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On our fourth day in the Dolomites we rose early, packed our bags and left our strange little air bnb that sat in the middle of a lumber yard. My anxiety was high. Our next destination was Rifugio Auronzo (a Rifugio is somewhere between a hostel and a hotel, a place to rest and recover while hiking in the mountains) located in the southeastern corner of the Dolomite mountain range. To get there, we needed to drive to a small town called Misurina, find a place to park overnight for three days, find a bus that would take us up the mountain, find the bus stop, and hope it arrived at a reasonable time. The internet only told me this was possible; further details were scant. 


By the grace of whatever holy powers that be, it worked out. A nice Italian man in a cafe pointed out a place to park and helped us with the bus times. After a short trek we made it to the bus stop and we were off. I’d like to take a minute and pay my respect to the brave bus drivers that trek up and down those tiny, winding mountain roads all day. Godspeed, my brothers and sisters. It was hard enough driving a small car around. 


The location is breathtaking. Majestic. Amazing. Pick an adjective. While the sky was blue and the air pleasant, we took to calling it Mordor because of the jagged and prominent peaks surrounding us. And the most famous of them all, the Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint, was only a mile or two from our rifugio. We spent half a day exploring and taking this area in. The viewpoint itself, centered in this image, was a bit of a hair-raising experience, flanked on both sides by steep drops into the abyss.

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