Les Houches

Les Houches is a quaint little town about five miles from the center of Chamonix.  It is our home base for 2 summers now in the French Alps.  This year, we arrived just when summer was just starting and will leave as summer is winding down in Chamonix valley.  The ambiance in Les Houches is quiet, simple and the start for a lot of trekkers on their way around Mont Blanc.

We did a quick run yesterday to the lake and during my run, I thought about all the memories we have of this fun place.  We’ve explored new trails right behind our apartment and learned more about the area.

It’s quiet now and that’s normal.  Right after UTMB, everything settles down.  In a couple more weeks, the bus, train and store hours change as the season change.  Foliage in the mountains will change colors which we will miss this year.  The whole mountain changes into beautiful autumn colors and running in the mountains is divine even on wet days.

We will miss this memory filled place.  It’s become our second home sort of because we keep coming back.  Some days, I feel like this might be a place we would settle once we are done with traveling the world.  We can’t see the future and there are still many places in the world to explore however, living in Les Houches seems like everything we possibly need is right in this area.

It’s been very cloudy and chilly in the mornings this last week.  The clouds engulfed the snow capped mountains and glaciers.  We passed by the Bellevue lift and saw more than a dozen trekkers in line to ride the lift up to begin their journey around Mont Blanc.  In my opinion, September is a fantastic time to go because there’s less people at the refuges, low season price and trails will almost be empty.  The weather is still amazing with a few drizzle and the cold temperature makes it pleasant to climb the passes.  In October, some refuge will be closed and possibly the first snow will arrive but it’s still very nice.  The best thing about October is seeing the mountain change as you trek around Mont Blanc.  It’s absolutely beautiful time compared to summer, in my opinion.

We’ve shipped our camping gears and bike shoes back to California and soon, it will be time to pack our bikes up.  The anticipation of heading to another beautiful place is there but there is also a somber feeling of leaving Les Houches.  I often wonder how long we are going to keep moving around the world or will we ever want permanency.  Right now, we enjoy the changes, exploration and embrace the opportunity to do this.  We are living at the moment and not thinking about the end point.

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