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from times gone by

Hikers Return Thwarted
from the Oct. 14, 1949 issue of The Tiger, edited by Ashok Chatterjee

Jumnotri was their destination, Robert Forsgren and Willem Parson, always known as Bob and Puiu, headed out Tehri Road carrying fifty pound packs at noon on Friday, September 25. They planned to arrive back on October 3.

They started out all pepped up to make 25 miles a day but were sidetracked the second day because of sore backs and aching shoulders. An accident. after Dhanaulti slowed them up considerably but they both were determined and eager.

On the third day they found themselves walking on the up and down bank of the Ganges, arriving at Darasu, a point of pilgrimage. The bugs were terrific nuisances and Bob finished the night sleeping with the horse and a sore ankle. An interesting talk with two saddhus lightened the journey.

Twelve miles from Jumnotri brought them to an icy, rushing river and a washed-out bridge. It was early morning making it dark, dreary and cold. They had to get across! They shoved their packs on their shoulders and stepped into the water up to their waists. Halfway across, they were freezing in the midst of a rushing current and realized they either had to turn back or take a big risk of getting the rest of the way across. They turned back and were told at the village there was an emergency bridge; but why go back?

They were light-hearted to think they were going home so they make 24 miles the first day, 34 the second, and almost made it home Friday evening, but fatigue got the best of them. Arriving at the hostel Saturday morning, October 1, before breakfast, they found a great change in Mussoorie weather. Bob headed for Hanson Field and Puiu hit the hay, but Bob wishes now he'd kept Puiu company slumbering.

Their main complaints were bugs, irregular meals and sleep, and hiking during the noon hours. Back in good shape, now, they're sure to remember the good times more than the worst which goes with every hike for it was really some experience!

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