Monday, August 14, 2017

From Bormio to Bernina

I saw one of the most beautiful awe-inspiring scenes of my life yesterday as we descended from the Bernina Pass - the Bernina Glacier. It was here, with the view pictured above, that I scattered Mark's ashes yesterday in a beautiful Alpine meadow. I think he would approve.

We had started yesterday morning in Bormio, Italy, riding down valley to Tirano before heading up valley again to Bernina. The weather was beautiful, as it promises to be again today. Grateful for that.


There was a steady climb from Tirano for 15 kilometers or so before we stopped for a picnic lunch. Then a number of us, myself included, opted to take the van from there to the Bernina Pass, then do the descent into Pontresina.

One of the great things about these cycling trips that I have always enjoyed are those spontaneous times when great memories are made along the way with new and old friends. On our first tour in Corsica in 2012, it was the night we drank shots of limoncello and skinny-dipped in the bay at Propriano. 

At Propriano, before dinner, as we all sat and watched the sun set. Those present then who are on this current tour: Ross and Patti, Kathy, Tom and Dan. It's been great being with people who knew Mark.

On the Geneva to Nice tour, there were numerous "smaller" but no less memorable moments. As I've thought about it, the memories I cherish most from that tour were moments with Mark, such as wrapping my arm in his as we sat awaiting dinner at our hotel in Castellane:

Or enjoying our last lunch on that tour, in Gourdon, high above Nice and the Mediterranean; or starting our last descent of that trip, our last European descent that we would take together:

Yesterday afternoon was one of those times when lasting memories were made as a group of us walked down to the Hotel Walther, a grand old dame of a hotel, where we had bottle after bottle of delicious Swiss Pinot Noir rosé, soaking up the afternoon sun, laughing, talking. It turned out to be a pricey afternoon, but one that I will long remember.

Today, we set off from Pontresina, our destination this evening being Splügen. About 90 kilometers, 4000' feet of climbing over two climbs. The sky is virtually cloudless. It promises to be a great day, stopping for morning coffee in St. Moritz -- because of course, it's St. Moritz. 

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