Joining with Lisa-Jo for Five-Minute Friday. An opportunity to write for five minutes unedited on a randomly chosen topic. There is freedom in this writing…and many other writers participate as well. Its wonderful to see how the same word triggers all kinds of glorious shared moments in the lives of others. Take a moment to write your thoughts for five minutes and then link up at the above link. Make sure you check out and comment on some of the other writers as well!
Jennifer and I climbing ‘La Chiminee’ , France 2003
When I think of ‘view’, i think of the phrase ‘the view from here’. And upon recollection of some of the views i’ve been able to see, one of the most spectacular was when I climbed a mountain in France.
In 2003 I was spending the summer working at Camp des Cimes (Camp of the Peaks) outside of bourg d’Oisans in the Loire valley. Needless to say we were nestled in the midst of some of the small alps and so while the mountains rose up around us we didn’t really understand their magnitude.
There was a trail up the side of one mountain that we could see from across the valley where our camp was located. It was called ‘La Chiminee’ (The Chimney). It rose up the side of a bare face with switchbacks that carried you up to the top after a grueling hike. I’m not sure whether this was part of the name or not, but as we climbed we soon found that the bare face of the rock absorbed and then reflected the heat of the sun back at us, so that gave us a bit of an inclination as to why it might be termed ‘the chimney’.
Upon arriving at the ‘top’ of the mountain, we turned around to survey where we had come from and much to our surprise off in the distance we could see our camp, and then realized that we were a tiny little grouping of houses and there were villages ABOVE that camp that we didn’t even know existed. It was fascinating to see that once you have a bigger sense of where you are located you can see how vast something is.
When we went on a day off to the local ski resort ‘Let Deux Alpes’ (The Two Alps) we decided to take the gondola ride to the top of the mountain area where people began their ski expeditions down the mountain. It was over 100 degrees farenhiet at the resort and we took three gondola’s to the top of the alpes. Each crest we peaked we thought we’d see the mountains stretching out before us but instead we kept going higher and back farther than we thought possible into this tremedous yawning area of vast mountains. when we got out at the top in our tank tops, shorts and flipflops we realized we were a bit under dressed and quickly ran to the lodge where we had a lovely supper. It became clear to us why we had seen people walking around in snowsuits at the resort when we could barely breathe in our summer attire. They had been preparing for this.
As we sat in the lodge and had hearty meal with some french white wine, we looked out and couldn’t believe the view we had. Mountains for as far as the eye could see. Breathtaking.