Sunday, July 22, 2007

Boot Camp!

Should you be out of shape or wish to get your children in shape? Invite my mom and her husband for a visit when they are trying to do some altitude hiking to get ready to "climb" the Alps!

We are having a very nice visit with Mom and John and may I brag about my girls just for one second - they have been on 4 hikes in one week! And on the hardest hike of all, nary a complaint (of course, they complained on the easy ones :) ). And I have lost all the weight I gained while in the States - gain was not necessarily from all the wonderful food we were treated to, but from my back being out and not able to do much. I have had a pack on my back for half of these hikes so - back is about fully recovered as well. We were treated to an "alpenhorn" serenade by the top lift operator in Amden at the start of one hike last week. It was beautiful - had not yet heard them and was very impressed with the sound and lung power required. The alpenhorns are made of wood, can break down into 2 pieces and make a beautiful, mellow sound that really carries across the hills (we weren't the only ones he serenaded that day).
On a hike out of Braunwald - beautiful!!!! Please come and we will take you there.
We went to Wengen for the weekend which is an "auto free" town above what is becoming our favorite valley - Lauterbrunnen (near Interlaken). It is our favorite valley as it accesses these "auto free" villages which give you access to wonderful hiking and wonderful views of Central Switzerlands big 3 - the Eiger, the Monch and the Jungfrau - as well as the rest of the High Alp peaks of lesser name but no less magnificent to look at. Unfortunately, as you can see above, by time Bart joined us on Fri. night, we were in the clouds. We still did a great hike but I took a lot of wildflower pic's (coming soon) and very little in the "view" department.
The girls have fun on all the playgrounds along the way - the Swiss do know how to put together family friendly hiking trails.
If you double click here - you will get the larger pic which shows John in the lead followed by Rachel and then Kendra and Mom together. This is at the base of the Eiger! We went on the Eigergletscher trail which follows the base of the North Face of the Eiger and the girls did great! They enjoyed the views, the wildflowers, the rock statues, crossing glacier creeks and especially the ice cream Grandma promised when we got back to town. We were about 2/3 done when the thunderheads started building. We pushed them on as we didn't want to be stuck out there if things opened up (lightning not being a good thing when you are the tallest object on the side of a big hill). We made it back to town before any rain fell and they kept up their great attitudes even thru dinner - Daddy's arrival helped.

So the Olson's have returned home to Waedenswil and sent Mom & John up the Jungfrauoch Bahn (Train) so they can walk across the glacier to the Mountain Hut and get ready for their adventures. Mom is supposed to do the Monch climb and then will wait while the men do the "easy" Eiger peak (did you know there is an "easy" approach? - anything requiring crampons and ice axes does not qualify as easy to me!). She will then go to Murren and wait while they climb the Jungfrau (weather permitting). Murren is a beautiful little village where we stayed last year - hope she loves it too.

I must get busy with regular life now - cleaning, gardening, etc.... and get ready for their return on Fri. and then the arrival of Pastor Quentin and his family from Valley Church (home church in IA). They are traveling thru on his sabbatical and will stay a night or two which we are looking forward to.


mandy said...

wow... it looks like you are having an AMAZING life right now! my husband and i are currently at seminary (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) and we aren't really sure what's gonna happen after that --- its encouraging to know you are surviving the adventure that your family is on!
i hope my blog(s) will be some resource for you!!! wish i could help in a major way. i know what its like to pray for decent musicians.... press on: where God guides, He provides.
many many blessings.

Anonymous said...

the hills are certainly alive with the sounds of God's creation! i can just imagine how breathtaking that hike must have been. it amazes me how there are no trees obstructing the view along that path either. i have fond memories of the canadian rockies and appalachian mts, but nothing i have seen in the states compares to your mts. we need to figure out a way to come visit you! thanks for letting me take a peek into your fairytale life in europe!

miss you!
jessica, dustin, & ava