September 2023–hiking the Dolomites, my 4th Oktoberfest, + my 30-yr high school reunion

September made the long hours of August worth the toil. On Labor Day, we flew first class to Munich–the first time we’ve been able to fly east across the Atlantic and actually lie down + sleep.

I loved Bolzano, Italy, the town that can’t decide if it’s Austrian or Italian, so it’s both–the food, the service workers, the winding and climbing streets or sidewalks–it was all awesome and needed more days, but it was just the bookends to our hike across the Dolomites. We even made time to visit Ötzi the Iceman!

Here are its 30 seconds compiled:

The hike itself was beautiful…most days were fewer than 10 miles, so the mileage wasn’t particularly hard compared to the Hadrian’s Wall walk , but it was MUCH steeper and hotter (some days we climbed up downhill ski slopes!). Still, I loved the company, the landscapes, and the exhilaration of being outside and away from the office for an entire week. My bride got to celebrate a birthday in a refugio in the Alps with strangers from all over the U.S. and Europe singing to her. Who wouldn’t want that memory?

After our hike, we took the train to Munich and attended opening day of Oktoberfest, and it too was awesome. We made friends with folks from the States who tried to keep up with us but gradually peeled off as the day (that started with the first tapping of the keg at 11am) progressed; we stayed out til 11pm, despite our guide’s (a local) saying not to remain in the tents into the evening.

Right after we got home, we saw Matt & Kim live, and a few days later, we drove to Hendersonville, Tennessee for my 30-year high school reunion. Many of the folks there I had not seen since the 20-year or even longer. It was actually more fun than I’d hoped, and how often does that happen?

Near the end of the month, my son turned 15 and had friends stay over, followed by his making them all pancakes, and then they went off to shoot at each other in the woods for a couple hours.

The last weekend of the month, we mountain biked near Oxford, Alabama and stayed on our land in Woodland, which is coming along pretty well! We have a fully functional bathhouse and the beginning of a cabin so far. I hope to make visiting it at least a monthly occurrence. Here’s the Little Tallapoosa River that forms our north boundary:

Bring on October !

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