Sunday, June 26, 2011

No More Cowbell - PLEASE!

Holy Cow. No seriously - holy cows. We went hiking yesterday in the Andermatt, and were chased for several miles by cows. Not just any cows, cows with huge spiky rings in their noses. I was so scared that I was running and holding my camera, screaming "No! No! No! No!" This is the thing though - yes, I was scared, and yes we've heard stories of tourists being trampled by stampeding cows - but I just had this innate desire to GET THAT SHOT. My friends kept laughing at me because I was literally on the verge of tears, saying "This is horrendous!", slipping down into the brush off the trail, but snapping photos the entire time. I really felt like I was a war photographer, and I can understand why people put themselves in danger to take pictures. It's a bit of an adrenaline rush.

We had two guy friends that for some reason thought they were cow whisperers and could get these animals to do what they wanted. Dan kept running back and forth trying to distract them and get them to follow him, and Champ just kept trying to corral them forward. His wife, Katie, told me that because Champ watches The Dog Whisperer he has this feeling that he can communicate with all animals; it was hilarious. At one point Katie was videotaping the cow chase on her phone, and you can hear Champ in the background - "Katie, stop filming! Katie, GO! Quit filming, keep walking - don't be an idiot." It is the funniest thing ever.

I'm going to put up some pictures; a mixture of some that I took, and some that Katie took (because the app on her iPhone just makes them look so cool) and they will help to tell the story of just how scary it was. I'm telling you - we were running down single person trails, across tiny wooden planks that served as bridges, and they were FOLLOWING US THE ENTIRE TIME. Fast. Cows are not as slow as you would imagine.

Here is where the mayhem begins.

Champ is beginning to try to get the cows to do what he wants them to.

Look at the cows following us down this path. This is NOT NORMAL!

A cow cutting off Deja and Peter at the pass. In order to be in front of them, it had to cross that little bridge and then wait.

Dan is explaining that he is going to start running that way so that the cows follow him.

Look at these cows - they're GALLOPING!

A shot as I am falling down the hill into the bushes.

It was scary while it was happening, but in retrospect made the whole hike so much fun.

And of course, because we love our dogs - here are some dog pics.

Running in the fields near the hay bales.

Jack (with his little pack so he can feel like he is 'working'.)

Dan and Jack

Paul feeding Richie and Penny

Deja and Peter's little baby, Chloe.

Penny waiting for her mama.

Blazing our own trail.

The group!

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