Philip Gerard, my first mentor in the Goucher MFA program, at On the Same Page Literary Festival this September. Hail to all the Gophers out there!





This, and the photos below, are in Jerusalem on our trip there in March. It was so incredibly good we're going back later this summer and working on an archaeological dig with UNC Charlotte with the same folks from the March trip.



















COMING SPRING 2015 -- A new anthology from McFarland Publishers, edited by Chris Arvidson, Scot Pope and Julie Townsend -- stories, essays and poems about the New River.

Trip to the Alps - Extraordinary

March 24, 2012

Tags: Alps, France, Switzerland, mountains, Mont Blanc, Geneva, snowshoe

We have returned from our trip of a lifetime. To celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary we booked a trip with Wilderness Travel for snowshoeing in the Alps. Friends who have been on trips with the company highly recommended them and we were ready to go for it.

Since early November, we worked on, working up to, this trip. Diets and keeping strict track of all food (myfitnesspal.com) kicked off our process. By two months out, we were doing daily workouts or hikes. I even wore my boots on the elliptical. It really paid off. We were in top shape and did very well physically - no injuries, little soreness, etc. By the end of the days, we were tired, but a good tired.

We flew in and out of Geneva for the trip, and with the exception of the United Airlines screw job getting us there a day late, that part of the trip was just boring plane rides. Our itinerary included stays in two smaller ski towns in France, Chatel and Megeve. We snowshoed through forests, rode on gondolas, and spent time above the treeline with Mont Blanc as the backdrop. And the weather, holy cuckoo clocks, it was sunny and high 50s most of the time. We snowshoed in short-sleeves!

We were part of a group of 10 with two excellent guides. The group were good folks, a wide-range of ages from 23 to 60s, who came from out West to New York City. Several had been on trips with Wilderness Travel before. Actually, I thought we were a kind of rowdy group and talked some pretty good smack. We quickly descended (or ascended, depending on your point of view) into toilet humor, busting each other's chops, and other assorted forms of trash talking. We even had a trick farter in the group. Now really. What more could you ask for?

Nicos and Mike, our guides, were super professional, smart as hell, and lots of fun. These Wilderness Travel guys really know how to do this stuff. The hikes were full of incredible scenery, gorgeous forests, incredible mountain views. The food was outrageous - chocolate and cheese for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was a superb trip in every way.

I think the pictures I've posted here really tell it all. See photos to the right and also by clicking on the Photo Essay tab above. Some big, big smiles...

Comments

  1. March 24, 2012 2:25 PM EDT
    What a great way to celebrate your 25th. Congratulations! Must have been a wonderful trip. Glad you're home safely.
    - Cullie Tarleton
  2. March 24, 2012 3:17 PM EDT
    What a wonderful trip Chrissie, it's now added to my bucket list!
    - Susan
  3. March 24, 2012 3:19 PM EDT
    Oh, Susanny, you would have loved it. And, after you get ready for the Dirty Girl, you'll be ready for this kind of thing, too!
    - Chris Arvidson
  4. March 24, 2012 4:50 PM EDT
    Thanks for sharing your trip! Everyday I looked forward to hearing what (we) did today. It was so nice of you to do all the work, honestly I don't think I could make 2 steps in those snowshoes. The gang sounded perfect not everyone gets a fake fart-er with their group.
    My only request is that next time you spend a little more time describing the food. Oh, and a few pictures if it's not to much trouble. I know that I am just an armchair traveler and we have feelings and interests too. You understand don't you? I do regret not losing the weight necessary to fit into your travel gear, maybe next time. All in all (we) had a pretty successful Alpine Adventure (except for those few requests...more window shopping and pictures of say your anniversary dinner plates). Oh, and the 5 star bedroom, missed the bedroom pic's. Again thank you for inviting me on your anniversary trip, a good time was had by all.
    Rick didn't even miss me.
    - Joy Woodcock
  5. March 24, 2012 4:52 PM EDT
    Oh, Joy, too funny. You're right, I should have taken food pictures -- especially of the cheese courses and the deserts!
    - Chris Arvidson
  6. March 24, 2012 6:40 PM EDT
    Boots on the eliptical? Damn. Very impressed with you preparation. I imagine it made a huge difference. Pictures are wonderful. Thanks for letting us travel along!
    (and thanks for myfitnesspal reference - will check it out)
    - Edson
  7. March 24, 2012 7:15 PM EDT
    Sounds absolutely wonderful and I am fascinated by the trick farter! OK - the big question - did you or did you not buy a cuckoo clock???
    - Becky
  8. March 24, 2012 8:43 PM EDT
    No cuckoo clock. I could probably have gotten by Henry with one of the teeny tiny ones, but they were so cheesey and the big full-sized ones were so much cooler. I think I will just have to get one NEXT TIME!
    - Chris Arvidson
  9. March 27, 2012 9:22 AM EDT
    Sounds like a great, beautiful trip you buff, smart lady! Thanks for sharing...I almost drooled at the mountains in the distance!
    - Annette Bednosky

Some Favorite Quick Links

Find Authors