2016 “Goat Vacation”: Day 3 – Uncompahgre Peak

Bear with me because I had a very hard time narrowing my photo selection down! We took over 150 photos today and nearly all of them were fabulous! (I can’t say much for the photographers, but when the scenery is this incredible you can’t really go wrong.)

Today we hiked Uncompahgre Peak, the highest 14-er in the San Juan range at 14,321 feet. Although I grew up in Lake City, I never climbed this peak. I was hoping we’d be able to do it on this trip but wasn’t sure if the weather would cooperate. It kind of didn’t, but we took a chance and climbed it anyway.

Before we got to the trail we encountered this beautiful waterfall on Nellie Creek.

Our destination:

“Thank-you, Sputnik, for carrying my stuff up the mountain!”

Phil took a brief rest on this convenient “outcropping”.

Looking toward the summit.

Sputnik found a convenient, well-padded place to rest his weary head.

Uncompahgre peak: Getting closer!

Sneaky Sputnik! Phil needs to keep an eye on that cookie pouch!

It got very windy about halfway up. Sputnik’s ears can attest to that! The wind continued as we climbed, and as we got closer to the top I felt Sputnik had had enough so I switched the pack to Finn for the difficult final stage.

There was a very steep, rocky climb near the summit where we were really scrambling with hands as well as feet. The goats did great, but they definitely have a tendency to tumble rocks down behind them. We were not successful at keeping them behind both of us, so I went ahead and led them up while Phil followed at a safe distance.

My beautiful boy.

Almost there!

Summit achieved! Woo-hoo!

The views from the top were breathtaking.

Finn certainly thought so!

But as usual, he also thought that the best view on the mountaintop was of himself, up close and personal.

Blue sky on one side…

Clouds and rainy snow on the other. Time to head back down I think!

The descent.

“Don’t jump, Finn! It’s a loonngg way to the bottom!”

Where is Sputnik?

A tender moment.

As we neared the trailhead, the mountain bid us a final farewell.

2016 “Goat Vacation”: Day 2

Yesterday was a bit rainy so we stuck around town and took it easy. I cut a tarp down for the boys in case it rained on us but we never had to use them. Sputnik was glad. He didn’t like his tarp. He thought it was a little scary.

We walked around Lake City in the morning and then took a leisurely stroll about two miles up Henson Creek Road in the afternoon.

Phil and Finn share a moment.

We sat and watched the river.

Then we walked back into town and got some ice cream. The boys even enjoyed some free broken waffle cones! It was an easy, low-key day. It started to rain pretty hard so we put the boys to bed early and then Phil and I spent the evening playing games with some friends.

5th Annual Hassey “Goat Vacation” – Lake City, CO

Yesterday we packed up the truck and trailer, loaded up Finn and Sputnik, and embarked on our 5th annual “goat vacation”! We’re not going as far as Utah this year. Instead we made tracks to my home town of Lake City, CO. This is the first time we’ve left Cuzco at home. The old fella has been taking it easy all summer by his own choice. He would come along if we asked him, but I don’t think his heart would be in it.

The colors here this year are incredible!! The aspens are at their peak. Phil and I spent our first morning in Lake City scouting out a place to hold the NAPgA Rendy 2017.

Finn and Sputnik had fun helping us explore these potential sites. In fact, Finn was so busy exploring that he didn’t always want to get back in the truck afterwards. We had to drive away a few times before he would come running and leap in. There’s no way it’s too hard a leap for him–one time he didn’t even bother to run around back to use the open tailgate. He just jumped in over the side. I had no idea he could leap so high, but he acted like it was nothing.

We took a very short but very steep little hike down to Whitmore Falls.

Here is one of the potential Rendy sites. The boys really liked it and it’s close to two awesome trails!

One of them is the Alpine Gulch trail. It has a lot of water crossings. Finn always crossed these narrow log bridges with catlike agility. Sputnik usually preferred to walk through the water.

The water in this creek has a soft, milky blue tint that contrasts beautifully with the iron-red rocks. I loved the aspen leaves floating on the surface.

