Beyond the Sierra Nevada

posted Feb 13, 2011, 9:12 AM by Paul Wagner   [ updated Feb 13, 2011, 9:30 AM ]
This site has always been focused on backpacking the Sierra Nevada in California.  We grew up in this area, and it's what we know best.  But there are other sierras.  (Sierra is the Spanish word for saw, or mountain range--so there are lots of sierras.  In fact, the original Sierra Nevada is the one outside of Granada in Spain.)  In California we have only one sierra, the Sierra Nevada.
But the Andes, for example, have many sierras, most of which are far higher than any point in our own Sierra Nevada in California.  This year we've been invited to explore  those other sierras around Cuzco.  We'll be hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and hopefully getting some nice views of the Sierra de Vilcabamba--with peaks well over 20,000 feet.  In fact, one of the passes we'll be crossing is almost as high at Mt. Whitney---and that's one of the passes BETWEEN the mountains!
So when our younger daughter asked us to join her on the trip, we couldn't refuse.  It's a great trip, and it's always been on our list of things to do.  And it has a little extra significance for P, as well.  When his mother passed away a couple of years ago, she mentioned that one of her great regrets was that she had never made the trip to Machu Picchu.  So we've invited her along as well, in spirit, to make the journey.
We're in full planning mode at this point, reading everything we can about Peru, Cuzco, The Sacred Valley of the Incas, the Incas and the many tribes that came before them, the role of the Spanish invaders, and the current culture of the high Andes.
And, of course, the Sierra!  
We'll keep you posted on our progress.  And we'll bring back lots of photos to illustrate this blog!