One of the most beautiful runs of my life. A little long...but seriously, this place is paradise.
I had to wake up early and take the bus back into town with my host to the place where I got on (even though it brought me backwards). We got into town around 6:30, and I was incredibly tired having had only 4 hours of sleep. My clothes were still wet, so I walked for a couple kilometers with them draped over my body and backpack to let them dry. Before they could dry, it started to rain, so I began to collected the wet clothes and put them inside my bag. In the process, I noticed that my white shirt was nowhere to be found...it had been sitting on the back of my backpack. Uh oh. I quickly turned around and started running back towards Zug in the rain...amazingly, it was still sitting in the road a half a mile back.
When the rain started really coming down hard, I found a little public swim hut with a locker room off the side of the lake and went inside. Tired and with wet clothes, I hung up my things and took a nap for a couple hours. The light in the locker room was automatic, with a motion sensor in front of the building...so around 10:30 the light came on, and I woke up and collected my things before I could be discovered.
From there, the run was smooth and pretty. I have some similar pain that I had before in my left shin now (a little in my right too...) so I tried to take it pretty easy. When I got to the turnoff for Schwyz, my planned stop, I decided to keep going to Altdorf which would supposedly be a much better stop. When I got to the little town of Brunnen, having run over 30 kilometers, I stopped into the tourism office and looked at a map. I had no idea how much further Altdorf would be...it turned out to be about another 22 kilometers. "Big day I guess." I decided to rest for a bit, and had a salad and schnitzel in Brunnen. I also finally broke and bought the one souvenir that I can predict buying on this trip, a 14 franc Swiss Army knife. I think it is the only reasonably priced thing in this country, I don't know if it helps that I bought it less than 5 km away from the factory...
I started walking on the trail towards Altdorf, up the side of a mountain along the edge of the lake. I walked maybe 5 km to let my food settle and started running again. The trail was crazy, and the views of the mountains and blue lake below were some of the most amazing views I have ever seen. There were times where it was so beautiful that I felt like I was going to cry. Not really...but there were times that I thought, "man, if I were a dude who cried at this kind of stuff, I would definitely cry now." You have to see this place. It is unlike anything I have ever seen before...like the pictures I saw when planning the trip, but with a color and a feel that could never be captured by a camera.
When I got into Altdorf, I was wiped out. I stumbled into a bakery and grabbed something to eat and drink and sat down next to this famous William Tell statue for a while, feeling wasted...like I could never move again. Somehow I managed to get up and start wandering around the town. I found the church and went in, and fell asleep sitting up in a pew. I think it was only a few minutes before I woke up, wiped the drool from my face and stumbled back into town. Once I had made a few circles around the town, I sat down again by the statue. Eventually, I again forced myself up and found something to eat, and went into a nearby bar to see about finding a place to sleep. I knew that I would instantly die if I drank a beer, so I ordered a Coke and asked the bartender for some ice for my shin. She gave it to me, and we started talking (in German) about my trip. After a while, another guy came into the bar, and I talked to him for a while about it as well. When it was getting close to 11, I made the plunge and asked if either of them knew if there was a place I could take a shower and get some sleep around the town. The man, René asked if I didn't mind waking up at 6, and I said "of course not" (a little sleep is better than none). At his place, he made up a bed for me out of rock climbing mats and we spent some time showing each other pictures from our adventures. René really takes advantage of this amazing country, going climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, camping, fishing, whitewater rafting, skiing...well, pretty much everything you can do on an almost daily basis. I took a shower and rinsed off my clothes as he made some food, and we ate together as he explained the best route for me to take in the morning. He would be working on an old church in Andermatt in the morning, and makes the drive almost daily. I went to bed well after midnight, and didn't have much trouble falling asleep.
16 July 2009