Kochkor and Song Kul. Maybe some quirky things, like an old water tank that’s been painted and converted into some sort of shop or house. (And the cluster of Uzbek brothels, no photos of those.) Eventually the scenery starts to change and the car becomes a …

Standing still for 10 minutes

Kanybek, the driver for our Song-Kul weekend, dropped us off at a mini-mart in Kochkor to stock up on snacks and water while he filled up the car with gas to prepare for the rest of the drive (there are no mini-marts or gas stations in Song-Kul). While waiting ten minutes or so for him …

gateway to Song-Kul

I’m not really the most touristy person in Kyrgyzstan. I receive questions from you wonderful people sometimes about places to visit in Kyrgyzstan and my reaction is usually something like, “Umm…I know a good coffee shop that’s a five-minute walk from my house,” even though what you were really wanting to know is which random …

Song-Kul belly

Happy third trimester to me! (27 weeks!) I spent the weekend at Song-Kul, a high-altitude lake in Naryn. Part of me wanted nothing more than to keep my ever-growing stomach inside my house all weekend, limiting my activities to things like eating pancakes, experimenting with homemade pumpkin spice lattes, and sleeping in my own bed. …