Day50 Martigny to Orsieres

Day50 Morning Update

Mark> Breakfast was home cooked this morning as I got up early to make the girls some eggs bacon and sausage to add to our yogurt and coffee. As I cooked I watched the compressed VT vs UNC college football game on my phone. You’ll all be happy to know that my team won. Go Hokies!!!

Looking up from Martigny

<Allison> Waking up to Mark’s home cooked meal is heavenly. The smells wafting through the crypt type flat was more than enough to make my eyes pop open. The lodging was underneath the church offices. The kitchen was quite nice and even had a stove. The atmosphere was welcoming just like the secretary and priest who welcomed us yesterday. The presence of the Lord could truly be felt in this place.

<Mark> Today was reported to be a tough climb of about 940m (3080ft) but very honestly it didn’t feel nearly that difficult.

Scene from the legend of St Theodule

<Allison> The views today were amazing!! Following a river which was flowing down from the top of an Alp was just so relaxing and yet surreal. I mean, after all, we are hiking in Switzerland.

The path under our feet was mostly a soft forest type trail. It felt so good on the feet! And, after a few days of anticipation we began climbing, finally! But just as Mark mentioned above, the climb seemed fairly mild compared to what I had pictured in my mind.

<Mark> At one point I forgot the morning we were supposed to cross a “swinging bridge over a deep gorge”. I’m trying to be honest here without sounding smug. Technically all this was true. But if you were picturing something rather precarious and dangerous like I was you’d have been a little let-down with the actual bridge. It was a reinforced semi rigid structure over a medium depth gorge.

Just before this section was suppose to be precariously narrow trail with sharp drop offs. Hmmm, I think there be some degree of exaggeration going on in these descriptions.

I write all this with the knowledge that Mona wasn’t comfortable the whole day and neither was Allison at all times. Some of the short descents were indeed slippery but I felt they were no worse than what we experience in North Carolina. The climbs were strenuous but I suppose after 49 days we’re pretty well toned and ready.

The stopping point for the day was the village of Osieres which is situated at the foot of the Monc Blanc massif. Along the way here there were references to Napoleon and Julius Caesar both of whom used to cross the Alps in an invasion. For Ceasar it was used to attack the Gauls and for Napoleon to aide the Genoese. The famous series of paintings “Napoleon Crossing the Alps” is basically an icon.

Tomorrow is day 2 of climbing. Altitude will just begin to become a factor. It will likely make the hills feel just a bit steeper than they really are.

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Mark Dowty

"An Intentional Life"

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