This was the participation trophy for having lost a second attempt at a long weekend in Tirol to Mother Nature, in my desire to escape the heat of Vienna.  I’m not complaining, though, because, COWS!

While our little outing was enjoyable, this was clearly the highlight for me.

We did eventually reach our trailhead for a pleasant wander past falls shimmering from the iron ore in the mountains. Our destination of choice was an area in the Hochsteiermark noted for mining, which lead to the construction of the Semmering Railroad, the world’s first “true” mountain railroad built in the mid 1800’s.

We have decided that Clayton Theodore is our four-pawed, perpetual toddler. He loves hiking with us; when he senses we are heading for an outing he positions himself at the door as if to say, “You all go nowhere without me.” Any puddle is fair game for drinking; and he has learned to behave when we sit for lunch in order there be one or two Pommes for him.

The usual and customary protocol is for us to sit at an Alm or similar following the wander (the “Schnitzeling” half of these jaunts.) No Alm was in the near, but the village had a Gasthof, which is somewhat akin to an Alm except that because it was Sunday, we were the only ones in wandering clothing and not in “Sunday attire.” Tongues were wagging, I am sure, as soon as our station wagon pulled into the parking area and we alit in khakis and wandering shoes, with a crazy Foxhound tugging ahead in his quest for Pommes. We are accustomed to that, though, just as we are accustomed to having the Heavenly Father join us for lunch when we are out in the provinces.

Not the weekend that was planned, but at least there were cows.


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