Half-century mark

I turned 50 in 2017, so it seems fitting to reflect on existing for a half-century on this tiny planet in our vast universe. I’ve always felt very fortunate and grateful to be alive, because at the age of seven, no one thought I was going to make it to eight. One day I wasContinue reading “Half-century mark”

TMB Part 11: The ladders and beyond

We had hiked 100 miles, and on this day, we would only hike about four more. But the trail guide suggested it would take us about three hours, all of it straight up another mountain. And we would have to climb ladders. I had seen images of the ladders – narrow, metal-runged contraptions rising verticallyContinue reading “TMB Part 11: The ladders and beyond”

TMB Part 10: The Hustle

After passing back into France, we only had two nights left. We descended 3,000 feet into the top part of the Chamonix Valley to Tre-le-Champ and the Auberge de la Boerne, a small inn that looked as if it had been around for several hundred years. The auberge sported wooden beams, low ceilings and narrowContinue reading “TMB Part 10: The Hustle”

TMB Part 9: Peak experience

After two days of fog and rain with little to no visibility, we gladly welcomed the sunshine back. The town of Trient glowed in the morning as we marched through and down the road, once again to ascend up another mountainside. We found our way to Col de Balme, where we were rewarded with spectacularContinue reading “TMB Part 9: Peak experience”

TMB Part 8: All things bovine

It was raining when we awoke at the Gite de Bon Abri. We ate breakfast, said our goodbyes and hit the trail once more in our rain gear. We had passed a few cows up to this point and they had always ignored us, choosing instead to focus on chewing their cuds. However, on thisContinue reading “TMB Part 8: All things bovine”

TMB Part 7: Weathering dilemmas

Our first full day in Switzerland started with skies darkened by rain. We stepped outside into the chill, jackets under our rain gear to keep us warm. We walked through a valley past Swiss chalets and small gardens full of lettuce, squash, leeks, strawberries and raspberry bushes. Our destination, Champex and its lake of theContinue reading “TMB Part 7: Weathering dilemmas”

TMB part 6: A feast for the senses

We rose before dawn and got our packs ready, then ate a quiet breakfast of bread, yogurt, fruit and tea in the dining room. The sun began to bathe the gray peaks on the other side of the valley in light, reflecting brightly off the white snow caps. We slung our packs on our backsContinue reading “TMB part 6: A feast for the senses”

Refuge

Around Mont Blanc and other mountainous areas in Europe, you will find refuges. Most refuges sit high in the mountains, remote from any towns. They tend to feature dormitory-style rooms, with bunk beds or simple mattresses on a rudimentary bed frame. Depending upon your perspective, refuges either seem like roughing it or like the veryContinue reading “Refuge”