We picked a three hour trail, packed our lunch, lots of water, bandaids, spare socks, toilet paper, etc. We thought we were all prepared, but when we drove down the hill and around the corner we discovered the trail we intended to hike was going to be covered in snow. From our windows, the snow wasn't visible.
We stopped at a different trailhead, and inquired about the trails nearby. One was recommended, and there was a chairlift that we could take down - this seemed like a sensible plan for inexperienced hikers who wanted to avoid lots of snow and the low lying clouds.
The hike up was 2000' and took about an hour and a half. The kids were awesome. We enjoyed the chorus of cow and goat bells as we hiked and managed to enjoy most of the patties along the way. About 2/3 the way up, we found the snow. I'm so glad I packed a toque and mitts; they seemed ridiculous in my pack when in Nice.
We indulged in $15 plates of fries and $7 hot chocolates, and left our cheese and meat sandwiches in the bag. The heat, food and seats were much appreciated....and so was the free wifi for few minutes.
We told the kids we could take the chairlift down, mostly because we were worried of the slippery terrain on the descent. We assumed it would be a few francs and headed to the lift. When he said it would be 12 francs per person, my cheap side really kicked in...how could it be worth about $90 for a chairlift ride down a hill??? George saw some "scooters" and requested that we ride those down. I'd love to load a photo of this very practical solution! The scooters, at just a little more money provided, us with an awesome ride 13 km down a paved service road to the bottom of the mountain. It was so much fun, partly because this would never be legal in Canada. The cliffs off the sides of the roads were shockingly steep and sure to cause death had we fallen over. Thankfully, the only fall happened on flat grass. The joy of the ride, and the fun hollering of the kids, made the chilly hike worth while.
Now don't go thinking the ride down was warm. As I only had 4 pairs of small gloves, Derek's hands were freezing. I remembered that I'd packed dry socks and passed them off to Derek for his hands! I'd love to show you a photo of that as well.
Just so you know, the internet signal is so weak here, that text is fine to send, but photos are just too much for the system. I keep hoping to load some soon.
Dad and Deb enjoyed a quiet day of walking along Lake Walen.
The poker games continue...
Tomorrow we're off to the farm in Jona to meet some cousins.