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J'ai froid à MY ASS!

Yet another Wacky Assistant Adventure has transpired among the assistantes vichyssoises. Although we have been to the Puy de Dôme, there are still hundreds of puys left to be discovered. So today Jennifer, Renata, Johanna and I took off for the Puy de Pariou, a puy with a crater in the middle.

We hesitated last night about whether or not to go, due to the threat of inclement weather, but it wasn't snowing this morning, so we set off.

It wasn't snowing. This morning. In the Allier. At the relatively low altitude of Vichy. The Puy de Pariou, par contre, was a different story.

One we got out of the car, we found ourselves in mid-calf-deep snow and started the trudge. Even hopping into Renata's footprints instead of making my own, I was quickly out of breath. We ran into some more randonneurs who gave us directions to the top, and we followed them up the path, through often thigh-deep snow on a rather steep hill. I was actually find when we got to the top, and it was fun hopping from footprint to footprint and often falling into holes and falling over in the snow.

When we got to the top, there was a great view of the crater so we decided to walk all the way around it, a distance of over a kilometer. As we started out on the crunchy frozen ground it reminded me of a polar expedition. By halfway around, I realized that I never want to go on a polar expedition. We were out of the shelter of the tallest part of the crater's edge, and the wind was whipping snow straight at us, hard enough that I was sure I was going to be blown off the edge into oblivion. Johanna thought I was slipping, but really I was trying to throw myself to the ground to protect myself every time a big gust came along. Meanwhile, I was losing feeling in my fingers.

I was everso pleased when we found the chemin again, and warmed up once we got out of the wind and started tromping down the hill and playing "I'm going on a trip and taking...", making an alphabetical list of trip essentials like Edgar Allan Poe, the town of Orcival, a farting penguin, a big plastic letter X, and a zombie.

It was quite excellent to see the puy and to have a romp in the snow, but I am glad to be home now, warm and dry and sheltered!

srah - Wednesday, 5 February 2003 - 2:09 PM

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