Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Leaving France behind... in the following edition. Picture taken near Sablet and Gigondas (that's Mont Ventoux in the background); today's photo may as well be titled "How to Keep Your Roof on in the Windy Vaucluse". (Squint your eyes in time to see the rocks that are holding down the roof tuiles...)
une randonnée (ran doh nay)
: walk, ride, outing, excursion
une randonnée à pied = hike
la randonnée = hiking
le randonneur, la randonneuse = hiker
Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce these French words Download MP3 or Wav
Le mois dernier, nous avons fait une longue randonnée dans le désert. Last month we had a long hike in the desert.
A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse
Note to newsletter readers: the underlined words in the following text correspond to stories from the archive. Click on the words to read the passages.
Last month I visited family in Mexico and in Arizona and, in both countries, I had the chance to meet up with readers of this blog. The friends in Mexico taught me restaurant etiquette, or "How To Send Back an Order!"(simply complain: "These eggs are as cold as a dead man's butt!"). So far I haven't had the occasion to use the insult. Maybe you have?
Meantime, no dead butts in Arizona... where we busted ours for an early morning randonnée. The pressure was off from the get-go (the theme of the meet-up was The Horizontal Hike...) and we walked slow enough to sip coffee as we strolled. I leave you with those photos...
One last cuppa before heading to the trail... from left to right: that's Herm, Naoma, Sharron (Herm's wife), Lynn, and Judy.
From left to right: Rita, my sister Heidi, Karen, and Susan.
Judy, Ann, and Gaelle, whom I kept calling "Susan". Now I'm having doubts about "Ann", whose name I may be mistaking...
Chasing our shadows into the desert... In the lead, that's Gabriel, his sister Monet (left) and their mom Ronnie (behind Gabriel). C'est moi, to the right, in the beige pants.
These three to the right (Ronnie, Heidi, and Karen) were focusing in on the baby coyotes that barked or howled or yelped (???) excitedly up the hill.
This is Randy, who drove over from Cave Creek, AZ. I informed him of my short-lived waitressing job in Cave Creek (in a former life in the desert...). Randy had never heard of "The Desert Deli" and I began to wonder whether it was all a dream... one great mirage!
Stone Sculpture... Those Palo Verde branches are tickling the têtes of Ronnie, Monet, and Gabriel. Can you hear them giggling?
These two desert dwellers belong to Lynn (that's her husband, left) and Ronnie (that's her son, Gabriel, right)...
There's Lynn and her husband. And that's Ann (I think...), right. "Ann" didn't sign my guest book (or did she?). Now I'm having doubts...
There's You Know Who... and that's my sister, Heidi. Cute photo, non? I wished I had on what my sister had on (don't we always?) but my legs were "blanc comme un cachet d'aspirine" or white as a pill, so it was "no deal".
And this is Karen, left, who, along with Herm, made this French meet-up possible! Many thanks again to Herm and to Karen for everything. (And thanks, Karen, for the lovely scarf! It has that European elegance... yet there's a certain Aztec flair!)
This is Herm, whom you may know from the comments box. He occasionally shares a poem with us there. This time he shared one with me, here, as a souvenir of our Horizontal Hike. I had the chance to meet many of the "characters" in the following poem. Herm writes:
Welcome to my space on the planet
in a secluded wash just off the trail
Join in with my friends... The critters,
singing birds and a few colorful quail
With Palo Verde trees on both sides,
It's a pleasantly cool and shady spot
Especially good in the midst of summer
when the dry winds blow un-Godly hot
Occasionally someone on their daily
hike will leave the trail to take a peek
At the rare saguaro cactus down in the
wash, a one of a kind, said to be unique
The excitement, the wonder in their eyes
and, oh, the surprised look on the face
they stand in awe... they can't believe
Siamese twins; bodies joined at the base.
--Poem by Herm Meyer
Thank you, Herm, for sending in this photo. Herm writes: Here's a photograph of a photographer photographing a photographer photographing a Stone Sculpture.....
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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety