25 miles on snowy roads…

I was keen to walk to Bad Tölz, but I wasn’t sure if I could handle the enormous distance. It snowed heavily overnight, so I set off, crunching south by the Zoo, then turning away from the river before Grünwald into the Perlacher Forst. This provided a long journey along a train track in deep snow. Thankfully a few people had made tracks or my socks would be even wetter than they ended up. I reached Oberhaching and got confused, actually walking out of my way to downtown Deisenhofen before realizing my mistake. I’d had enough of deep snow on trails, so I would stick to the road for the rest of the journey.

Endlhausen

Mountains!

I approach Endlhausen

I think this made it harder on my feet, because pavement is tougher than dirt trails. I walked to Oberbiberg, where I took my first rest. The snow covered all benches and surfaces, making it hard to find a rest stop. Here, I found a bench on the southern exposure of a building where I could take off my shoes and eat a peanut butter sandwich. Ah, that felt good.

In general, I didn’t see a soul in these little towns, and in 25 miles of walking I only saw one person outside of the crowded trail along the Isar: a man walking his dog in the Perlacher Forst. Out here in the towns there were neither people nor businesses where I could get a cup of coffee. I didn’t see a gas station until Dietramszell, and it was closed, too. So I was glad I brought plenty of food and water.

I walked on, taking another rest in Fraßhausen, where a business sold little garden sheds, and had an “example” bench to sit on. Yes! Somewhere in the deserted town I heard a TV playing, and someone turned down the volume when I made a noise. Strange.

In Linden, I stopped on a cold, wet bus bench for a few moments, realizing that I had blisters and was so sore that getting up and moving was becoming a real chore. I thought about stopping at Dietramszell. So, indeed, that last stretch felt long. I went to the restaurant across the street from the big church at the center of town and had a cup of coffee and a great slice of apple and walnut pie. The walnuts made for a very cosy small town touch.

A road near Frasshausen

Still going…

Lots of road walking

I went outside and looked at the bus sign. and one would be along in 15 minutes. To kill the time I walked back north up the hill for a few stops, then I noticed that the bus was late. Sigh. Reading the sign more closely, it only ran on weekdays.

Sigh!

So…what to do? I called Kris and bitched and moaned on her voice mail, thinking she maybe needed to come pick me up. But I decided to try hitchhiking first. I held out my thumb, smiled, and promptly five cars drove by. But a man stopped! We had a great conversation about x-country skiing, walking, and the difficulty of having a girlfriend who likes to walk when you like to ride bikes! He brought my all the way home to my door, 40 kilometers away! This was amazing because I was hurting all over.


The very idea of this hike was a challenge for me in a few ways. First off, the great enemy: Boredom. I’ve spent my whole hiking career being terrified of roads and flat country. Here, I’m embracing both. The motivation came from the desire to begin the adventure right from the door, instead of after several hours fighting traffic, paying tolls, putting in gas, etc. Plus, I’m losing patience with that former self who looked down on one kind of outdoor experience while elevating others. I’m getting interested in inward journeys, and sometimes the best rewards there are when you don’t have to concentrate on the path especially hard.

Lovely trees

Resting in Frasshausen

I was all loaded up with music and audiobooks for the perceived horror of the flatlands. But I didn’t listen to anything until Deisenhofen. The first three hours were exciting just because of the new terrain. For example, I’d never been in the Perlacher Forst.

Later, I enjoyed the beauty of the trees with their mantel of fresh snow. At one point, gazing deep into the forest on the side of the road was so much fun, I remember being very impressed with the beauty of a wall of trees decorated with snow. It swirled off in powdery wisps of the wind.

Seeing the mountains for the first time was a great moment as well. They looked huge, and amazingly close. In reality, they were just foothills. But the contrast with the long road and forest was great enough that it made an impressive vision.

So, maybe next time I’ll make it. In truth, I want to walk to Bad Tölz, climb the mountain behind for an elevation gain of 1000 meters, then take the train home. But gee, that will be tough!

Here was my “workout” on MapMyRun.