Pontresina to Sils Maria

Today's Stats: Moving Time 4h 58m Distance 11.9 miles Ascent 2,506' Max Elevation 7,437'

There is something really fun about waking up in one village and walking out of your hotel with your pack on and walking right into your next hotel in another village having used nothing other than your own two feet to get there. The tiredness in your muscles, the dull ache in your feet and the layer of sweat mark a good days work.

The hike today was a very pleasant hike. I didn't think it was as hard as some of our other hikes but our guides keep saying that we are just getting used to the effort and the body adapts quickly. I know the body adapts quickly, my legs feel strong and it just seems normal that one would wake up, have a big meal and then walk ten miles in the mountains.

We hiked up to the restaurant by Lake Hahnensee. We hiked up through the forest and above the tree line for the lunch stop. This wasn't a trail hut, but instead a real honest-to-goodness restuarant. Again I was amazed by the number of locals that had hiked up for lunch. If you put a restaurant in the states on top of a 700 foot steep ascent do you think you would need a reservation for lunch? You do here!

It seemed like we ascended more than we descended but I think it was just that the descent was much more gradual than the ascent. I was grateful for that as my right knee has been feeling a bit sore and the decreased pounding on it from the gradual descent was appreciated. The hike was very different from the others since a lot of it was in the trees. We had great views however of St. Moritz as we hiked it's perimeter at a couple thousand meters. The last 2 miles or so was a trail hike around the city lake to get to Sils Maria.

Tammy got a picture of an Edelweiss flower today. The edelweiss flower grows in the mountains and used to be the way that a man would prove his worthiness to his to-be wife by going up into the mountains and bringing an edelweiss flower back. Perhaps as a sign of the propensity to marry in Switzerland it is now illegal to pick an edelweiss flower and you can be fined if caught.

Tomorrow is the hardest day of hiking on the trip. I'll let you know how that goes!