Dwight Peck's personal Web site

Winter 2013-2014

Dispatches from way, way behind the lines in Switzerland


You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

Some early January expeditions

The Plateforme near Marchairuz

Some days we just prefer the flat hikes, and the Plateforme is the place for that.

Off we go, a sunny day, from the Marchairuz-Vallée du Joux road. 5 January 2014.

Full of anticipation, and with almost boundless enthusiasm

We're struggling to keep up with our guide.

Crossing a prepared cross-country ski trail

The beautiful flats of La Plateforme, at about 1320m altitude (The clouds on the left are enshrouding Lake Geneva in an impenetrable fog. Ha ha ha.)

La Perrause farm on its little hill, the Grand Cunay above it with its new Geneva airport navigation tower poking up out of the trees, and the range of Mont Tendre off to the left

A stone wall to be got over

Kristin persevering . . .

. . . and continuing to persevere.

And now, from the Grandes Chaumilles, we're starting back.

Mont Tendre in the distance

And the Grand Cunay on the horizon

Into a little copse of trees, the parts that were never cleared for pastures because of the treacherous forest floor

The farm shed at 1321m, near sundown

A pause for the photo op

And another brief pause for reflection on Wisconsin's political nadir

Striding out with renewed determination

At the farm shed, Mont Tendre in the background

Adjacent to the shed, a doline or sinkhole in the pastures

We're racing back to the car, and so far I'm winning.


The forest of Grande Rolat

On the Marchairuz/Vallée du Joux road, we're leaving Dieter the VW Tank to step out into the forest on a very chilly day. 12 January 2014.

We'll follow this well-beaten path because we've just discovered that our snowshoe gear is nowhere to be found -- in fact, someone's stacked it all up against the wall in the garage a vertical kilometre down the hill.

Disappointed to have to follow this party's track all afternoon, we're comforted by the fact that they had no idea where they were going and were wandering hither and yon.

The cute little woods ants are slumbering safely way down in there.

Our predecessors' trail is finally starting to make some sense . . .

. . . and leads us roundabout to the Réfuge de la Joratte. So we know where we are now.

So we turn to the southeast, for no good reason . . .

. . . and emerge out of the forest at the upper end of the Sèche des Amburnex, in a warm afternoon sun.

The Couvert de la Séche de Gimel

A long look down the Séche des Amburnex

The Couvert de la Séche de Gimel, with its cisterne out the front

Back into the forest we go

We became so bored with trudging along in somebody else's tracks that we struck off on our own without snowshoes, and spent the next hour and a half plunging along knee-deep back to the car. That's a lesson we've learnt way too often.


Some farms above Marchissy

We're departing from the Jura region soon, alas, and we've grasped the opportunity to upgrade some of our Farms of the Jura photos. The weather didn't cooperate. 18 January 2014.

La Grillette at 993m, just above the trailhead at Marchissy at 883m.

In decent sunlight, this would have been a lovely photograph. But there you are . . .

La Grillette, 18 January

We continue. Dr Pirri has consented to accompany us today, despite the fact that there's not much snow to romp around in. That's the farm of Prés de Joux lurking up there above us.

Dr Pirri precedes us, with his snowshoes strapped on awkwardly, in case they might come in handy.

It's mid-January and we're walking on grass. Tell Senator Imhofe about that the next time he builds a snowman on the White House lawn and laughs in the manner imbecilic.

Dr Pirri awaiting the stragglers

Scenes of the farm of Prés de Joux (1107m) above Marchissy

Now back down a ways to join a forestry road to the north

Other hikers have got here ahead of us.

We're having a little trouble keeping up with him. Or it.

Having walked up to about 1190m and come back via the unphotogenic La Reguéla pasture, we've arrived at the farm of La Goncerue at 1056m.

That tree helps to make La Goncerue a photographable farm.

A well-placed tree . . .

. . . from nearly any angle.

And to complete the circle, La Grillette farm again and back to the trailhead.

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Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 9 March 2014.


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