Saturday, January 31, 2015

Into the woods

After a harrowing drive up, I didn't walk too far down this trail

We live across the highway (N88) from a large forest called "Les Palanges." Even when the girls were younger, though, we seldom drove up there to take walks, although there are many lovely trails.

Last Sunday, the sun came out and melted away the slight snowfall we had had the day before. Roads in our village were dry and clear, and I thought it might be fun to toodle over into the Palanges -- just a few miles away -- and see what the snow situation was.

The snow cover was underwhelming

Without a thought to what the roads might be like, I drove down from our house in Gages-le-Haut, crossed the highway, and blithely headed up the "route d'Agen," a back road that goes up and over part of the Palanges forest and into another village -- Agen, obviously enough if you understand French road names.

Within minutes, all traces of sun were hidden by the trees, and I found myself driving on sheer compact snow and ice, with no choice but to move upward and onwards.

My husband had just told me my snow tires were still fine. I would soon find out.

I grit my teeth, kept up my speed as if nothing were wrong, and made it to the visitor-friendly parking area at the top of the road without a slip.


I had started this adventure a bit late

I poked around a bit and decided I would need to come back here soon, perhaps with my husband because, icy roads notwithstanding, the Palanges have always been a bit scary to me. 

Peace and quiet -- and no ice -- on the drive back

Needless to say, I took the sunnier option for driving back, heading down towards Agen rather than testing my tires again.

One of these days, I'm sure my explorations will get me into trouble -- but fortunately, last Sunday was not that day. 

4 comments: said...

Hi Betty,
Thank you for leaving your comment over at my blog. I will be following you.
It looks a lovely part of France you live in. Needless to say.. a little snowy.
In summer it must be stunning.
I was last in France about 7 years ago.
sending best wishes.

Betty Carlson said...

Thank you Val for your comment.

Yes, we live in "the North of the South" -- technically in SW France, but at 2,000 feet altitude. So we get some snow, although not a lot. And it can be lovely at every time of year...

Dorothy Borders said...

What a lovely vista that last picture is. I was fascinated to read about your adventure and I'm happy to find your blog. I look forward to learning more about your life in France.

Perpetua said...

I can see what tempted you, Betty, but also why you might prefer to return with your husband. It's a beautiful area, but also rather remote and lonely-looking.