Author’s note: This is a continuation on my series of trekking La Vanoise National Park in the high Alps of France. To see all posts in this series, click here.

The glorious day only continued to improve. Each step I took made me feel more alive than I had in ages. There is something about hiking that gives me an enormous emotional high. It is funny as I’m a runner and the euphoric feeling I get from working my body strenuously is often the only thing that makes me feel whole. Being outside, breathing in fresh, pure air and feeling the sun on my face is perhaps the closest I’ll ever come to heaven.

Despite my elated mood, there was something in the air that afternoon. We were all feeling over the top giddy. It all started with the gift Mark received at our last refuge. A pair of brand new toilet bowl brushes.

Our guide Mark transporting two new toilet bowl brushes to the next refuge. Imagine the questions he received!

We laughed infectiously as we came up with all the random explanations we could give curious passerby’s. Hmmm….these are in case of an absolute emergency along the way. Or these are special backscratchers, haven’t you seen them before? Or these are giant toothbrushes. Didn’t you know I had a large set of choppers?

Our giggles were like children. Our potty talk was even worse! I felt like my seven-year-old son and his friends. But we couldn’t stop laughing. Something was brewing in the air….

Mark posing for one of many photos with the backscratchers.

The hike continued onwards through continually gorgeous mountain and valley views of the villages far below. I marveled at how spectacular it felt to be out in the middle of nowhere. There weren’t many hikers except us and our laughs.

A group of hikers taking a break at a mountain view.

At some point we stopped for our picnic lunch. We laughed even more to find fresh farm eggs inside from the chickens at the last refuge. (Remember, the ones that were flown up to the refuge each season via helicopter and fed our leftover lentils and rice). We also had a huge chunk of fromage and pate along with stale bread. We were too far away from the nearest boulangerie to get anything fresh and french.

Life is good!

View of one of the many mountain villages far below. A great winter ski resort possibly.

We reached a rocky terrain and I was glad to have my trustworthy hiking poles along. It was steep and slippery.

Hiking through the rocky path.

We were growing more exhausted as the day wore on. Perhaps my body was telling me it was time for a rest. I knew we had a good venue ahead. Mark promised we would love it! We looked forward to finding the aquamarine lake that would signal we were near our refuge for the night.

There it was, the brilliant aquamarine lake! A hot shower, pair of “hot shoes”, and of course Vin de Savoie awaited.

I should have known by the start that it was going to be a night to remember. Not only did I get loads of gorgeous pictures, we had the time of our life celebrating and living the life. Stay tuned….


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