August 16-18, 2018
A long weekend hanging out with some adventurous overland travelers.
Dan and I went to our first Horizons Unlimited meeting three years ago, across the border in Germany. We had a good time, but things got busy and we weren’t able to return. Last year, someone stepped up to volunteer to host an event in Switzerland. There are meetings all over the world, but 2017 was the first one in my back yard. I wasn’t able to attend, but promised myself that I’d go this year – and I did.
Because this meeting is in my backyard, I decided that I would volunteer while I was there, helping out instead of riding the roads that I already knew. People would start to arrive Wednesday evening, but I planned on arriving on Thursday. I took some time off from work and headed south, to the little village of Meierskappel somewhat near the Zugersee.
All packed up and ready to roll
The Alps as seen from the Jura mountains near my home
The weather on Thursday was brilliant. I really wanted to wear my mesh jacket, but the forecast had called for rain over the weekend, and I chose to be a little hot over a lot of wet. I arrived late morning to the campground and set up my tent under a tree that would give me shade throughout the day – bonus!
It was early and I wasn’t due to actually help at the Registration table until the next morning. My cousins, who had been visiting me last week, we now in Lucerne and only a twenty minute ride away. I made plans to have dinner with them, and then took the long way to get there. A four hour detour, to be exact.
You can see the ride over the passes on this link. There are a lot of photos, so I separated it from the HU page, so make it less cumbersome.
I made it back to the campground while there was still a little bit of light, parked the bike and went off to find some friends who had shown up while I was out. I caught a presentation and then caught up with my friends before deciding that I’d rather get a good night’s sleep than stay up at the bonfire.
Friday was a mixed bag of events: I was slated to volunteer at the registration desk off and on throughout the day and I was happy to hang around the campsite and check out the bikes, tents, various set ups and talk with people. The weather was fickle, with rain passing through occasionally and the sun coming out to make it humid again.
Presentations took place throughout the day, interspersed with clinics on topics such as electrical wiring and repairs, and how to process border paperwork; both things very important to a traveler not relying on their travel agent to get them somewhere. The presentations were from various volunteers, talking about past trips they had made, as well as pointers on how to make your own adventure come true.
Here are some photos, in no particular order, of the HU Meeting in Switzerland.
Battling the rain
Yep, its raining (but Switzerland needed it)
The barn in the background is where the presentations took place
Camping in the meadow
Adventurers come in all sorts of vehicles
Drying out between rain showers
Kitty speed bumps
The campground was part of a working farm, where one could see goats, rabbits, chickens, cows, horses and sheep. And cats. Many cats, and some of them were quite young. One in particular was still nursing from Mom, but wasn’t afraid to come and attack the invisible monsters near us. I was particularly drawn to it, as it looked almost exactly like one of my cats when she was a kitten, even down to the tiny size!
The comparison (mine is on the left)
Taking a nap on the raffle table
My plans of a good night’s sleep went awry. I had done something to my back last week and while I was fine during the day, the moment I laid down, it hurt. It hurt at home on my comfy mattress, so you can imagine how bad it was on a Thermarest on the ground. I slept poorly and woke up on Friday exhausted. But I figured that after a busy day in the sun (and rain) and fresh air, I’d sleep well Friday night. Nope; it was even worse. As Saturday wore on, I came to the realization that I really didn’t want a third night in the tent. I checked the GPS: I could be home in one hour, fifteen minutes. Done. I packed up my stuff during the evening hours, stayed through to almost the last presentation on Saturday, and then high-tailed it home to my comfier bed. Dan was a little surprised to see me, but I was really glad to be home and have Sunday to unpack and unwind. It had been a great meet though, and I am looking forward to going back next year.