Yes – cows! Of course there were cows. They were everywhere!
But let me back up just a bit. I had another one of those nights where my body woke up at 1 and 2 and 3 and kept saying, “its afternoon! Let’s go!” And I kept telling it that it would adjust. Here’s hoping. Also rather awkward sleeping with other people in the room in the sense that – I need to go pee. Will I wake them up if I tiptoe out of the room?
And then at 6 am the village church decided it was time for everyone to get their lazy asses out of bed. It rang. No – let me amend that: it clanged and clanged and clanged steadily until every last person, including those with severe hangovers, were up. And so a quick breakfast and on the road at 7.30. The owner kindly made a honking huge sandwich for me to take on my way. I swear it brought the weight of my pack so high I may as well have been carrying my tent.
And so the trip began with sights opening up and up and up (you can take the up part of that statement quite literally if you like).
1450 is a lot of metres. The sign told me it would take 5.5 hour to get to the top of the Foopass. Yup.
I did take one wrong turn but a guy working at the dam noticed (I think it happens a lot at that spot) so he called me over and told me to take his special shortcut to get back on track on the right hand side of the river. This involved going up a steep set of stairs and crossing the dam outlet on a narrow catwalk. Eeeeekkk!!
But I did and slogged on. I hopscotched off and on with a young French couple also going to Elm but not doing the whole trip. They were quite lovely and took my photo at the top of the pass. I almost forgot and had begun to go down and remembered that Annette had “ordered” me to include myself in photos so I skipped back up and handed the woman my camera. Whew!
I should also mention that that sandwich I carried with me? OMG! I think it contained half a pound of cheese from the neighbouring farm plus pickles and tomatoes from their garden and all of that on freshly baked brown Swiss bread. Yeah. I needed it. Because there were no shops in Weistannen, I had no snack foods and was totally done by 1pm when I staggered to the top.
Oh yeah – goats. After an hour climbing through total wilderness, there’s a huge barn and goats and cows and a big climb up through muddy, cow-churned-up alpine pasture. You gotta love Switzerland. The only thing missing was a revolving restaurant.
However, by this time, I had deep, red, angry bruises on my hip bones and tail bone. Don’t know what to do about that.
By the time I limped into Elm even my feet were hurting and in places that have never hurt before, like between my toes.
I should mention that I and another couple right behind me took another wrong turn just before the village and added 2k to an already ambitious 24k day.
I blame it on all of us being really tired by then.
At any rate, I am here at the Gasthaus Sonne: small room with shower and toilet down the hall. I can’t tell you how fast I made use of the shower. I believe tomorrow will be more of the same although I also think it’s an additional 200 metres elevation. Sheesh! What the hell made me think I can do this?
Okay – I can do this.
It bears mentioning that while I was indeed hurting for a good part of the day, I was also in deep joy at the beauty surrounding me – and of course, the cows..airport-3/
And I have been giving my future some thought. I am weighing what a compromise place to live might look like for Simon and I. New Brunswick? A place to grow things? Hills? Craggy hills? Is it possible I could do that? The more I see how BC is burning the more I think I could give it a shot. If the place was beautiful. This requires more thought. In my restless night, I came to the conclusion that one of two things would happen (not necessarily true because this was sleep deprived thinking) – either I go back to Vancouver Island on my own or Simon and I find a way to make it work for both of us on the east coast. When I thought of leaving my beloved West and it’s magnificent Mountains, my heart hurt. It hurt more when I thought of Simon and I being apart.