I’m staying with two very gracious hosts who were once residents of Jackson Hole like me. Jeff is a mountain guide and Virginia an artist whose work I had seen. I only knew Virginia through our artwork but this was enough for them to invite me to their home for the week in beautiful Chamonix.
They live in the tiny ski village of Le Tour just twenty minutes up valley from Chamonix proper. Their home is a half timber elongated chalet, very french alpine inside. Like all maisons it has an awkwardly steep staircase, random beams and low ceilings to bang your head on. I’ve had at least ten major head bangs on this trip. If I were to shave my head my scalp might look like a bumpy golfball.
On Monday me and Virginia had a mid day paint session. We set up on the neighbor’s rotten wood porch which looked over roofs and a church steeple with Mont Blanc and Chamonix valley marking the background. We had a general sense of what we would paint but once we finished our compositions were almost exactly the same. Pretty cool!
Mont Blanc is the tallest mountain in Western Europe, a legendary peak. I asked Jeff if we could see Mont Blanc and with a simple finger point I beheld the massive white dome. There it was. Just like seeing the Eiffel Tower in the flesh it reminded me where I was and how lucky I am to be here.