Biasca to Isone 36 km
Today I invoke the excessive mileage, short blog-post rule. I wanted to position myself to get into Lugano tomorrow, and the first 20 km was flat, so I did 36 km with the longest climb (except for Gotthardo pass) of the whole trek. In other words, ahhm beat. Given that the first two thirds was through a heavily industrialized area– the Ticino river basin– it was a good hike hidden in the trees next to the swift river, but near Arbedo it became the backside of a concrete plant, then just wound through the large town of Bellinzona and its suburbs. I kept looking up at the range to the east, hoping the trail did not go over it, but of course it did. So at about 27 km for the day, I started climbing and a couple of hours later made it to the ridge top, confirming an observation Bennett made weeks earlier. When you have a tough climb up through woods to a ridge top, the first thing you will see (or hear) are cows in a pasture. I emerged from the birch forest to the clanging of cowbells and greeted by a dairyman driving his herd, then a long switch backing trek down to Isone, a really nice but tiny village dominated by the military, but the Restaurante Vedeggio has great rooms and good people sharing tapas. Will sleep like the dead tonight.
T. Hugh Crawford