Tour Mont Blanc

My next BIG adventure is The Tour Mont Blanc.

The Tour du Mont Blanc or TMB is one of the most popular long-distance walks in Europe. It circles the Mont Blanc massif, covering a distance of roughly 170 kilometres (110 mi) with 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) of ascent/descent and passes through parts of Switzerland, Italy and France.

I will be going with my dear find Anna from Australia, we met on the Camino de Santiago in 2017.

I leave the USA on August 14, 2018 and we start our adventure  in Les Houches on August 17 and finishing in Chamonix on August 26.

My pack will include everything I  took with me hiking the Camino in 2017.

Camino packing list

I did some training this summer in Mt. Hood Oregon, however, I don’t think anything will compare to the Alpes!

More to come!

 

Mt. Hood
Mt. Hood

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tour_du_Mont_Blanc

http://www.autourdumontblanc.com/en/

 

 

Mt. Hood Oregon Paradise Loop Hike

I grew up in Oregon and I loved it!

I felt like I knew this state inside and out. I had spent many summers camping and water skiing, I snow skied in the winter, we had a cabin in the mountains and one at the coast.   My aunt had taken me and my sisters hiking and camping on the PCT.

For some reason I didn’t know about the Timberline Trail  hike around Mt. Hood until  I saw a friend from High School post on Facebook that she was hiking on it.

I just so happened to be in Portland and thought, I’m going to go and do a day hike and see a bit of it for myself.

This is where being able to read a map and have a compass would really come in handy!!

Portland was having a heat wave and who would have thought that the mountains would be just as hot? Apparently I’ve lived in the desert for too long.

I started out with my agenda and it was to cover 11 miles of a loop called Paradise Park Loop.

The parking attendant told me it wasn’t  11 miles only 6 miles,

After 4 miles of traversing down, down, and down I paused and looked back thinking boy, that might be a hike out of  here but  I only have 2 more miles to go how hard could it be?

Let me tell you,   it was probably about 90 degrees Fahrenheit  and I did not have a map or a compass. The trail was poorly marked at best and some signs were laying down on the ground other sights had arrows pointing  at forks on the trail but it was hard to tell which way the arrow was pointing . UGH!

The trail is covered with  biting flies. Their bites are painful. Wear  bug spray  and keep yourself covered as best as you can.  My neck, arms and legs were a buffet for the nasty flies.

Every time I would stop in the shade to break they would attack me causing me to keep going. Finally I just had to stop and get bitten.

I’m guessing based on my fitness app that I hiked 15-18 miles it took 6 hours and the hike out was very hard.

I read the ins and outs of the trail on-line from Oregon Hiker but it is not the same as what I experienced. However, it was beautiful and a good hard workout for one day.

Take lots of water with electrolytes, I like Nuun brand. I also pack Bloks for some extra energy. Pack a lunch and snacks. Trader Joes carries the best Peanut Butter pretzels, these are great because they are bite size. You need sugar and salt to get hydration into your intestines so don’t be afraid to eat it!

Paradise Park from Timberline

Biting Flies

Map of Hike

Trail Map

View of Mt. Hood from trailParadise Park Loop HikeParadise Loop qt08gVsHS%yrE7Q8UFw Zigzag Canyon

In the Quiet- Saturday before Easter Sunday 2018

Saturday Night

Can You imagine what it must have  been like to have seen Him being crucified on Friday and the quietness on Saturday and then Sunday morning?

We are in the quiet, which I believe is the most faithful time.

When the tomb was empty on Sunday, I wonder what they were thinking, what they knew,  if they really got it?

For me, the quiet is when I really grow.

On the camino I wrote about being silent on Pilgrimage. It was true, your heart, mind, soul and spirit really do regenerate when you have calm, peace and QUIET of the mind.

This isn’t easy to achieve in the world and although while I was on the camino and in the world, I was able to do this. Why, because I was quiet.

