July 9, 2013 by Dan
I was going to hike on our last day in South Tirol no matter what. I didn’t care if it was hailing flaming meteors in the midst of an acid rainstorm; we were going to get out there. We woke in good time, had our breakfast of bread, coffee, cured meats, fruit, and yogurt, and packed up a bag. We had raincoats, boots, warm clothes – everything but rain pants, which we both own and have taken on every trip we’ve been on together except for this one. Because we’d never needed them. Great work there, especially given what the morning looked like.
We took the same trail as the one we aborted the previous day, walking up the side of the valley on a ver well-marked path. The weather stayed as it had started – misty, cloudy, but not quite raining. Somehow, miraculously, it stayed that way. We walked above the valley through deciduous trees, revelling in how easy it was to find our way. As we made our way up, the trees changed to evergreen, and my mountain jones was satisfied. How can you be sad in a meadow like this one?
Sure, it was cloudy and tough to see, but we saw only a few other people on our way up, finally making it to my unstated goal – an Alpine Club hut. These huts are perhaps Europe’s greatest gift to civilization – a series of little bunkhouse/restaurants up in the mountains, staffed by young men and women who make hearty meals and pour beer for tired hikers. And they’re everywhere in the Alps.
This one was on a paved road, but it fit my bill, standing at above 2000 meters with our first real-clear view of the Dolomites.
And, of course, pilsner on tap.
There were huts further up that I suppose we could have tried to hike to, but the snow line was very close to where we were, and we saw no reason to go further than the four hours we’d already done. So we went down, finding the real smallest church in town on the way.
We were back at our place by around three in the afternoon; the threatening rain never materialized, and we were both pretty tired out.
What a wonderful day.
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