Hiking Alone

Posted on January 9, 2014. Filed under: Photography, Poetry, Safety | Tags: , , , , , , |

winter field

Trudging along in the cold
Pumps the blood and keeps me bold.

To hike alone this vacant path
Means watching my back for lunatic wrath.

Yes amid this beauty here
I have to control vulnerability and fear.

Even with defense tools close
Surprise would aid my foes.

So I meld into this placid scene
Prepared, confident, and with senses keened.

This hiking is its own meditation
Random thoughts brought into consolidation.

The beauty, the danger, the focus
Provides me freedom, mental clarity the bonus.

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Befriending the Tour du Mont Blanc

Posted on April 17, 2013. Filed under: France, Italy, Switzerland, Tour du Mont Blanc, Travel | Tags: , , , , , |

Travel - TMB Friends 2

Bill and I headed to Europe to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc in the “anti-clockwise” direction having made the decision to go this way knowing that we would likely run into a lot of the same people everyday because this is the most popular way to hike this trail. After a few days I couldn’t remember that we call it counter clockwise over here! Anyway, we were hoping these fellow hikers we were bound to meet would be people we would enjoy running into again and again. The guide book warns you that if you are worried about it perhaps you would rather do the other direction so that mostly you meet all new people everyday whose path you are just crossing.

Well, we didn’t even get to the trail head on the first day when we had some inklings that we had chosen well. We ran into Bill and Eva at the bus stop in Chamonix and immediately started chatting away. Bill solved our problem of finding a place to sleep that very night with one simple phone call. We solved their problem of getting on the bus in the right direction. Immediate rapport was built by having the same interest and plan for our day: hiking the first leg of the TMB.

Travel - TMB Friends 1

As the days progressed we became true friends, enjoying each others’ company even when we found topics of conversation on which we disagreed. We melded so well we are already planning another hiking trip together. Having good companionship on the trail and for the post-hiking daily celebration really enhanced our whole experience of the TMB.

Travel - TMB Friends 3          Travel - TMB Friends 4

In addition to these two wonderful friends, we found several other Americans, Britons, Australians, French, Canadians, who all added to the richness of the experience.

Travel - TMB Friends 4

If you are planning a trip on the TMB consider carefully whether you would like companionship outside your immediate circle or not. The “anti-clockwise” direction worked out perfectly for us!

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