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reveries of an amateur long-distance hiker

June 2

June 2nd, 2016

June 2

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Sorenberg to Flueli-Ranft 25 km
Some strange geology here. From having seen the alps in different places–sheer solid rock walls–I expected most of the higher elevations to be the same, but most of what we have been walking through is puddingstone– small to medium rounded rocks in a grey sediment that resembles concrete. The rounded stones look like (and must be) river rocks so all this was some sort of hydraulic system uplifted by the pressure from the African plate. Yesterday we walked through a small tunnel that had been blasted by locals for a road, and the puddingstone sides seemed about to crumble in on us. Given that all of Europe is experiencing monsoon flooding, our primary surface condition remains mud– slick, fall-on-your-ass mud throughout. The rain poured all night, but became a dense mist for the morning, so we walked as if in a cloud, up and up. Some sections were hilly pasture without path, so we had to find marker posts in the mist, cause for some care and the occasional missed path. One moment near the top of a ridge, the clouds parted partly, briefly, and the sun illuminated an upland green field wedged against a sheer rock wall that rose to infinity.

T. Hugh Crawford

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