June 11: Pontresina to Brunnen, Switzerland

The morning was clearer but still quite cold. It was snowing lightly at the campsite but the sun was trying to come out. The hills were very bright with their new coat of snow - the green conifers on the white hillsides made a very nice picture. We ate breakfast and hit the road at 7:30 AM.

The view around St. Moritz was much nicer than on yesterday when it was so cloudy. There was quite a lot of snow about on the evergreen clad mountains.

We turned onto the Julier Pass road at Silvaplana and traveled northward. At first the road climbed very steeply - on the steep curves most of the road surface was cobblestone.

Near the top we traveled several miles in completely snowcovered landscape. It was very bright but very pretty. Occasionally we would see a stream winding through the snow with a few sprigs of grass and a few wildflowers at its side. We traveled through corridors with snow up to 6 feet deep on the sides of the road.

On part of the descent toward Chur it was snowing and there was quite a bit of snow in the green woods near the road.

From Chur we drove westward on roads which alternated between wide concrete superhighways and narrow one-lane cobblestone streets. Starting about 10 km east of Disentis-Muster we began traveling along a very beautiful valley with many wildflowers, attractive Swiss villages and a mountain background. I felt for the first time since coming down off the Col du Pillon near Lake Geneva that we were back in the kind of Switzerland that we found so attractive near Lucerne and Interlaken. In fact we were back in the German-speaking section after spending the last few days in the Italian section. The profusion of wildflowers and nice scenery continued well up onto the Oberalp Pass approach. Then in a series of tight switchbacks we approached the region of snow and ice. At first we traveled through patches of dirty ice and snow but then reached the area of complete snow coverage. A blanket of clean snow made the area more attractive. We traveled through snow corridors which near the summit must have measured 15 ft deep - it was certainly the deepest snow that I have ever seen.

The windings on the descent into Andermatt were quite steep and the road was mostly just dirt - the ascent from the east had been over a very fine road. We soon saw Andermatt far below us in the valley.

From Andermatt the road led through a very nice gorge to Wassen. The road north to Altdorf was very nice. We reached the shore of Lake Lucerne at Fluelen and drove along the shore to Brunnen. It had begun to rain and we had to pitch the tent in the rain on very wet ground at Brunnen.

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