A fun little fact about me become glaringly obvious when I left the city behind + ventured onto the trail of Cinque Terra in Italy…trails are my happy place. Every. Single. Time. Trails are always guaranteed to change my mood, adjust my attitude + give me a whole new perspective Read more…
There’s a peak near here that I’ve fallen in love with. Legit love. Probably? Like the sort of love you have for fluffy kittens you can’t keep for yourself so you’re going to love them even more, on principle. Whatever sort of love that is…that’s how I feel about Les Chaux. It’s basically perfect in every way I want it to be + it’s the gateway to one of my favorite trails in all of Switzerland. Maybe I need to explore more to find a better trail…but until I find that, this is my favoritest trail evers. #fact
When you tell someone you’re headed to the Swiss Alps for the summer the general assumption is that you’re going for the mountain peaks. That’s not untrue, but the Alps offer up more than summits! I first found the gorges [aptly named “Les Gorges”] on a rainy day last time I was here…they’re kind of a perfect rainy day hike. However, they’ve become one of my favorite hikes near the chalet, even on the sunny days! Let me tell you why…
I’m back! Back in Switzerland + on my way back to the tiny mountain town I fell in love with a few years ago. I booked my flight to Switzerland as soon as I accepted that winter job in the Colorado Rockies last October. As ridiculous as it seems, I was legitimately concerned I’d get a “real job” [seasonal as it was] + forget how to leave the country. My crazy doesn’t always make sense, but this time it got me back to Switzerland so I won’t apologize for it!
One of my questions for Merlin while coordinating my WorkAway plans in Gryon, Switzerland was “how’s the hiking + trail running in the area?”, turns out Merlin was not lying when he said the options are endless. From the day I arrived the Tour de l’Argentine has been mentioned by multiple people, yet it still took me about 4 weeks to actually get out there and run/hike the loop. It did not disappoint! And I really should have done it earlier because now I really want to summit l’Argentine but I’m running out of time!
What do you do when the clouds take over the mountain? The same thing you do when it’s a beautifully sunny day — you get your tush outside and find trails to explore! I’ve done a fairly good job of winning the fight against the snot factory that took over my sinuses but the weather has not been very good at supporting my quest to spend all my free time outside. Rather than greeting me with sunny skies and tshirt temperatures it’s been doling out lots of chilly clouds. But I am nothing if not persistent…clouds or not, outside I went!
Every time the seasons change I get sick, without fail. Sometimes I blame it on airplane cooties [like that time I nearly died from a ferocious head cold + sketchy stomach flu the week I got home from South America] but really, I think my immune system is just a big wimp that sucks at fighting off the bad guys. And I don’t care how old I am, I will always imagine white blood cells shooting sticks at these nasty germs like they do on the Magic School Bus >> https://youtu.be/uJKJr7gKS_Y [and, yes, I watched that entire episode after I found it!].
It turns out the Swiss Alps really are littered with Swiss Alpine Club huts and their privately owned lookalikes. At Chalet Martin I met Caroline, another WorkAway from the States, and after a few days of extra fridge cleaning and bed making we ran away from civilization for a night in a mountain hut. At Merlin’s suggestion we headed toward Cabana de Plan Neve, a smaller hut nestled in a mountain valley.
When we left the hostel the low hanging clouds were threatening rain but as the day progressed the sun broke through the clouds and we ditched our rain gear for tank tops as we trekked down into Les Gorges, through Les Plans and up toward Pont de Nant.
About two weeks ago I lugged my over-sized duffle bag up a gravel trail to Chalet Martin, the hostel that would become my home for the next three weeks…or two months. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. I had “met” the owners via WorkAway and we’d both agreed to commit to at least three weeks of a volunteer exchange — I helped out around the hostel [changing beds, basic housekeeping, etc] in exchange for a place to stay. As I walked in the hostel reminded me of the farm house I grew up in — a mud room for shoes + gear and cement stairs that led up to the creaky wood floors of the main level. I was home.