Europe N to S: Imaginary Castles (12/19/16)

Today’s Miles: 28.2 

Total Miles: 3,353.5

Near Gisikon-Root, Switzerland – December 19, 2016

I fly out of Aarau with fresh legs and a purpose, a clear direction: head toward the heart of the mountains, toward Gotthard pass, and go fast before a storm can beat me there. I don’t stop to rest. I just go, pushing myself forward, my legs filling the nine hours of daylight with miles.

It feels good to move across the map. 

The sun breaks through in the afternoon, burning holes in the clouds to spill light into the world. Warmth. It’s the first I’ve seen it in days. I shed jackets and hats and let it shine on my skin as I walk. 

The distsnt mountains emerge out of the fog like giant beasts. I catch glimpses of them in the distance. They are shadows, hints through the mist, bits of slopes and peaks, snow and rock hanging in the sky, appearing and disappearing, fading in and out of existence. 

They don’t look real, not yet, not half hidden away in the clouds like some giant’s castle. They still feel like the jagged teeth in the distant sunset or the floating wall of rock that hung above the horizon in the Black Forest. They are bigger, more defined, but remain all fairytale and myth. 

I check the weather and snap on my headlamp to add hours to daylight and miles to my feet, to stretch the time I have. The clouds lift as night falls and the giants become shadows, inky darkness where stars don’t shine. I push towards them on old dirt roads and pavement, past farmhouses and families sitting down to dinner, past cars flashing their headlights in the darkness, pushing to reach them, to make the giants real and catch them while the window is still open.  

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4 thoughts on “Europe N to S: Imaginary Castles (12/19/16)

  1. Go Daniel. I hope you make it! I find myself willing you on while I sit here at my desk at work. Were all wishing you the best of luck. I have been sharing your stories and trip with my co-workers. Can’t wait to see the Alps close up thru your photos.

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