I have to share with you Matt's journal entry from our first night.
As the sun sets on my day and evening cloaks this small village tucked into the side of the sprawling swiss alps, the lights of cottages dot the landscape as stars light the sky. My body is weary but my spirit is high as the hospitality of an inn keeper welcomes us in. The sounds of laughter and chatter fill the background and flickering candles dance on tables. Curious eyes play prey to my attention as two wayward backpackers from America sneak to a table to tease our taste buds with a swiss delicacy of chocolate that makes one feel sinful for just enjoying its pleasure. We sit and speak of our journey riddled with excitement and adventure and sigh at the lack of shut eye. Anticipation for tomorrow brings sparkle to our eyes as the realization that this evening must draw to a close and our eyelids must draw shut. The chapter of today is finished and dreams of grander await. My lovely says she loves me with her eyes her lips never move. The silence is perfect for sweet conversation and as we lay down our heads the moon says good night.
In my mind I had 9 miles stuck in as our distance to hike today. However after we had gone 9 miles and no hut I checked the itinerary. No not 9 miles but 11 miles is the goal.
Here is our turn off point. We head left behind this cottage and up the slope through the cow pastures. There were huge cows that dotted the hillside. They all wore these amazingly huge bells that told the farmer where they were. The fencing was not well done and really not needed here.
All the rocks up here above the tree line had this florescent lime green moss on them. Beautiful. We are very high up on the mountain ridge. Our day is just perfect. Not difficult. A little hard to breath at this altitude, but a great day.
This is their sophisticated fencing system. Thus the bells. The first time we passed the cows at the head of the trail. I was so unsure of passing them so close, even though I knew they were female and safe. I just couldn't make myself go by them. They had these horns and were so tall. I had watched Matt walk by to give me courage and know they were fine. But my feet wouldn't move. Then this group of french ladies were walking up, they were a little timid too. I grabbed onto this ladies arm and walked with her. So funny. Matt just laughed and laughed at me. There was no request from me or words spoken. We just both chuckled. She played the role of my mother for just that brief moment.
"We are in it now!" I kept saying this all day. I just could not believe that Matt and I were hiking in the Swiss Alps and that we were going to hike over these mountains. And that we were in the alps hiking over a mountain pass. It was crazy to me. And insanely beautiful.
As we were hiking up to these mountains I was like okay, taking it in stride and going up over. Matt told me later that in his mind we were not going to hike over those ridges but that surely the trail was to go into the v of the rock where you can't see somehow. But oh yes we went up and over.
We see the glacier off in the distance and know that is our destination.
It misted a little before coming over the pass but otherwise perfect weather. An overcast day that made for a little sunburn on my face. We were to get rain at the end of our day.
The tail was very steep here along the tree line. This picture is looking down at the trail that did a switch back.
11miles came and went and still no hut. I wasn't terribly worried because I knew that the pictures of the hut were near the glacier and we were headed to the glacier. I kept saying it is just around the next alcove. We came to the base of the glacier at the lake and look for the trail. In my mind the hut was on the right side but we see this building lit on the top of the cliff to the left. I jokingly say there is our hut. Well instead of lightening the mood Matt's whole body just sank. Wrong thing to say. And not many steps later that statement proved to be true. The fog was rolling in and the sunlight fading. We needed to get up that path soon. The sign said 35 minutes to the top. 45 minutes later we were at the door to the hut. 3/4 of the way there I was just so worn. My spirits had pretty high the whole day. But now I felt the burn in my muscles and remember my stats part above. I was just worn. Matt offered a snickers bar to get us through and I jumped on that. It did satisfy :) That bar and prayer and songs of praise got me up the rest of the way. I kept saying to Matt to be careful. It was getting dark and the rocks in the path seemed slippery and I was worried about Matt falling with that big pack. But God was with us and we ended our day non too soon.
Pictures of the hut and details of dinner tomorrow.