March 14, 2009
Mark Twain on Hiking Mount Rigi to See a Sunrise
The Rigi is a mountain above Lake Zug, that we see when we drive from Kanton Zurich towards Zug to get to our church meeting place, or to Jason's school, or to visit friends in Zug. It's still covered in snow at this time of year.
Here are a couple of funny excerpts from Mark Twain's account of climbing the Rigi, from A Tramp Abroad, Chapter XXVIII. You might be inspired to read the whole chapter - it's fun.
had been our idea to hire him by the job, or by the year? We told him he could move along if he was in a hurry. He said he wasn't in such a very particular hurry, but he wanted to get to the top while he was young. We told him to clear out, then, and leave the things at the uppermost hotel and say we should be along presently. He said he would secure us a hotel if he could, but if they
were all full he would ask them to build another one and hurry up and get the paint and plaster dry against we arrived.
The jodeling (pronounced yOdling--emphasis on the O) continued, and was very pleasant and inspiriting to hear. Now the jodeler appeared--a shepherd boy of sixteen-- and in our gladness and gratitude we gave him a franc to jodel some more. So he jodeled and we listened. We moved on, presently, and he generously jodeled us out of sight. After about fifteen minutes we came across
another shepherd boy who was jodeling, and gave him half a franc to keep it up. He also jodeled us out of sight. After that, we found a jodeler every ten minutes; we gave the first one eight cents, the second one six cents, the third one four, the fourth one a penny, contributed nothing to Nos. 5, 6, and 7, and during the remainder of the day hired the rest of the jodelers, at a franc apiece, not to jodel any more. There is somewhat too much of the jodeling in the Alps.
It was unspeakably comfortable to stretch our weary limbs between the cool, damp sheets. And how we did sleep!--for there is no opiate like Alpine pedestrianism.
We climbed and climbed; and we kept on climbing; we reached about forty summits, but there was always another one just ahead.
As soon as we had got far enough from the railway to render the finding it again an impossibility,
the fog shut down on us once more.
We were in a bleak, unsheltered place, now, and had to trudge right along, in order to keep warm, though we rather expected to go over a precipice, sooner or later. About nine o'clock we made an important discovery-- that we were not in any path.
March 14, 2009 | Permalink
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Oh, to be an Alpine pedestrian again as soon as possible! Such delight, fresh air, and wonderful sounds of cow bells, as I recall! Love, Mom
Posted by: Patricia Taylor | Mar 15, 2009 11:18:17 PM