My daughter and I celebrated milestone birthdays recently with a grand adventure: the "Tour du Mont Blanc," a long-distance hike that circles the Mont Blanc massif and passes through France, Italy, and Switzerland. The daily hikes were challenging and exhilarating. And that's what we wanted. Embarking early each day, my daughter seemed to view every lengthy ascent as a personal affront as she aggressively attacked them Though not quite as aggressive, I was able to keep up. We packed lightly, but were glad we had our rain gear up in the chilly cloudy mist of Grand Col Ferret, our first aid kit for a minor mishap, and ample water. We arrived a few hours before dinner at our hotels, each a unique and charming postcard property, where we enjoyed the warm hospitality and delicious meals. We took far too many pictures - who could resist?! But I will particularly relish recalling the sounds along the way: the rustling leaves, the streams and waterfalls, the buzzing bees among the wildflowers, each friendly "bon jour" from fellow hikers, my huffing and puffing, the church bells, and above all the cowbells ringing in the distance. In the coming months I will attempt to express my impressions of our tour in music. One thing is certain. The orchestration will include cowbells!