Slovenian and Croatian 9/13/2007-10/7/2007
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Journal Part IV:
We were warm, dry and toasty in
Bohinj, but the rain caused major road closers of all roads going in and out of
the mountains. We were sitting in our
quiet dining area around 9 pm last night when all of the sudden we were invaded
by about 40 eleven and twelve year olds. They had been on a school field trip
Tomorrow we are heading out early
for a three day climb of
I arrived at the designated location and met Olga. The first of our two conversation went exactly like this, "In there, take cloths off now." The only thing that made me uncomfortable was that her voice was an octave below Hulk Hogan's. Her resume said she was a communication facilitator for the KGB after she had completed her career on the Yugoslav shot put team. Our second conversation was when Olga said "You like!?" I wasn't sure if it was a question or a statement.
Mo had a more involved conversation
during her massage. Olga said "You
are in good shape for American". Mo
thought that was accurate, but asked why she thought so. Olga responded that she watched
Alls well that ends well and I'm feeling good and my prostate is less congested thanks to Olga.
9/20/2007 Trek Day: Four days ago
finally decided to pack up our packs and see if we could get in to the
Bridge crossing on
On the way to Rudno Plje and trail head to Triglav
The drive was a highlight in it
self. Through small mountain villages
with the ubiquitous flower planters overflowing with colorful blooms coming off
of every deck and window sill and hay drying over field hangers. Through dense forest in to open meadows and
past pristine farms. We ended up passing
through Rudno Plje, the national nordic combined and cross country training center
Typical farm shed
Found the trail head with relatively little problem. The sign, as with all trail signs in the mountains, indicated the destination and the time, i.e. “Triglav 6 hours”. It was 10:00 AM with brilliant sun shine and no schedule to keep so no problem. We climbed through beech, larch and lodge pole pine (no red/brown beetle kill trees) on a well maintained trail. After a couple of hours it opened in to a large valley with lime stone dolomite spires standing at attention around the valley.
Above tree line in to the valley of the spires
We climbed a steep ill defined trail
to a gap in a ridge that looked north over a mist filled valley to a snow and
Triglav in the background with our destination hut, Triglavski Dom, visible as a speck on the ridge just right of the high peak.
From our detour we traversed above the valley to the correct pass. A little snow on the ground, but no wind and lot of sunshine.
Correcting course across the ridge
We thought we were on our way to a bowel of hot soup and a glass of wine in no time, but after another two hours and many promises of "it's just around the corner", we came around “the corner” and could see the hut of our destination, the Planika Dom...sitting 1,300 ft up on a rocky ridge with a series of about 20 switch backs and snow leading the way.
Fake smile on face as I point out our destination hut
All ready five and half hours in to our trek, Mo was not psyched about the prospect of the climb, but I was not to psyched about the prospect of a five to six hour hike back. Fate had better things in store and a crisis was averted. A kilometer ahead was the Vodnikov Dom hut. Some how had missed this oasis on the map. We were met by Franscisa, the hut cook, manager, bar tender and cheer leader. Franscisa, named after the saint, was a leather bound 70 year old German, Slovenian, Austrian madam who smoked, didn’t speak a word of English, but was as friendly and warm as the fairy god mother you always dreamed of . With in minutes of arrival we had hot barley soup, home made bread and a bottle of wine in front of us and all the struggles of the day were behind.
We shared the hut with a group of
Brits, Scots and Irish who had been out for a week already and were in the full
party mode. One Brit from the