Dwight Peck's personal website

Winter 2009-2010

Our first full year of Obama disappointments

Kristin's back and forth from the States, the weather's grim, but if we're going to keep our tan through the winter we need to get out there and at least get some windburn.

Assorted sightseeing, winter 2009-2010

A topsy-turvy winter, but all's for the best in this the best of all possible worlds. (- Dr Pangloss)

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.

Improvised architecture on the forestry road between La Pessette above Bassins and Les Chenevières above Le Vaud, 13 December 2009.

Someone's gone to a great deal of trouble for doubtless some purpose.

Les Chenevières (1215m), December 2009

Same, as we're trudging uphill. (We once blundered down this little combe almost completely blind just after dark, in deep snow, with one of those migraines that give you the flashing "aura" and a strong sense of urgency.)

The intersection of the Le Vaud and Marchissy roads near Perroude du Vaud.

Kristin has arrived for a Christmas visit and ends up straddling. The forestry machines can leave great ruts in the forest floor, and it's not difficult to fall through the ice right smack into one. As one of us has just done.

A fine snowy walk, 18 December 2009, over Le Jubillet (1015m) above Bassins.

The Rapture, or just the wind in the trees. We're ready, either way.

The farm at La Chaumette (980m), 18 December 2009

Getting out of the wind at La Chaumette

19 December, a very cold day as I recall: Kristin and Teny are wandering somewhere above Bassins

"Wandering", in the sense that Joe's leading

Too cold to walk very far today. "Home then. Home." (That's a quotation from Virgil.)

We're off for Corsica for the Christmas hols, and to let the snows accumulate in the Jura for a while, but then we'll be back.

That's Calvi, in Corsica.

Now we're back.

Back to La Chaumette again, 10 January 2010, solo today, carrying a clever EKG device to record any interesting developments

This is the splendid little path at the top end of the Gorges de Moinsel, above Bassins, leading up to La Dunanche.

Wending skyward, we're passing through some big rocky things under the cliffs called Le Rebattiau, about 1050m.

Topping out at La Dunanche at dusk, 10 January, all downhill from here and no EKG events so far.

The Sentier des Toblerones

Vich! Pronounced VEEK! After a brief hospital break, it's 23 January 2010, another EKG walk down the lower end of the Toblerones path, starting here. The igloo and penguins in the village roundabout were worth the price of admission, or would have been had there been a price of admission.

These are the Toblerones, WWII-era anti-tank barriers stretched down the mountain from above Bassins to the Lake of Geneva, named after the famous Swiss chocolates. We've stuck in some photos of some of the upper parts of the Sentier des Toblerones, the hiking path along the length of them -- today we're viewing the lower half of it, as it runs along the Mighty Serine.

The Serine, well-channeled like all Swiss waterways, with the toblerones and the COOP shopping mall in the background. (The Swiss, like all environmentally-intelligent countries, are looking for places where they can de-channelize their watercourses and let nature in again.)

The COOP and the Toblerones, marching alongside one another through the outskirts of Gland (that's the town where I work, not an anatomical metaphor for anything in these photos)

The Serine, 23 January, largely tamed. This path is so cool that we've got to bring Kristin here to admire it.

Next week: Kristin's here to admire the Serine, 30 January, as it passes under the autoroute between Geneva and Lausanne.

And then passing under the railway line. Kristin's here for a month or more, all good fun, but though I'm officially retiring tomorrow there's not going to be much time off work for a while. Never mind, the Serine sustains our interest anyway.

(Accuracy disclaimer: between the highway and the railway line, the Serine joins the Promenthouse, and that's the name of this part of it as it hits the lake of Geneva.)

So much so that a week later, 6 February, with horrible sniffy coughy colds, we're looking into the upper reaches of the Serine, from the sawmill near La Cezille up the ravine towards Bassins.

A beautiful but cold glance back downstream. The big rock is named on the map as the Pierre à Granfer. For some reason. Lost in the mists of time, probably.

And upstream. Not much snow here at the moment -- we're probably at about 550m. Not all that much snow elsewhere either -- in fact, it's been a disappointing year so far in terms of snow, amongst other things.

We're ever such a little bit lost, semi-careless map reading again. (In fact, they're going to give me a new lens in one eye day after tomorrow, and another one next week -- all courtesy of Swiss medical insurance; good luck, America, with the health care reforms). Kristin's seeking out the easy way downstream again -- it didn't look all that straightforward to me, but I'm not the one with the good eyes, yeah?

We'll meet up again just up the hill a ways. But Kristin's here for a while, and we'll come back and scope this valley out properly when we've got our artificial eyes in.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 22 March 2010, revised 23 October 2014.

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