Here back at home where the hustle and bustle continue, I find myself at times spinning, my head wanting the quiet.

When, like many others on this Saturday before the resurrection, I am quiet and this time can be such a time of reflection, meditation and renewal if you let it.

This is what the Savior wants for us daily.

Embrace it!

 

St. Jean to Palas de Rei 450 miles

I am in Palas de Rei just 45 miles from Santiago de Compostela.

It’s amazing to be here and that I have have come so far.

I have walked through all kinds of terrain,
all very physically and mentally challenging.
We have had rain, cold and now very hot days.
The last few days have been 86* and we have climbed up more mountains then I ever have,  even above the clouds!
I have had two flu/bad colds, bed bug bites all over, unrecognizable feet, shooting pain in my feet and strained tendons, infected blisters, filthy showers, bathrooms with no toilet seat, toilet paper, soap or a towel and  I have been  treated rudely by many Spaniards.

And yet,  the people I have met on the Camino have been amazing.  Each person telling a story the touches my heart, their  grief, smiles and  courage.

The volunteer who drive me to the clinic for my monster blister and then came back to get me!

The unexpected joy from a stranger, the beautiful 1000 year old homes I have stayed in, the Pilgrims mass I read at far outweigh everything else.

I can’t forget to mention the many languages of the Camino that I have mastered all by a SMILE!

Like everything in life joy doesn’t come without some pain and suffering.

I’m so blessed to have a wonderful husband who has encouraged me everyday and every step of The Way and my beautiful son who has also encouraged me with calls and text telling me, “you got this mom”!

My dear friend Kim who has been digging deep with me!

In three days I will be in Santiago and have completed my journey.

I can’t think of what could possibly happen between today and then, but I do know, like everything else out here on the Camino, if it hasn’t happened to you before, it will on the Camino!

Buen Camino!

 

 

Rest in Leon

Everything is going fine, except for a few hobbles here and there, this is to be expected.

I laugh when I read people’s comments about how it’s possible I could have gotten a blister after all the training I’ve done. My response to that is, nothing can prepare you for the physical and mental endurance you need to have out here on the Camino the Santiago.

After walking over 300 miles day after day you can get a blister behind your ear lobe!!  Anything is possible. Everything that YOU HAVE NOT EXPERIENCED in your life,  happens to  you on the Camino!

I don’t know of anyone who could understand what one goes through walking on the Camino unless you have done it yourself.

A Camino friend  explained to me their experience on the Camino was like childbirth, complete pain, blood, tears, sweat and then joy.

 

Blister Check

IMG_0653.jpg

To be on pilgrimage is to be silent

To be on pilgrimage is to be silent

I find my time on the Camino is best spent quiet.

When you are quiet, not speaking, you can’t get involved in affairs of the world or get  entangled in conversations and discussions that have nothing to do with you or can lead to having said the wrong thing and insultIng someone.

Are we motivated more by words or actions?

Actions defiantly speak louder the words!

I can’t begin to tell you all the wonderful people I have met on the Camino de Santiago and may of the people I have met do not speak  English, my language.

However,  our actions of service to one another speaks volumes.

I want to encourage  you wherever you are today to be quiet and move with actions of love.

Please and thank you along with a smile will soften the heart of many. Trust me, at times on the Camino it is all I had!

Buen Camino!

Time to Reflect

Today as I am surrendering  to His way not my own, I’m thinking about my own resolve.  I have the desire to finish what I start and that’s final.  Today I can’t.

The camino has another lesson for me and it’s surrendering  and once again, I have been defeated, or have I?

God has something for Kim today that she wouldn’t get from walking with me and I’m learning to stop.

I am not defeated, I have a new blessing today,

As I’m waiting fo Kim, I’m sitting in a cafe and Pilgrims I have met on the Camino are passing thru, they remember me and although we don’t speak the same language, I’m touched by their love  and compassion for me! Absolutely precious!

Tears come to my eyes.

You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.

Psalm 16:11

A time to reflect