Early Snow. Who would have believed
it? Just as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's 13th conference
of the parties is getting under way in Bali, and everyone is agreeing
that we're never going to see snow again even in Greenland, we're finally getting
some decent autumn snow here in the Jura.
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.
views of La Platforme, mid-December 2007
Pirri leads us out for a restorative walk in nature, 16 December 2007
the early 1990s, the road over the Col du Marchairuz was not opened in winter
and this whole region was isolated for several months. Since that time,
and with the renovation of the hotel at the Col,
the road has been kept clear and excellent cross-country ski (ski du fond) trails
and sledding slopes are attracting big crowds. None of it is tawdry or commercial
in the least, but . . . they are crowds, after all, and normally nowadays we only
go there in very bad weather.
for once, however, Dr Pirri is leading us out the machined walking trail past
the farm of Pré de Bière, chiefly to luxuriate in the new snow and
get some Vitamin D, so important for keeping us healthy and smart!
almost immediately of the prepared path, Dr Pirri leads us up into the untracked
forest to get lost for a while and see the sights.
woods are deep (but not dark) / and we have no promises to keep. And we may just
take a little nap right here. To paraphrase Frost.
little erectile dysfunction snow sculptures.
Combe au Cerf, not far from the Chalet des Combes -- walking along side by side,
doing our Cheney impersonations and arguing about the next USA elections.
tracks tell the tale of where we agreed and disagreed about potential candidates.
narrator on a lovely outing in the Jura. Dr Pirri is in this photo in two places,
can you tell where?
making a great loop and passing by the farm of Grandes Chaumilles, heading towards
the famous Platforme . . .
. . as the sun, descending into cloud banks in the southwest, leaves us out on
this rather windy flat in chilly circumstances.
platformy this may look, La Platforme is just over the other side of the far tree
scrub in late afternoon, in a considerable breeze
Pirri trudging into the wind and . . .
. . pausing from time to time to complain.
we're out onto La Platforme per se, a lovely flat with little hollows and lots of snowladen
shrubberies. The car awaits us just over the forested hill on the horizon.
onto the machined walking path as evening falls, and matters become really cold!
week later, 23 December 2007, in Dr Pirri's absence, the Royal We back-traces
our tracks to catch some of the wonderful sights in good sunlight. That's the
Grand Cunay in the center background.
must get really wild up here when we're all home snugly in our beds. This looks
like marshmallow fluff has gooped all over everything.
look back towards the little Petite Rolat forest we've just traversed, and the
ski du fond track passing by just in front of the hillside.
marshmallow fluff. I'm on our track from last week now, which makes ambling along
a lot easier, with my little Fuji camera poised.
week's tracks, leading past some more marshmallows across the Platforme.
duty marshmallow fluff and someone who's become, over the years, the shadow of
very beautiful view of the Platforme with last week's and this week's snowshoe
tracks on it. That's how cold it's been here recently -- last week's tracks look
as fresh as yesterday's.
northwestern side of the Platforme, with the Petites Chaumilles up there somewhere
just above the trees.
well-established ski track through the gate in the stone wall -- looking southwestward
towards the Petite Rolat forest.
track today meandering somewhat as we enjoy the fresh air with no sense of purpose
track continues to meander.
Meandering is fun, but sometimes, at the end of the day, you're not sure that
you've accomplished anything. That's "meandering" in a nutshell.
of the Platforme, looking (obviously) southwestward into the declining sun.
farm hut in the middle of La Platforme, with stacks of lumber all about it. What's
that all about, then? A new WalMarts superstore?
is in this picture, too. Can you tell where?
potential new WalMarts, with all its lumber stacked about it.
Cunay, the first of the treeless summits, and leftward, the second (higher) part
of Grand Cunay, and in the distance, Mont Tendre. The WalMarts in the foreground.