Into the Heart of the Alps

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Ode to Bob

Bob Bob2
Clean-Shaven, Day 1 A little more scraggly, Day 12

As a final post for this year's adventure, I want to honor Bob, the most wonderful husband and hiking companion. Since I am not in the least poetic, I will list some (but most definitely not all) of his most wonderful qualities that helped make the first year of this adventure successful.

Patience. Bob never lost his temper once, despite the fact that I move slowly slowly, get mad at the trail easily, don't follow instructions well, cry and get paralyzed out of fear, etc. He was always kind and encouraging, never criticizing.

Creativity.  Bob can fix any equipment failure (next year, we'll bring duct tape and it will be even easier) and solve all logistical complications. With a smile.

Medical Talent. He is a master surgeon of foot disorders.

Strength. As I got slower on the uphills, Bob just took on more weight ("give me your extra water bottle, Michele"; he quietly packed all the food into his pack after a break; etc.). He threatened to take the iPad, but I couldn't allow that !

Route-Finding Master. Bob highlighted the entire route on topo maps before we left, so that even in the pouring rain, we could quickly identify where we were and which turn to take next. On parts of the trail where the trail markers were less-than-helpful, his instincts were virtually always correct.

Photographer. If there is no photograph, did it happen? If left up to me, all memories would be in our minds, yet I am the first to review the slideshows from past adventures over and over again. Unfortunately, since Bob was the photographer, there are few pictures of him (but he was definitely on the trip every step of the way).

Great Hugs. Bob gives the best hugs, exactly when they're needed.

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