Jen Nadeau, Austria

I went on a vacation to Austria with my boyfriend David Mihalek. We visited the Spanish Riding School and Dave’s cousin in Vienna and toured Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck on our own. Then we met our Appalachian Mountain Club group for Adventure Travel in Innsbruck Austria and participated in a trip with them based out of Neustift Austria. One day the goal was to hike to the Nuremberger Hut. After passing a small alm (we would call it a farm here), there were farm goats on the trail. Our hike leader Ginette Beaudoin, a small animal veterinarian from Biddeford, Maine, let the billy goat sniff her and walked by. The next hiker, Hank, let the goat sniff him but the goat then took a swipe at him with his horn! That made Hank and the rest of the hikers more concerned about the goat and we were frozen on the trail, at an impasse. Being an animal scientist and UConn professor, it was impossible for me to just do nothing. So I told them I would hold the goat by the horns so that they could all pass by. Dave was concerned about how I would get away after but I just got up there and grabbed the goat by both horns and the hikers walked by. The leader called out to the co-leader who is always last not to let the goat push me off the mountain. Seeing that she was concerned, I made him back up a few steps. Then, when I went to release him I guess after pushing him backwards, he felt that I was dominant so he meekly walked away. And that is how I became known as “Goat Wrestler”, increased my trail cred and received a thank you flavored water! As my best friend put It, true animal scientist or crazy person, not sure which! But I did tell them I would not do that with any cows or wild mountain goats. – Jen