Hidden Lake Lookout

Hidden Lake Lookout sits atop Hidden Lake Peak (6,980 ft) and straddles the boundary of the North Cascades National Park, southwest of Marblemount, WA. Getting there in winter necessitates a lot of mindless travel up unplowed forest service roads, bushwacking through dense, recently replanted forest, and a long traverse over harrowingly slick wind-scoured snow. Of course it's totally worth it, and we found some powder to ski, too.

Morning in Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga National Park hugs the Brahmaputra River in Assam. It's a large expanse of flat grasslands that are the perfect habitat for the Indian One-Horned Rhino; there are over 1900 living in the park, more than anywhere else in Asia. Poaching is a continual problem - park guards have orders to shoot poachers on site. But locals told me about having to drive very slowly at night in order to avoid rhino collisions because they're everywhere.

Guwahati, Assam

Guwahati is the largest city in northeast India's largest state, Assam. As Shiva danced with Sati's immolated corpse, her body came apart and fell to earth. Her toes landed in Calcutta; her breasts form twin mountains in Sikkim; and her yoni fell on Nilachal Hill, just west of town. In this place now stands Kamakhya Temple, one of the primary centers of Tantric Shakti yoga, and animals are sacrificed here in devotion every morning and afternoon.

Guwahati has a subtle energy; not as hectic as larger towns in India, but something unknown seems to be there, lurking, somewhere close but always just out of reach.