Yup, you're right, it is August. But, this is August in Switzerland.
We met my family in Switzerland, and we're sharing a house in Wiler. Today kind of sums up the story of our lives! We set off (late morning because hey we're on vacation and we have pancakes to make) on a trail we'd heard amazing things about. It was listed as difficult with a 5 hour hiking time. Sounds good and off we went!
Over the course of the TEN HOUR hike we had the most incredible day. We ran into bulls on the tight trail and had to maneuver around them uphill. We hiked through a boulder park and came face to face with a huge group of Alpine Ibex grazing. We hit the 5 hour mark at the top of the mountain with the sky shifting into late afternoon, and we started to wonder... hmmm... how long is this trail really?
We came across The Loetschenpass Hut and went in to find tables full of hungry hikers going to town on some kind of stew that smelled amazing. No room at the inn though! And they said, you better get down the mountain fast if you want to make it before dark!! We wrote our names in the guest book (in case investigators needed to gather the crumbs).
And started to tear down the mountain.
Except, we ran straight into this... a glacier patch of snow with a tiny trail whittled through it. We needed to move fast, but we had to go slow. Whalen and I took itty bitty steps together. I have never seen him so focused. I had to keep reminding myself he's only 6.
And then we commenced to tearing down the mountain.
We reached the bottom. We were a town over from ours. We had hiked this trail between the towns before. Ahhhhh... the only thing left was a casual, flat, majestic boardwalk thru the forest. There was a slice of daylight left on this long summer day. OK, clearly there's time to stop at the cafe and have a beer and pretzel, and a hot chocolate for our mountain goat :)
We made it thru the forest at record speed and got back to our village. Except, now it was pitch black dark so we couldn't see any of our landmarks. We knew we were a street or two away from our place but just couldn't see it!! So we peered in a few windows and saw a cute family around their kitchen table, knocked on their door and asked for help. We chatted for a bit and had a good laugh when we realized we were just a few doors down.
We arrived home to find my parents on the phone with the police. They said they weren't worried so they waited until 10pm to call :)
Whalen says this is the best day of his life. I have to agree.
P.S. I found out later the The Loetschenpass Hut was honored as the first energy-independent accommodation in the Alps. We are definitely planning a mid-hike pitstop here next time.