As we got further up the trail we got into a beautiful old aspen forest. The trees are at their absolute peak. The camera couldn’t remotely capture their glowing golden splendor.

“Follow the yellow leaf road, Sputnik!”

Finn attacked an aspen sapling and came back with this lovely ornament.

Near the end of our hike we encountered a big potential trail clearing project for the Rendy next year. It looks like a huge windstorm took out all these dead trees at once and buried the path.

When I was a teenager I used to rub my palms on the aspen bark and slap “Indian” handprints on my horse’s rump. Today Finn got handprints. Smile

2016 CDGA Harvest Show

We had fun at the 2016 Harvest Show. It was the 40th anniversary of the CDGA, so lots of cake this year. The girls did very well. Pepi won in her class of five Recorded Grades on the first day of the show, but the judge overlooked her in the second. The doe in third place in this photo took Reserve Champion the next day.

Nubbin was the queen of the Recorded Grades and won Grand Champion both days. Unfortunately there weren’t enough in her class to sanction so it can’t count toward anything, but we had fun. Nubbin was more interested in fighting with the other goats in her class than in setting up nicely and looking good for the judge. Here she is with her hackles raised and her neck arched as she’s about to reach for the tail of the goat in front of her!

But she took home the prizes so we can’t complain about her “cage fighter” attitude.

This was a tiring weekend for all the girls, coming right on the heels of the rather grueling State Fair. Petunia enjoyed using Pepi for a pillow.

Happy, sleepy goat smile.

All the girls did well for themselves. Petunia showed off her repertoire of tricks to an amused audience, and Pepi learned to shake hands and walk on her hind legs while we waited for our class to start. Tigerlily was very subdued this weekend. She came down with the snots and seemed tired most of the time. Pepi came down with the snots too, but not so badly. And at least Pepi enjoyed eating her vitamin C with zinc and echinacea gummies. I had to force them down Tigerlily’s throat while beating the other goats back. I’m not sure why she doesn’t like them. Everyone else (especially Pepi) wants to kill for them.

The winnings:
Harvest_Show16.6
It was a fun show but we’re happy to be home with the show season over. Now it’s time to look forward to our annual goat vacation!

Rambo and Rocky’s Mountain High

Look who’s into campfires now! Rocky Balboa starting hanging around the campfire for the first time a few weeks ago and has spent more time at each subsequent one. We have to watch him because he tends to be a fire walker when he’s not too busy inhaling the smoke.

Ah… good ol’ Rocky Mountain high!

Rocky has to take particular care around the flames because of his extra low-hanging chins. I thought dewlaps like this only came on cows! I loosened his collar just a few days ago and it still feels quite roomy, but look at the rolls flopping over each side of it! “More chins than a Chinese phone book” is my favorite description of this fellow!

Rambo hung around the fire a lot too. I love this guy’s regal head and neck!

And his soulful, stargazing eyes. He has a royal air about him in the way he moves proudly along with his head held high.

Rocky howls at the moon while Rambo takes in the vapors.

It’s the little guys’ turn!

With Cuzco gone from the campfire, the younger generation had a chance to come in close and socialize.

Pedro wants a hot dog!

I’m not sure what the big eyes are about, but get a load of that goat grin!

For some reason Napoleon was fixated on Phil’s right elbow and wouldn’t stop licking it. Phil doesn’t look too pleased. I’m sure he’s thinking about where Napoleon’s nose has recently been. This little guy is starting to feel manhood coming on and has been poking his nose into all kinds of things we’re not sure we want touching us.

Cuzco the Caprine Fireball!

Well, it’s official: we now have definitive PROOF that Cuzco is an incurable PYROMANIAC!

Tonight he very nearly immolated himself when he stole the fire that Phil was in the process of lighting. It happened like this: Phil crumpled up the paper for the campfire while Cuzco, as always, peered over his shoulder and micromanaged the operation. Phil pushed him away and proceeded to light the paper, but Cuzco would not yield. Phil thought that Cuzco would back off when the paper was lit, but boy was he wrong! As soon as the paper went up in flames, Cuzco snatched it and took off across the yard and beyond Phil’s reach. The paper continued to burn and Cuzco refused to drop it as flames engulfed his head. Phil was afraid Cuzco’s hair would catch fire and he might set our yard ablaze, but thank goodness he finally came to his senses and dropped the fireball on the grass where Phil stomped it out.

