The Watch Made It!
November 29th, 2015 in Around the Woodstove
In the summer of 2001 Don and I went to Europe for 6 weeks. It was a wonderful trip that culminated with a 2 week stay in the Czech Republic with our good friend Jirka and his family. We started the trip in Austria and, using our Eurail Pass, dropped down into Italy, Sicily and then flew to Malta! We caught a ride on a huge container ship back to the tip of the boot of Italy and headed north along the western coast of Italy into Switzerland for a nice stay in Zermat and then on to Prague. Early in the trip we were in the Dolomites hiking the alpine meadows. It was my birthday and Don bought me a little gold watch. I wear it everywhere! It reminds me of this awesome vacation we had together. As I reported in an earlier newsletter, I hiked in the North Cascades this summer…what I did not mention was I lost my watch!
This was our trip up Little Beaver and out Big Beaver with an arduous side trip to spectacular Whatcom Pass. Don and I had planned this trip the winter he died. Liz, David and I hiked it in his memory. Hiking out on our fourth day I realized I no longer had my watch. It was late in the day with no hope of turning back to look for it. Deep Breath! I just set my angst aside and hiked on. As we hiked out the following day met up with a group of climbers heading back up into the Pickets. We chatted and I mentioned my watch. They graciously said they would look for it. When they asked me for contact info, they knew all about Scottish Lakes. They headed up and we hiked out.
About 10 days later I received an email from Marissa, she had found my watch! It was unbelievable…I was thrilled. She was planning to travel through Leavenworth so she dropped it off and I got a chance to thank her and give her a big hug in person. As we chatted she mentioned that the watch had summitted Mount Challenger. How cool is that! You see, the Pickets were Don’s Shangrila…he had never hiked there. The trip we had planned was going to be the first of many as we introduced ourselves to a new area.
There is something quite beautiful about this story…about a watch given to me 14 years ago as we hiked the Dolomites together … never having been there or to Europe at all for that matter. This watch made up up Challenger, the biggest peak in the Pickets another new frontier for us to explore together. Don’s Shangrila!