Joined December 2019 Message
  • Day50

    Job interview at 1500 hm

    March 5, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 6 °C

    When I realized I was spending so much time in the mountains I began to think maybe I should spend more time in the mountains. The more time I spend in the mountains the more I meet wonderful people and enjoy spectacular views. When I am at the top of a mountain, or hiking up there, all of the thoughts and stresses and anxieties of everyday life disappear in the ocean of whatever view is in front of me. The woods remind me of home, views from halfway up the mountain show me small German towns laying out like fairy tales in front of me, and at the top there's always an ocean of peaks under a sky that does not end. Who cannot be happy surrounded by such things?

    So I emailed many mountain Hüttes looking for seasonal work in a mountain hut. One even called back.

    I hike up Hochries, near Grainbach, on the Thursday before I leave for Mallorca. I start late and get off the bus in Grainbach at 1 p.m. Google says that I have a 2-hour hike ahead of me and to get back I have at least a two-hour hike or I can go forward and ends in Aschau where I will also have two hours to get there. The weather is bright with clouds when I begin.

    This mountain has a cable car and in summer is easy to reach especially for day trips with families and is very popular 4 lunch with a beer and a view. Today it is empty and the winter has not quite left and the spring has not quite sprung and I'm walking up a wet path. The first sign I see tells me that I actually have three hours till the top of the mountain which is a problem because I will run out of time before dark if it is 3 hours up and 3 hours down. In that case I will not get back until 7 and the sunset is at 5:30. I hike harder.

    the problem with hiking harder is that sometimes I don't see where I'm going and forget to check my map. That's exactly what happens here and I take the wrong path for 20 minutes before I realize it. When I decide to turn around I'm now jogging I'm not hiking to try and catch up on the 20 minutes I went in the wrong direction and what might be 20 minutes to get back on the right direction. I catch a sign on the path that tells me I finally back on the right way. And I still need to hurry.

    The hike is blurry until I find snow. I'm moving faster than my mind can keep up and the hike until snow passes through my mind without notice. Yet when the snow starts, it starts in a clearing with strong wind and no cover. I cannot help but notice have suddenly this changed has happened.

    I have made good time and almost caught up to where I want to be yet now the last 45 minutes or half an hour is through snow that has not been walked on since it fell. The higher I get, the deeper the snow gets. By the time I find shelter in the woods I'm high enough that the snow is almost at my knees. I find a trail made by a quad and I walk the path to the top of the mountain. When I finally see a building, the broken cable car, I am delighted. it's not the hot, yet it is nearby and I have not long to go.

    15 minutes later I'm in a hut meeting Manuel and Sarah and listening to reggae. They made lunch and we eats as we get to know each other and talk about life in the hut. They live here full-time year-round with gorgeous views yeah that's we finished our lunch the views are whiter and whiter with snow blowing harder and harder. After a quick tour I hurry to put on my boots and head down the mountain. I run through the deep snow so I can get out of the snow before dark and well on my way to the next train. Yet as I leave the snow I only find rain and a weight of 45 minutes until my next train!

    So instead I discovered a small beer house with a fire and wiese beer. I do love a beer on a train.

    And with that I catch my train a little damp but happy after a hike that was terrible and wonderful.
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  • Day47

    My Accidental Marathon

    March 2, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 6 °C

    I have been hiking for weeks. When I first got to Germany my time was split between school and hiking and running. In the evenings sometimes I would go to meet ups where I would have a drink with strangers. I even tried out salsa and realized that in Munich no one wants to teach a lead. Yet as time has gone on I find more and more that I love hiking in mountains the people I meet there and the adventures and invitations that come from there. That's how I wound up in Berlin!

    Yet after all these adventures I realized that I've not been running and I miss it. I have signed up for 50 km in Switzerland in August did I have not run more than 30 since I got here. I haven't run more than 30 in a row. So today I decide to run 30 km to Freising.

    The only problem is that by the time I run 12 kilometers I passed a sign that says "Freising 27 km."

    I try not to think about this too hard because I am here to run and I'm not going to stop running before I hit at least 30 kilometers so I keep running to freising.The day is sunny and I run along the ice are back and forth as it weaves back and forth along trails and empty Woods where no leaves live. sometimes there is a trail next to the water very close and fun to bounce on as I run yet often the trail is as wine and clear as a small and gravel Road. Either way I keep running. I have headphones in and I'm listening to an audiobook about how our bodies affect the way our mind works and that maybe our mind is less in control of our bodies and ourselves and that it is instead more a coordinator and our body is the one in charge. The more I listen to this the more it resonates with me as I feel my body and let it move. I do love to feel my body in motion.

    Yet when the sign starts to send freising 8 km my body does not feel so lovely. I pause and check my distance I've already run 32 km and I did not bring supplies for the next eight. Yet when I look at the map there is no convenient place to stop running and take a train home. We are not in freising and the nearest train station is also 5 km away. Given the choice between an empty train Station Drive kilometers away and a train station with a restaurant and a bar 8 km away I know the right answer. I keep running.