Cuzco’s entire face is quite singed. With his blackened nose, he looks like one of those cartoon character bums with the heavy five-o-clock shadow.

All the hair has been scorched from his nose and lips and the skin is shiny but does not appear damaged. He was obviously sore because he did not come back and hang over the campfire as usual. He started to, but then he began licking his lips like the heat hurt them and he backed off and kept his distance for the rest of the evening. I rubbed aloe gel on the blackened spots after he finished his dinner (the burn did not seem to dampen his appetite).

All of the whiskers on Cuzco’s muzzle, chin, and around his eyes are completely burnt off. His eyelashes are singed, the fringes around his ears are shriveled back, and the hair on his cheeks is all burnt brown and curly. But for all that, he seems rather proud of himself. I hope this does not become a habit!

We were not able to get a picture of the actual conflagration, but Phil was able to fix up a creditable image of what it looked like:

Oh, and Cuzco’s incineration did not dampen his love of music. He ventured back over to the fire as soon as Phil broke out the fiddle.

Pedro and Napoleon — The beginning of a new adventure

Yesterday Phil and I took Pedro and Napoleon for their first hike together just the two of them. I believe they’ve found a new home beginning in October, so I’d like to spend as much time as I can with them for the few more weeks they’re here.

These two recently began to take notice of each other after Napoleon had a large and sudden growth spurt that put him within range of Pedro’s size. There has been a good bit of head-knocking between them lately, which tells me they will most likely be fast friends before long.

Napoleon is adorable but is starting to assert himself. I’ve had to correct him a few times recently for sneaking up from behind and savaging my pant legs with his horns. There’s just something about that opening at the end of my shorts that is incredibly inviting for little horns! Pedro went through the same phase in July but learned very quickly that attacking people’s clothing is off-limits.

Pedro is as sleek as Napoleon is fuzzy.

We had one incident in which the boys wanted to take a different trail, and it brings home to me how well goats memorize their surroundings. These boys have never been to this place before, but as we hiked back to the truck they knew the right trail to take. About half-way along the road there is a fork where you can take a scenic detour loop that winds through the oak near a ravine. This is the route we always take when we head back. The boys stopped at the fork and tried to convince us we were on the wrong road.

“This is NOT the way we came, you guys! You’re taking the wrong fork!”

We kept walking and eventually they gave up and came flying down the “wrong” trail with us. I’m sure they were happier in the end–the scenic route has more stuff to eat!

My Men in Black.

Colorado State Fair – A Ben-Hur Reenactment!

We had fun at the State Fair last weekend! The highlight, as always, was the annual costume class, and as usual we were the only adults “competing”. As a new Ben-Hur movie recently came out, we thought it would be appropriate to reenact the chariot race.

We only got down one side of the arena in our chariots before Sputnik ran into a corner and had to be helped out. Finn stalled when he saw Sputnik stop, so Ben-Hur and Messala ended up having to lead their charges across the finish line. But the crowds seemed to get a kick out of it. I know we did!

Bartlett Trail

Yesterday Phil and I took Finn and Sputnik for a hike up the Bartlett Trail in hopes of reaching the top of Greenhorn Mountain’s south peak. We got a late start and didn’t make our goal, but we still had a very nice time.

The boys took turns carrying the 20 lb. pack. Each one carried it halfway up, and each one carried it halfway down. There were a lot of logs over the trail so there were many opportunities for them to learn how to negotiate obstacles with a pack on. Jump over? Crawl under? Go round? It was fun to watch their brains working to figure out the best route.

This trail has amazing views of the eastern plains and of Rye and Colorado City spread out below us, including our own house.

Phil was clever enough to remember the binoculars.

He took some photos through the lenses. I didn’t think they’d come out. I’m such a doubter!

Close-up of our house:

“Finn, get out of the view!”

“No, I’m gorgous!”