Schweizerkopf Hütte to Badener Höhe
Two people showed up after I finished my dinner. They seemed looking for something. The phone obviously that I found and handed over to a local a few minutes earlier.
I tell them it's on its way to the lost and found somewhere already. Bad timing, bad luck. But we all agreed they will get their phone back eventually.
It's a calm, quiet night. On the chilly side, perfect for sleeping. Well rested, I start into another sunny hiking day.
The trail offers nice views every now and then before dropping down more than 500 vertical meters to Forbach, where I do some resupply for the next two days and also fill my water bottles. I'm halfway into my hike and already need to carry the water for camping. Not ideal but I don't want to risk running out of water.
Climbing up on the other side again goes surprisingly easy despite the high weight of my pack. It is a rocky trail. Not difficult butbit requires me to stay focused. So not too much daydreaming and no Jack Reacher audio books for me. More than halfway into the climb I pass the artificial lake Schwarzenbach. Officially it's not allowed to swim but it's being tolerated. Whatever this means. I find a path down to the water. Going for a swim. Very refreshing. As it is a short day, I take my time. Going in for a second time.
The trail remains rocky. Too rocky for my old and battered sandals. A strap breaks. With probably close to 3000 kilometers they are beyond repair. I try it anyway. Because my second pair is not in its best shape either. But then again, Switzerland is just around the corner.
At 16:00 I reach Badener Höhe. Despite the comparably many vertical meters, I have only done 30 kilometers. While in the beginning of my career as thru-hiker I would have considered this as normal to long day. Now, it feels super short. Impressive, how my body has changed (for the better).
Still, as the next shelter is too far away to reach, I decide to call it a day. It gives me enough time to write this blog, do my exercises and relax for tomorrow, which aren't such a bad thing after all. And... I have my own observation tower offering sweeping views.
I watch the sunset with to other hikers staying for the night as well. One of them carries binoculars with him. He let's me use it. Without much expectation I look south. I nearly drop them when I can make out the Alps. 212 kilometers away are Tödi and Vrenelisgärtli visible in the mist (Peakfinder app helped me to identify them). 2 iconic Swiss mountains. Never would I have expected to see them so far away. What a motivation boost and great ending of my hiking day!
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Rob (Sunday, 03 July 2022 07:56)
I can only imagine how special you felt when you saw peaks of your homeland. Very moving, and inspiring. A joy of seeing them, yet a notice of your pending walks end. Your end is near. For now - MAKE SURE YOU ENJOY THESE PASSING DAYS.
George Mills (Sunday, 03 July 2022 09:07)
Very interesting report. I can share your excitement at seeing your homeland from way out. Several times when nearing home I've picked up the coast of Aotearoa from afar and it gave me a great buzz every time. Always great to get home even if you've only been away for a few days. It must have been welcome to have some fellow hikers to talk to and lend you binoculars! That covered bridge looks like those you see in New England USA. I didn't realize they were in Europe also but on reflection no doubt that's where the idea came from. Trust the second pair of sandals will see you through to home. Keep on tracking