MOUNT DESERT — The third and final talk in the Recent Travel Series at the Northeast Harbor Library is set for Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 5 p.m. Meredith Randolph will talk about trekking in the Chin Hills of Burma.
Randolph is a longtime resident of Mount Desert Island. She is the owner of Four Winds, a sustainable building design firm. She is also a longtime adventurer, a statement from the library said, and cites her mother’s “adventurous spirit” as an influence.
Randolph’s own adventuring began when she graduated from college and signed on to a mountaineering trip in the Himalayas with the National Outdoor Leadership School.
This was a backpacking trip on the border of Nepal, a month long expedition, carrying 80-pound packs. The group camped at 18,500 feet. They were doing a load transfer to a proposed camp at 21,000 feet, she said, when the lead climber (they were roped together), testing for avalanches, heard a crack. They all ran to the side and the avalanche came down. They had to return the way they’d come.
Since that pivotal trip, Randolph has been trekking in Bhutan (backpacking and sleeping in a tent); traveling by horse in Mongolia and trekking in Peru. She ran a marathon and hiked in Norway above the Arctic Circle. She traveling to Antarctica with her mother; she and her husband went to Australia and New Zealand on their honeymoon.
Randolph says the reason she travels is that she likes to see things. She claims to be afraid of heights, and is prone to seasickness, but when she wants to get somewhere, she puts up with the discomfort in order to see the sights.
In Antarctica she spent a lot of time sleeping due to seasickness, she said but when she remembers the trip, she forgets all about that part. She remembers the fabulous kayaking. She “doesn’t have a lot of need for creature comforts,” she said.
Randolph’s trip to Burma was from Nov. 22 to Dec 6, 2014. She flew to Rangoon and then to Bagan, and then drove to the Chin States. The weather in Rangoon and Bagan was very hot and humid, but the Chin Hills were not quite as stifling hot. The landscape was not high mountains, but more like rainforest jungle. The people of the Chin Hills are animists.
The group she traveled with were British, and a bit intolerant of the stories of shamanism that she tried to elicit from the guide and others, she said. She found local residents protective of their native beliefs, as missionaries are active in the area.
There were tigers in the area, but she said they were more worried about the wild cows, which are hunted and eaten by the locals.
Contact the library at 276-3333.