When British Romantic poet William Wordsworth was a student at Cambridge, he took off on one of his summer vacations for a walking tour of the Alps. He and his buddy Robert Jones walked over 500 miles south through France during the summer of 1790, and when they showed up in Chamonix, they walked up into the mountains and stood there, enchanted with the area’s “streams of ice, a motionless array of mighty waves, five rivers broad and vast,” Wordsworth later wrote in his autobiographical poem The Prelude.
Last week, on my own little walking tour, I couldn’t help but notice how this place changes when it rains. Waterfalls seem to sprout magically out of rocks around every bend, and the ones that normally just trickle turn into gushing glacial streams. Rickety bridges cross over falls that rumble beneath their planks, so that when you walk over them, you can feel the thudding in your boots.
Not a good place to slip:
The downside of last week’s rain was that I had to sit around for a few hours while my gear dried out, but the upside was that I could find a “faucet” pretty easily whenever I needed one for the next few days.