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Where eagles dare

In a remote high meadow we hiked up to someone who had just found a gigantic eagle feather. "This is lucky!" he exclaimed.

And so it was, for me as well. Elias and his wife, Jenny, were hiking around the borders of Graubünden, the largest canton in Switzerland - the one I'm currently in.

Charming young people (maybe 30 years old), this is their first backpacking trip and they expect it to take three months, camping in a tent the whole way.

Sure, tent camping in the wild isn't officially allowed in Switzerland, but bivouacking is - which basically means the tent must come down around dawn. In theory.

They started from near their home 14 days ago and didn't find the full camping load too burdensome.

Jenny said her original inspiration was Andrea Vogel's book, and she at first wanted to circle the entire country, but that would take too long. They aren't carrying any climbing gear, so aren't doing the technical peaks.

The border is just a rough guideline to see new places in their homeland.

It turns out that one of their greatest passions is windsurfing, and a big dream of Elias' is to windsurf in Hood River, my hometown.

So I've invited them to stay with us. But first we hope to meet again along the Graubünden border, maybe even to camp together.

And then we had to part, as we were late for dinner reservations at the Heidelberger Hut, the very lap of mountain luxury.

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