Today was a work out! It started with a very steep climb up to the first pass. Before the day was over I had walked 14+ miles. When I was training for this walk, I could do 14 miles in the Smokies with significant climbing, in about 6 hours. These 14 miles took me half again as long – 9 solid hours.

This picture was taken as I was headed up to the second pass of the day, while I was still relatively fresh.


This is my hotel in Gsteig. I ate dinner here and struck up a nice conversation with a German biker.

I am now in an area where most people speak French, although German still predominates. But I can now communicate much better.

Oh, I meant to mention yesterday about my encounter with the farmer and the farmer’s daughter. I was walking up a small one lane mountain road and see a car coming The other way. I step to the side to give it plenty of room to pass me but instead the car stops. Inside is a farmer and his very attractive 20-something daughter. Turns out the farmer was one of the Ibex hunters I had meet the previous day. He recognized me and stopped to say hello.

Cows are funny creatures

When I encounter them I get all sorts of reactions. Some are shy and scurry out of the way. Others are indifferent and just ignore me. When I meet one on a trail they act very possessive as though they don’t want to give way to some scrawny human who probably weighs close to 2000 lbs. less than them. The technique I have found that makes them give way to me is to cross my walking poles, point them right at the. Ow blocking the trail and clack them together repeatedly. For some reason they don’t like that and will yield the ROW to me.

This group was different. Usually if there are several in a field at the most one or two will show mild interest in me by doing no more than turning their head to look at me. In this field, though, there were about a dozed cows and every one gazed at me intently and followed my every move. The big girl on the right started trotting toward me from the far side of the field. All I could think of was the article Mike Roark sent me about a woman being attacked by a cow in a Swiss field. She finally stopped about 5′ from me and we became great friends.