I can’t remember when I heard about this hike but when I did, I knew I wanted to do it. It’s 100 miles up and down peaks between the highest mountain in France and the highest mountain in Switzerland. It can be done in 13-15 days without killing yourself. I decided 15 would allow the most enjoying of scenery and the least amount of pain.
A long hike among gorgeous snow-covered peaks and fast-disappearing glaciers—who wouldn’t want to do this? I was afraid of getting lost. I’d read the book and was intimidated and confused, but taken step by step, it all comes into focus. Standing in the spot described in the text makes perfect sense! Yay! Good directions! So no getting-lost stories yet. Remarkable for a trip of mine.
It’s so exciting to arrive in a foreign land, at least for me. The surroundings, accommodations, the unfamiliar faces and language, all excite me and pique my senses. I’m careful about every step. I’m aware of what is around me and am always looking for landmarks and signs. When I’m hiking like this I’m more grateful for each sunny day and say that aloud at regular intervals.
As we traverse the route, taking one day at a time, we celebrate destinations reached and massage sore legs and feet and the warm shower washes the salty water down the drain. We try new beers and meats and cheese, and they mellow the memories of the day’s loose gravel, boulders, and steep green meadows where cows graze for two months of summer.
I think of Heidi and how I wanted to be her as a child. I wanted to live out of doors in beautiful settings where it is always peaceful and the water is clear and rushes to the valleys, where we fill our bottles and drink deep. Then we give thanks for strong legs and adventurous spirits and those who gave us those gifts.