My experiences with thru-hiking


Posted in Hiking GR5, 1500 miles across Europe by onefootatatime on June 24, 2009


Jun 22 2009

June 22 2009

Now that I’m in the Vosges mountain range, my recovery time takes longer. I wake up still sore from yesterday’s walk.

Today, the trail took me up to the summit of Ungersberg. Unfortunately, it was such a cloudy day I didn’t see any nice views of the valley below. Went past the Ortenburg ruin and headed for the town of Chatenois. The guide said it was going to be a long day without any stops in towns, so luckily I still had half a baguette with me from Le Hohwald, where I also picked a small jar of local apricot jam and a tin of pate foie. So I had some jam for breakfast and gobbled up a sandwich of pate foie while I sat at a bench in the forest.

When I reached Chatenois, I got myself a room at the gite d’etape. It’s like a hostel. Now that I’m in France, I have the choice of staying at refuges, gites d’etape or campsites. Of course, there’s always the option of wild camping too.

I bumped into Ruth at the gite d’etape in Chatenois. She’s walking the GR5 trail too. She’s already done the part from Lac Leman to Menton (near Nice), and is currently taken a month off to do the Vosges and Juras. She is from Cincinnati, and is currently living in Evian, France. She and her husband are planning to move back to the States soon, so she’s trying to complete as much of the GR5 as she can.

We went into town and grabbed some dinner and the conversation was interesting, because here’s a person I’m meeting for the first time, but there was a familiarity we shared as we talked about the little towns we’ve walked through on the GR5 trail.

Ruth is a big believer of ultra-lightweight backpacking, often referring to Ray Jardine, a guru of lightweight backpacking. Ruth has actually made her own backpack and reduces her load by tearing off sections of her guide (once she’s done with that section) and mailing it home. She’s given me a lot of pointers that I’ll need to use when I start the Alps section of this trail.

I think I’ll be seeing more of her on the trail. She finishes her section at Nyon in Switzerland, where I’m heading. That’s where I’ll catch a train to Lausanne to hang out with my friend Romeer. But that’s three weeks away!


One Response

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  1. Brandon said, on July 1, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    You’re looking fantastic, my man. All chiseled and taut, you’re a man of wax. And I love how you keep saying ‘pitched my tent’, heh heh. I’m hoping to grow up soon. Miss you, buddy.

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