Monday, August 31, 2015

Off again... prepping for Mont Blanc

I had grand plans for getting a legit blog post written and up today but the hours are counting down til I have a flight out of SFO so it's not looking so hot. I'll go with an abbreviated one and give fair warning that there will be a long rambling one to come in the relatively near future.

After three months back in the US and time spent in a variety of places enjoying family and friends it's time to set back out in the great big world. San Francisco has been lovely but I'm itching for a little more adventure. Today I head back to Europe for a second stint that as far as I know it right now includes the Tour du Mont Blanc, an Icelandic adventure, and quick stop overs in Paris and Dublin between these two.

Luckily I have a travel companion as I set off today... he's quite a character, good thing he's small and can stowaway in my bag...

Flat Stanley is joining the adventure

I'm starting in France and the plan is to begin the Mont Blanc trek on Friday. If all goes well it should take 10 or 11 days to make it all the way around. As indicated on this website we'll be taking the rather leisurely approach. I will not be doing it as an ultra marathon, no thank you. The starting point will be Les Houches, France and following the route counter clockwise. Apparently many of the places that I'm staying indicate that they have wifi but I'm not really banking on that and won't mind being disconnected. So there may be a few pictures over the course of the trek but who knows.

Based on my semi-obsessive planning it looks like 4-6 hours of hiking anywhere from 8 to 20km per day. I've read numerous people's accounts of the trek, the guide book that every website references, and whatever other info I could get over the last month or so. I even read a nice thorough trek recap of a like 70 year old couple. If these two can do it gosh I hope I can! Despite not planning to do it initially I have actually booked accommodation for each of the nights. And for all those wondering, no I will not be camping. When have you ever considered me to be a camper? Riiiiigh, never. It's a mix of dormitory and bed & breakfast type places. Hoping that when it's a dorm room there's no ridiculous snoring going on! No tent and no food required on this journey - just hoping that my backpack is not too heavy even with only really needing clothes.

Assuming the weather is good the scenery should be amazing - read this as loads of pictures to come! Let's just hope the trail is as well marked as I'm expecting it to be and there is little time wondering whether we're going the right direction.

After successfully completing the trek (positive thoughts only allowed) I'll break for a few days before knocking another place off the list - Iceland. No idea what the plans are going to be there as of yet but I've convinced Yvonne to head there with me so we'll figure it out. We have flights and guide books purchased - anything else is just details that will evolve into a wonderful adventure. If we're lucky here we'll catch a bit of the Norther Lights but we are on a early side for it.

So for now I say farewell to San Francisco again and hello to my European friends.

Not a bad last SF run view this morning