Morning update Day51
Last night ,at the Hotel restaurant ,Allison and I had what we voted as the worst meal on the trip. To put this in perspective our lunch the other day was canned tuna fish and Mayo on a 2day old baguette. Haha.
Our room was full with Allison and I, Mona, and a French young man who was hiking the TMB (Tour du Mont Blanc), the popular 10day trail around the Mont Blanc massif. He came in late and tired but we chatted about his experience and his gear for a long time. He was very curious about our lightweight packs, the camera and water filter system we used.
Despite the packed room I think we all slept well. Alpine hiking helps that pursuit by the way. When the alarm beeped at 6:00 we woke and got into “mouse mode” as we moved our gear to the hallway to repack as quietly as we were able.
Fortunately, breakfast was better than dinner and it included local cheeses, yogurt and croissants and of course, coffee. We downed the food leisurely but soon it was time to go. We had more steep ascents on tap for the day but the distance was blessedly short.
In the mountains the scenery changes with every hill summited or bend turned. Sometimes things can surprise you. Just as we left Orsieres, we were greeted abruptly by a bull who seemingly wanted to make sure to “steer” clear.
Unlike yesterday with its continuous up-up-down, up-up-down pattern, today was pretty much all up. The steepness varied but it was almost always up. We are only at 5350ft elevation but I can feel the change when going up the steepest sections.
The scenery was spectacular most of the day and the bright blue sky with some puffy clouds scattered about made it all the more dramatic. Most of the day followed the Dranse d’Entremont river higher and higher into the gorge. The sound of the stream tumbling over the rock- filled gorge was energizing and relaxing at the same time. The distant sound of cow bells on some far away hilllside made it magical.
We stopped for lunch in a shady spot at the foot of the stream. I crossed over the creek rocks to take a picture of Allison and Mona. Much to my frustration my iPhone slipped from my hand and fell on a rock resulting in a cracked screen. It happens, I know, but, perhaps I’ve been lucky but I’ve never before dropped my phone. The timing is unfortunate but the phone still seems to function despite a small dead spot on the touch display.
As we left our lunch spot we were treated to a red or fallow deer sighting. Those that know better please correct me if this is incorrect.
Walking with Mona has been fun as we’ve shared faith stories, music and movie preferences and life experiences. We even marched up pet of the alps to some John Phillips Sousa music keeping time like a crack military troop.
Mona has often said that she feels like she’s holding us back. Too be honest, Allison and I do typically walk faster and we’d very likely arrive 30min earlier if we weren’t walking together. But those extra 30min are meaningless and we’ve really enjoyed the company and the more relaxed pace. It’s easy to do when the day isn’t packed with kms.
Tonight we’ve reached our second to last stop in Switzerland and the Alps. Tomorrow we reach the summit and the following morning we will cross in to Italy. That’s too crazy to think about just yet. Tonight we are staying at the Maison St Pierre in the alpine village of Bourg Saint Pierre. The village itself is tiny but has three hotels, three restaurants, and this hostel all of which thrive on the tourism trade.
The Maison itself seems to be able to house about 20 people and we are the only ones here for the night. It’s nice to spread out. It has a fully equipped kitchen and the girls are currently making a trip into town to get supplies to cook. Said supplies may or may not exist in this small town…but they are on a mission.
<Later>. I don’t know how Allison did it, but by shopping at two gift shops and raiding our meager food bag she ended up with a wonderful sausage-macaroni and red-pepper soup. She’s amazing.