Worthwhile Hike in Bavaria: Lake Schrecksee
You guys, this was the hardest hike of my life. I am not even going to sugar coat it for you. But, before I even begin, I want you to know that I don't regret it one bit. What made this my favorite hike was seeing the smile on my husband's face every time the clouds broke and you could see the Bavarian Alps through the grey sky. Or when he woke-up to the view of the lake and was a like a little kid on Christmas. His passion for adventure and gorgeous views inspires me.
We live in the north-western portion of Germany near the border of the Netherlands. So getting to south Germany was no easy task, especially on a holiday weekend when all the Germans were taking some time to travel. We hit the road to Bad Hindelang after being in Heidelberg for a few days (you can read about that weekend here). It was a misty, grey day, but the chance of rain was only about 20%, so we thought, "that's not so bad, we can definitely make it to the top comfortably". Hahaha.. I am laughing as I write this. Please note, I was not laughing while hiking up the mountain in soaking wet clothes.
Anyways, we set off on the 6 mile hike up the mountain and the beginning really wasn't so bad. We had a few paved roads, clearly marked paths, and the rain was still light (for now). Once we were a mile or so in, things got serious. The rain started coming down hard and the mountain got steep -- I am talking Monet on her hands and knees trying to catch up to her crazy, athletic husband as he comfortably walks up the mountain without skipping a beat. I tried thinking of an example to express the endurance and athletic ability of my husband for those of you that don't know him. The best I could find is this article on the Pronghorn Antelopes -- I believe they are somewhere in his ancestry.
Now back to this gruesome hike. After about 1.5 hours of this steepness, muddy trails, and just trying to keep up with Michael, we hit a somewhat flat spot. Whooo, hooo! This lasted an entire 10 minutes until we had to hike up another mountain, that was on top of the mountain we had already climbed. At this point, I am getting irritable and even the Haribo gummies that I love so much couldn't keep me motivated. That's when the clouds broke and we could see the Alps in all their glory. They were gorgeous, intimidating, and breathtaking all at the time same time.
Eventually, we made it to the top at about 7:30 p.m. before the sun was setting. We took a few deep breaths and sighs, enjoyed the view, then immediately started setting up our tent. Never has my sleeping bag and pad sounded more appealing than in that moment.
We woke up early, the sky was clear and the sun was peaking over the other side of the mountain. It was a beautiful view. I was so excited because I thought that our hike back down would not only be much warmer, but we would also get to appreciate the great views we had missed the day prior. Ha! Within 10 minutes of us enjoying the clear skies and making our coffee by the tent, it started snowing. Not just like a little bit, I am talking full on snow storm. Michael could see the worry in my eyes and he calmed me down and said, "Monet, this is much better than rain. It's beautiful and we won't be soaked -- it'll roll right off our clothes!". He had a good point. I love snow! I hate being soaking wet!
The hike down was actually great. I was able to bask in the fact that I made it up the mountain, slept in freezing temperatures like a boss lady (wasn't feeling that way while sleeping), and it was all down hill from there (literally). Plus, I had seen some of the most beautiful and awe-striking views in my life.
After about 3.5 hours, we made it back to our car exhausted, hungry, and soaking wet because the snow did indeed eventually turn to rain. We had a 10+ hour drive home and sat in stand-still traffic for longer than I'd like to think about. But, it was awesome because I was pushed out of my comfort zone. Saw a part of the world I never even dreamed I would see, at least not at the age of 24. Met a few cute cows and bulls. And saw some of the dreamiest mountain views.
Until next time, Lake Schrecksee.