Epic! Birthday Adventure in the Swiss Mountains

On Saturday, I slept in for the first time in far too long – so long, in fact, that I was congratulated on doing so when I awoke.  After a leisurely breakfast, Kyle and I set out to hike Monte Boglia, a nearby mountain that had been tempting us all year, the highest out of Lugano with an enticingly bare summit.  Interestingly, we chose not to heed the advice to first ascend Monte Bre, which turned out to be the only way to reach the trailhead.  Instead, we first walked up Monte Boglia’s hillside, then traversed through a series of wealthy mountainside villages to reach the tiny community of Bre.

Frustrated to discover a bus zooming by, we arrived in Bre already exhausted, and out of food save for a package of Clif Shot Bloks. We had gotten a late start, and the trail sign recommended 3 hours to reach the top of Boglia.  Out of shape, tired, out of food, we realized we would have to make it up and down in those 3 hours if we wished to catch the last bus back to Lugano instead of wandering home in the dark.  Determined to reach our goal, however, we went anyway.

YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Shot Bloks had some interesting effects.  I felt totally energized, but Kyle became deliriously sick within minutes of ingesting them – not the best conditions under which to attempt to run up a large mountain, already out of shape.  We stopped to rest several times, maintaining a brisk pace otherwise, and finally broke tree line just as Kyle was feeling better.  The sun came out, it was warm, beautiful, and we could see in every direction.

The top of the mountain was marked with a huge wooden cross, coinciding nicely with some “Jesus Rays” beaming down from the sky.  Neither of us are remotely religious, but what a photogenic opportunity!

Now, for the amazing part.  Upon reaching the summit , we realized that we had made it to the top in two hours, and our bus would depart from Bre one hour later.  Desperately hungry, we downed the rest of our water and proceeded to run down the entire mountain, despite the ache of our knees and feeling of our backs compressing with each footstep.  We made it in forty-five minutes, caught the bus, and found a gelateria downtown on our way back to Panera.  We arrived back at home an hour ahead of our optimistic schedule, despite our terrible shape, Kyle’s temporary illness and the hours we spent being lost.  Quinn and Brendan were ready with homemade calzones minutes after we got home.  Then the Panera Four Ladies came to visit, there was chocolate, there was Apples to Apples and an online download of The Boat That Rocked.  So, so happy.

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