Into the Heart of the Alps

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I Think I Died and Went to Heaven, June 20, 2013

It rained overnight and looks overcast with black clouds over the mountains this morning. We were thinking of hiking up Mont Guillaume, but that's not sounding so safe.

Bob had suggested that today we go back to the Fressinieres area which we loved in 2011 (such as we could see it then through the pouring rain) and walk further up the valley.  Our host Jacques suggested something similar, adding that there is a little hamlet about 1,000 feet up from the end of the road that is closed off from access during the winter months. 

Perfect choice for today!  The hike up to the village of Dormillouse was well-graded.  There is one gite (hostel) in business up there and it looks like a couple other buildings are still occupied.  The Mormon pioneers would have been very envious of the handcarts the residents use to transport their deliveries up the mountain -- think of a handcart tank (with wide treads propelled by an engine, your arm strength only used to guide the contraption).

The views all round were, of course, astounding.  But, then came the Michele died and went to heaven part -- extensive meadows filled with wildflowers of every color, shape and size (even wild daffodils), a gently rolling trail and the surround-sound of ginormous waterfalls.  OMG!  And the light drizzle didn't turn to real rain until we got back to the car. hike & meadows

There is so much snowmelt coming down off the mountains, several of the stream crossings required a little thought to avoid wet feet.  We met up with a hiking group of 70- and 80-somethings whose leader (he was probably our age) was moving rocks around in the stream to make an easier crossing for his charges -- I want to be still roaming these incredible landscapes in 20 years!


Our second anniversary dinner was at a lovely restaurant that serves only local food.  Another 5-course meal and we can barely roll ourselves back up to the castle tower room for our last night at the chateau. chateau
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