Wednesday, January 15, 2014

No Ideas

Oh, my, Lisa-Marie.  I think you have won for most challenging challenge, at least for me….  It's interesting that my current conundrum is similar to mine earlier with your "Preconception" challenge. I have lots of ideas for the opposite, i.e., things that "sounded really good at the time", but few, if any, of the "had my doubts but it worked out great" variety.  So, I am starting, like the picture above, not knowing where I am going…..

This past summer, I spent time with my brother, Ken, and his family in Switzerland, which is always a wonderful thrill for me.  My youngest son was eager to go hiking in the Alps, so my brother arranged a farm-stay for us at Alp Sigel, a beautiful rural area near the border of Liechtenstein.

Ken had indicated the first half of the way would be a fairly gentle, uphill walk and later there would be some more vigorous climbing, after the cafe mid-point.  We headed out, late afternoon, he and I, with our 3 youngest children.  About a quarter of a mile from where we had parked, the walk got steep - ten steps, stop, catch your breath, I can't talk, 10 steps and so on, through lush forests, past waterfalls, up and up.  Not what I was expecting - nor quite how he had remembered it - but, hey…we can do this.

Around 7PM, we reached the midway.  The first half had been a pretty brutally, challenging effort and it was time to reassess. Alas, the cafe was closed, so there were no snacks to be had.  We were now going to be navigating, hungry, into the forest through the "steep" part.  Darkness was coming, we hadn't packed a meal as we were expected for dinner at the farm.  It would be totally reasonable to turn back and perhaps make it to the car by dark. It's not a great idea to go on…..BUT, what's the worst that could happen?  It's an adventure, so despite my doubts (and keeping them to myself), we headed onward and upward.

Now we walked on steep, narrow switchbacks, single-file through the forest.  Cowbells rang in the distance, but we couldn't see the cows or at times, each other, consumed in a dense fog.  The temperature dropped and everything got damp, but we were warm from the effort.

And finally, we found our way, arriving at dark (thank goodness for l.o.n.g summer days) for one of those simple "best meals of your life"!  And so to bed…

When I made my way to the outhouse at 5 AM, I got the first glimpse of the breath-taking view all around us.  A gentle rain fell through the perfect sunrise, casting a rainbow on the mountains beyond.  The cows moo'ed and it was so idyllic I stood there, in the rain, and took at least a hundred photos.

And it just got more and more beautiful.  And, although, I would never have actually turned back and abandoned the adventure - I did have some trepidation about it, and went through with it.  And it did turn out exquisitely and will always be one of my favorite memories.

Does that count, Lisa-Marie?  Now to come up with an idea for my piece!


  1. Wow, these photos are beautiful! Any one of them could inspire a fantastic piece.
    Okay now, be honest. When you woke up in the morning did you spin around and sing like Julie Andrews? "The hills are aliiiive...."

    1. hmmm, didn't do the actual Julie Andrews twirl, but did fondly refer to it all as "Heidi-land". I was awestruck by the beauty - shot over 500 photos in 48 hours, and most were postcard worthy. :)

  2. You took a camera to the outhouse? ;) Great story and gorgeous photos.

  3. You took a camera to the outhouse? ;) Great story and gorgeous photos.