Sunday in Paradise, July 10, 2011
Camp de Fourche
Stage 11, D53 (Bousieyas à Larche)
12.03 miles, 3,421’ up, 4,070’ down
Go to this map and hover over the triangles to see where the stage we just completed is relative to the entire trail. (The stage beginning and end locations are probably backwards, as we are doing the trail in the opposite direction.)
Breakfast this morning included granola with nuts and dried fruits, not just bread/butter/jam. Those Buddhist gite-tenders are thoughtful of their clientele's needs!
Started with a well-graded, but steep climb out of Bouseiyas, passing Camp de Fourche, an abandoned military barracks and outpost guarding the pass we were climbing up to. The final ascent to the pass was steep, on a very narrow, but well-constructed, trail over scree (loose rock). The picture shows how proud I am to have made it to the top, with a teeny bit of breath to spare, managing my fear of falling by only looking down at the location of my next step and not at the scenery (until I got to the top).
Over the pass, we discovered the Sunday paradise of lakes and waterfalls (and many French and Italian day-hikers of all ages). Very rocky, by contrast to the more meadowy landscape on the other side of the pass, but grassy spots grow up the rocky mountains to the very top. And the flowers have shrunk to alpine size, truly creating a "carpet of flowers." In the distance, we are seeing tall, bare, jagged mountains reminiscent of the Sawtooth's, which we think are tomorrow's destination.