Taking advantage of a forecast second day of pleasant temperatures, we pointed the wagon on Sunday morning to Steiermark; specifically, to the Hochschwab alpine range and Grüner See.

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Yes, of course Clayton Theodore joined us. Why would we leave him out of a described, “Family Hike?”

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A walk around the lake is about 6km, including the forested path and spectacular views of the massifs going to and from.
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A short time later, our first view of the lake. The lake is only temporary; following snowmelt in early spring, the “park” fills with melting snow that has run through the limestone mountains, giving the water its color. At its peak the lake is 10-12m deep (sometime in mid-July); from late autumn to early spring the water depth is but a meter or two.  Once upon a time swimming and diving were popular activities, but certain, ahem, actions by swimmers caused the water to change colors, so swimming and diving is now prohibited.

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Though the walk to the lake is flat, the path around the lake is at points narrow and rocky. Wherever we were around the lake, however, the views were splendid.

By the time we reached the lovely Gasthof at around the 4km point, we were all more than ready for the Steiermark traditional dish, Backhendl. Perfectly crispy fried chicken atop a salad dressed with another Steiermark classic, pumpkinseed oil, and just the refueling needed to complete the trail.
IMG_2107 The last two kilometers took us past a couple of ponds and a feeder stream. The hound must always walk in streams.IMG_2117

Two day trips and 11 km of walking later, and both of the “children” were out for the ride home.

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