    I run for as long and as hard as I can yet after three hours of running I have no water and my body is tired so I change between running and walking and jogging as I get more and more thirsty. Next time I do this I will have to bring snacks. I hear peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a great choice. Either way I do get to the freising train station and there is a restaurant and there is beer. And milkshakes.

    I skip the next train so I can have a burger and a milkshake and after a little while I'm buy a beer to sip on the train back to Munich. I'm always amazed and how fast a person can run. it only took three and a half hours for me to get to freising, and it wound up being 42 kilometers. And here on the train it will still take one full hour to get back to Munich. Does this mean I was running at one-quarter the speed of the train?

    I have hunger that does not stop. This is a wonderful opportunity to break every diet rule in the book. I spend the afternoon searching and eating for everything, them catch up with friends for drinks.
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  • Day29

    Ich schwänze fur Bergen

    February 13, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 5 °C

    Franz sends a text on Tuesday night - another hike with Ooli for Thursday morning! As always, I say yes. A good hike can only happen with good weather and school can happen during bad weather, so I decide to take another "Fridays for the Future" and improve my quality of life. Between Franz' text and our hike, I run Wednesday and again the morning of the hike.

    After my run, I meet Franz on the corner, and drive through traffic to meet Ooli. There's lots in Munich this morning. It's a bit unpredictable, I'm told. It takes longer to get through town and Franz makes up for it on the Autobahn, where there is no speed limit. We reach Ooli only 2 minutes later than expected.

    We head towards Tegernsee. Always to Tegernsee! There are so many mountains and beautiful hikes here. And Tegernsee ( and Bad Wiesse) always look adorable. Today the mountains are clear and beautiful even from the car. Driving through the towns always reminds me of fairy tales. I often wonder how many pictures good 'ol Walt took to make his American Disney cartoons so reminiscent of German villages.

    This time we drive past Tegernsee and into the mountains. The snow here is beautiful - it's still fresh on the trees. When we stop, the parking area, trees and trail are all covered in fresh snow. No one has been up the trail since the last snowfall and the blanket covering the mountain takes my breath away before we even start hiking. Ooli jokes that I need to take the lead. The young strong man should carve a path in the fresh snow. I agree and jump to it!

    Here at the base of Rosstein, the snow is already deep. There is no path and quickly the snow creeps deeper and deeper. I find steps by tripping on them as I walk up the hill. Soon the joke is that we're now hiking in our boots through snow deeper than when I had snow-shoes last week with Garnot - only it never ends! We hike and hike. We lose the path many times and I am constantly asking "Wechles weg? Richts? Links?" and always Franz is behind me point the way.

    Ooli comes behind, making sure we don't fall or lose our way. Maybe he's just taking it easy, but either way I push on. The snow is sometimes up to my knees, and several times I stumble and must crawl along. I get a few tips from the experts and try to stay where the snow is more shallow but somehow I always find just the right place to sink in. Luckily my steps show the others where to step (or not step) and we make it to the first hut at 1400 m - but it's closed! We've gone up 6 or 700m, and still have at least 400 more to go. After a short break we continue on. Walking for me is now is more like wading through water, trying to balance on wet spaghetti instead of my usual strong legs. When I stop thinking of it and take in the view all my exhaustion vanishes.

    We reach a false-peak on the way to the top, yet black storm clouds arrive before us. It's still 30 or 40 minutes to the top, and the clouds get darker as we stand looking at them. No one wants to be caught in 1 meter of snow with hours to hike down while it starts snowing - so we pause and head back to the closed hut. We can see the peak as if it's close enough to touch, yet today it will stay out of reach.

    The peak is one of two - Rosstein and Buchstein. Between them is a small saddle where Tegernsee hutte sits. It's also closed, yet I can only imagine the view. Just a few weeks ago we were on Fockenstein and this hutte was pointed out to me - and here we are with it in view! It's sad to turn back, but my stomach rumbles and my spaghetti-legs scream for rest. I regret my morning run.

    We find a nook behind the closed hutte we passed earlier. There's a sliver of sunshine and a pause in the wind where we can rest and snack. As we rest, the clouds begin to disappear and we debate turning back again to reach the peak. Time has moved on without us, unfortunately, and no one thinks there is enough time to go up and return before dark. Instead we pause a little longer and head down.

    There is a most beautiful bench in the sunshine on the way down. We pause again for water and to soak in the sun here, where there is no wind. It's so delightful that Franz and Ooli take the opportunity for a short afternoon nap. Today, I can't help but join in.

    We pass by other hikers - two women who are loud enough for a crowd. This is the new topic: hikers that refuse to enjoy the silence. It makes us laugh as we mourn how we did not reach the peak. When we reach the car, we all check our devices to see our distance. I am disappointed until Franz admits that leading the entire way through fresh snow is hard work, and that we would not have made it so far without me in the lead.

    It's a good compliment, reluctantly given, from Franz. Today I'll take it.
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