TRAVEL JOURNAL 20: REFUGIO ELISABETTA, WHERE CAMPING IS FORBIDDEN

My guide book, which at this point had become a joke, says that after “what will have been two fairly taxing days,” this part of the hike was supposed to be relaxing. When we first started the path looked very flat and straight, and a beautiful snowy peak was directly in front of us. We…

TRAVEL JOURNAL 18: THE HARD TWO DAYS

After we left Le Pontet, it was a long, long way all uphill. The Teenager was briefly impressed when we passed a big pile of stones to mark where someone had keeled over and died. It was grueling, and the path was packed. It seemed like everyone and their sporty girlfriend were hiking there that…

TRAVEL JOURNAL 17: LES CONTAMINES

I woke up at 5:50 and started quickly packing as per orders of the grouchy woman at the Refuge du Fioux. We were all exhausted, so I offered to trade packs with the Teenager, who being young and strong, plus spending the whole vacation complaining that he’s losing his chest and abs, was carrying the…

TRAVEL JOURNAL 15: THE MOUNTAIN HOMESTEAD

We stayed this past week in the gentle, curving mountains of Eastern Ardèche. Shapes of hips and shoulders, knees and elbows form the landscape.Everywhere golden light spills through the tall, dark fir trees.The forest is littered with smooth, narrow pine cones, and the rocks glitter with hidden twinkles in the sunlight.The Romans left their mark…

The Fromagerie

The next day is cold and rainy in the morning, and it’s just me because the Teenager warned me not to wake him up early “or else”. This means the backpack is WAY lighter. I am prepared with a waterproof backpack cover and raincoat. They are still milking when I arrive, so I wait and…