Scuol to Guarda

First of all, let me wish my sister Alona a Happy Birthday! I was on the other side of the world and was unable to get in touch. Hope this is some small consolation for that. :-) Today's Stats: Moving Time 5h 25m Distance 12.99 miles Ascent 2,250' Max Elevation 7,365'

Today was the first day of our hiking trip! We just finished dinner with the group at the Hotel Meisser in Guarda. It was a buffet style dinner which suited me fine since I was starving after a long day on the trail. As I told Tammy, I was "deeply hungry". The sensation is similar to when I finish a century ride. I'm not completely sure how to explain it.

The hiking today was sensational. We left from the front of the Hotel Guardaval and hiked to a gondola in Scuol. We took the gondola up 800 meters to start the hike. This hike is in the easiest category that Ryder Walker does, which doesn't mean it's a walk in the park.

The scenery was simply amazing. Every bend in the trail made me think "wow". Tammy summed it up best, and as only she can with a simple "I love it!" repeated several times. Apparently it kept reminding her of the movie Heidi. I haven't seen this masterpiece so I cannot comment. It was hard not to stop every few steps to take yet another picture.

We had a great picnic lunch mid-day and spent the entire day on the trail. We left at 8:50 am and arrived at 4:45 pm.

We have also been lucky to be in Switzerland on one of their big national holidays. Today is Dependence Day in Switzerland (also called National Day). Not independence, but dependence. It is the celebration of when the major kingdoms of Switzerland came together and recognized their "dependence" on each other. One of the strong traditions of this holiday however is an amazingly independent tradition where people climb up in the mountains all over and light huge bonfires. On our hike today we saw some of these ready for the evening. After dinner tonight we looked at the ridge line and there were over 10 huge fires visible. How very cool. All of the cities shoot of fireworks as well. It's a big celebration.

I ate a ton at dinner, need to rest the feet to complete the readiness for tomorrow. I made it through today with no blisters or anything. Tammy wasn't so lucky, she's got a quarter sized blister on her heel, no good. She's talking about hiking in her Keen hiking sandals tomorrow, and I'm sure she will. I'll be in my boots thank you. We are going to be tackling a shorter route tomorrow, only 7 miles, however with more climbing involved.

Tammy is in the middle of repacking suitcases right now. Remember that I mentioned we have too much luggage? We are solving that problem and shipping two of our bags via train to the Zurich airport where we can pick them up before boarding our flight home. Yeah!