Trip Log - Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Woke up and went down for another delicious breakfast. The muesli has lime which gives it a taste pleasing to the boss. Today is a mix of clouds and sun. Let us hope the clouds win as we are going to the top of Hoher-Kasten. Another lift to a mountain top. The short train and bus ride are uneventful. There is no lift line so we pack in with a bunch of old Swiss hikers. The 90 year old lady moves over and offers Diane a seat. Diane must not look robust to this Swiss lady. The lady tries to talk to Diane but since she does not speak English and Diane has 5 years of Rosetta stone German the conversation is limited. We arrive at the top, use the rest room and watch the clouds move in, We can see sunlight on the distant hills through the local haze and have hope for a brighter day. We walked around the garden at the top and took pictures of edelweiss. Took a brief hike of 50 yards t oa dead end trail. It was a marked trail that went nowhere. Good thing no one was behind us. It started to rain so I pulled out the umbrella to keep my hat dry. Diane pulled out her fluorescent pink rain coat so she would be noticed. Once the rain ended we returned to the top. Since the view came and went with the clouds we decided to go fro a walk. There was an easy trail and a hard trail. We took the easy trail. The easy trail looked easy from the top of the mountain. Looks can be deceiving. After going down switchbacks we got the flat part and walked around a peak. Saw where the parasailers jump off. Some Swiss hikers tried to talk to us. As we stumbled through the German phrases we knew, The horse can swim, The flowers are pretty. I want an egg on my sandwich. They had pity and spoke in the little English they knew. They were walking all the way down the mountain. Turned around and went back. Got to the part of the trail where we could either go back up the switchbacks or continue down the mountain. We decided it would be easier to walk 4 hours downhill than go back up the trail.

The first part went under the gondola next to the bottom of a cliff the train was a few feet wide but Diane was not afraid due to the experience of the trail with the cable a few day before. There was a portion of the trail going down the other side of the mountain where there were log steps build into the hillside leading to what looked like a cave. We detoured to see it but it turned out to be an overhand with a bench. We wished we had lunch so we could have sat a while on the bench. We were to really wish that in about 30 minutes. We continued on the downhill trail. As it was a week day in the fall there were few hikers. The trail was fairly steep, narrow and along the hillside. It started to rain enough for Diane to break out the fluorescent pink raincoat. It started to rain harder so we stepped off the trail at the edge of a tree, popped up the umbrella and waited. It rained harder. We stepped under the tree to avoid the worst of the rain. It then started to hail. The trail we were on first looked like a stream then it looked more like a series of waterfalls. The place we first stood looked like a pond. Not big enough for fish though. After 10-15 minutes the rain lessened and we deiced to continue on. Carefully as the rocks are slippery when wet. When we came to the next sign we decided to head down and cut our walk short by 2 hours. We must really be slow because the sign said we still had 2 hours to go the short way. once we left the woods we were in a steep cow pasture full of puddles where the cows steeped and mounds of fertilizer where the cows left them. Good thing we did not fall as the path was a stream of water that was slowly washing away the mounds. Stepping off the path into the grass our feet sank as it had been a very wet summer. We definitely will need to take our shoes off before going into the hotel tonight.

once we got to the flat part of the pasture we saw 5 kids walking ahead of us 3 were bare foot carrying their shoes. Their legs were very muddy. They were walking on gravel roads. It started to rain harder so Diane put on her hot pink raincoat so she could be noitced form the mountain tops. I popped open the umbrell to keep my hat dry. We then passed a hut with a half dozen 20 year olds having lunch. Across the road was a grill with their food heating up. They were warm and dry but did not invite us in. It started to rain harder. We continued on downhill. We stopped under a tree to reaarrange the back packs and avoid the hardest rain. The kids stopped to. It was a big tree. We moved on as the rain showed no sign of slowing. After a long while we passed restaraunt where the kids stopped. It seemed they knew people there but failed to iunvite su in so we trudged on downhill.

Shortly after the restaurant the trail again led through cow pastures. The cows were still there, Within a few feet of the trail. We were on their side of the fence. The trail also passed a farm house that had a cooler full of fresh milk and a coin bucket. Sadly we had no money. Eventually we came to the last mile of flat roadway. If felt so good to not be going downhill every step of the way. The river at the bottom was full of brown water from the rain falling over a series of waterfalls. It was nice but would have been much prettier with clear water. We were passed by a few kids on scooters. The trail went straight downhill but the round wound back and forth. The kids had rented scooters and flew down the hill. The wheels had not finders so their backs were spattered with mud. Looked like fun. Back to the hotel for a quick cleanup so we can go to the Coop and get some chocolate. We were so tired we went to sleep at 7:30 and did not wake up until 6:00 the next morning when the Church bells go crazy every day.