Tuesday

Today was supposed to be an easy five hour walk. Unfortunately it was another instance of less than stellar directions in my guide book. Since I don’t have a topo map (I would have to carry 8 or 9 with a 1:50,000 scale to cover the entire route), that resulted in my walking an additional two hours. But, hey, if you have to wander aimlessly about the countryside, this is the place to do it.

The weather was overcast which kept it mostly cool. But it was also very hazy so I didn’t take many photos.

Here is one of a house that illustrate how these mountain people prepare for the winters. This house is fairly high up a mountain but on a small, one lane gravel mountain road (which you can just see the edge of). Note the three stacks of firewood. You can’t see it in this photo, but there is more firewood stacked in the lower room behind the open part of the split door. But what really caught my attention is that the front of the house is the side where the wood is stacked. The main entrance is between the two wood piles. Note that there are no windows on that side. None are behind the wood either. That is because that side of the house faces the pass uphill and the winter winds come from that direction. They are so fearsome that the windward side is built without windows.

I ambled in to Lenk about 4:00. Gave me a good chance to shower and relax before dinner. Tomorrow I head to Gsteig, not to be confused with the upscale ski resort, Gstaad. It will be another pretty good day – about 4600′ of elevation gain and about 14 miles total.

The mileage is really meaningless. The best measure of a day’s difficulty is hours and elevation gain and loss. The elevation gain doesn’t bother me – I enjoy it. But every day typically starts in a valley and ends in another valley, so each day you have an elevation loss comparable to the gain. The long, steep downhill slogs are hard on the knees and legs and are very tiring. They keep giving me a blister, too. It’s not debilitating, just annoying.

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