Monthly Archives: October 2013

October snow

It’s about time I posted some new glamour shots! We took these on the morning of October 16. We had 14″ of snow that morning! This is the sight that greeted me in the morning. I really have nothing in life worth complaining about, do I?

Petunia fit perfectly in Nibble’s blanket from last year, and like Nibbles, she kept it neat and clean. I guess “like mother like daughter” does not apply in this case–Lilly was always a disaster with blankets.

Nubbin, on the other hand, takes after Lilly and always gets at least one foot through the neck of her blanket no matter how much I cinch it down. Go figure!

Nibbles yawns in the morning sun.

Cuzco licks the snow off his nose. 

I tried to get Petunia to go sledding with me. It didn’t work out so well, but we had fun anyway.

It’s hard to get going with this many goats on your lap!

Back from Area 51

We just bought two round calf hutches from a PolyDome dealer in our area and I couldn’t be more pleased! These are the perfect size for goats (even extra-big goats!).

What happened was we had a wind storm last week and the heavy wooden goat shed that Phil and his dad built for Cuzco a few years ago took flight and landed about 30 feet away on the other side of the fence. It broke apart and I’ve yet to survey the damage up close because it’s in the middle of the oak brush and I’m going to have to go in there with a chain saw and tractor to retrieve it. So I was suddenly down to one shed for five goats and we all know that only one large and in charge fellow is going to occupy it.

I went to Craigslist and saw an add for a PolyDome dealer and found out he was delivering some to another person right up the road! When we got home with the shelters, a blizzard had set in and Phil and I had to get them off the truck and up the hill to the goat pen. We thought it would be a hassle in the dark with the slick ground and blowing snow, but we turned the shed on its side and simply rolled it up the hill and into the goat pen!

The domes are seven feet in diameter and five feet tall–more than big enough for Cuzco (and several others if he didn’t insist on keeping it all to himself). It has no corners, so when Lilly or someone happens to wander in, Cuzco can’t pin them. They simply run around the the wall until they get to the door. And speaking of the door, it has a lip about a foot high that keeps wind and snow from blowing in and bedding from spilling out. It’s a wonderful design! And best of all, when you’re transporting them on your truck, it looks like you just came from Area 51!!!!

Turns out that storm we unloaded the hutch in was serious. It snowed 14 inches before morning and we woke up to this on October 16. Good thing we bought that new shelter when we did! See it under all the snow?

Diving at Upper Calf Creek Falls

We stopped at the Upper Calf Creek Falls on our way out of Escalante. I think this might become a tradition. Last year we didn’t know what awaited us at the bottom of the trail, so we did our swimming au naturel.

This time we wore our swimsuits under our clothes. We weren’t sure if we would actually make the plunge since it was freezing cold outside, but we decided that luck favors the prepared and it would be feeble to not even give ourselves the option. Due to National Park closures, there were several other people at the falls and us skinny dipping might leave them with a bad impression of Utah. So we brought the swimsuits.

Our first stop was one we didn’t make last year. We saw this waterfall from the top but didn’t notice the trail to the bottom. This time we did and it was quite worth it.

Did I mention it was freezing outside? Last year was hot and I still remember how icy the water was even on that beautiful day. This year it was overcast and there was an arctic wind blowing. I wasn’t sure I was brave enough to take the plunge, or that the thrill was worth the chill. But once again, in the interest of not being feeble, I decided I’d regret not doing it. Besides, there was a group of people watching and I’d practiced my swan dive at Lake Powell during the summer.

Phil took the old cannonball approach.

It was freezing, but it was totally worth it. We got cheers from the audience on the hill above. No regrets. The goats are clearly smarter than we are and stayed sensibly rooted to the rocks from which we leaped.This is how you know you have a pack goat extraordinaire. Cuzco faithfully carried my cold, wet towel back up the trail and even allowed me to dangle my dripping swimsuit top from his horn.
I eventually had to take the towel back because, careful as he was, Cuzco could not prevent it from sliding off on that steep trail. And I removed the brassiere because I felt it embarrassed for the poor guy. Besides, it was impairing his vision. He kept stopping and turning his head so he could peer out from behind it, but he never once shook or tried to scrape it off on a tree. I told you he’s a good packer!

What a faithful trail companion…

More Willis Creek… we can’t get enough of this place!

Phil and the goats – into the slots.

Nubbin is her usual adorable self.

Cuzco, the fearless leader shows the younger goats the proper way to head home from a hike at the end of the day. I’m not sure there’s much to it, but Cuzco takes the job very seriously, as he does with everything in life.

Petunia makes a great silhouette with those ears. Willis13_25


The sunset on the way home from Willis Creek was amazing. This hasty shot snapped from the truck window does not do it justice.  Willis13_27

Lights and shadows


Phil and Cuzco take in the view.

Nanno thinks she’s a goat.

Cuzco wisely chooses to remain on level ground. At his age, he’s seen it all anyway.

“I told you! I said you’d regret climbing up there, Nan!”
Can anyone find Petunia?

They called me “NannoGoat” in my younger days, long before I ever owned a goat or had even met one at a petting zoo. My moniker lent itself to such nicknames, but maybe there was something more to it?Willis13_15

Willis Creek

Willis Creek slot canyons has to be our favorite hike on our Escalante trip. It’s extremely easy and only a couple miles long, but that leaves plenty of time for enjoying and photographing the scenery

Cuzco at the entrance to the slot canyons.

Can you get up there, Nubbin?

Of course I can–DUH!!

Petunia says, “I can climb higher than Nubbin!”

Don’t jump, babies!

Ship ahoy!

To be continued…

Sunlit canyons

We stopped for a long time in this lush place.


Here we found petroglyphs, but Cuzco was more interested in posing for the camera than appreciating the history.

Nubbin and Petunia did their best to deface the canyon wall, but were too short.

Nubbin realized that the ancient petroglyph was of her ancestors! Doesn’t it look like the outline of a Nupine goat’s face?

Petunia and I share a cookie.      Escalante13_9

Right out the back door

Due to mechanical problems with our truck, we spent the next couple of days hiking close to the town of Escalante. We went to Petrified Forest State Park, hiked part of the Escalante Trail, and wandered around Bailey’s Wash. Petrified Forest was a bit hectic because of all the people. It’s a very small park and it was crowded with folks who couldn’t get into Bryce Canyon and other National Parks in the area due to the government shutdown. We had to keep the goats on leashes there.

Nubbin and Petunia shared a snack along the trail. After that, I could no longer tell Phil what the numbered posts were about.

After Petrified Forest, Phil and Petunia took a nap.

Phil and I loved this sign near the cemetery. If the customers aren’t allowed to park overnight, does this mean the dead really do walk around after dark?

I loved these tree roots.

We called this the “goat grotto”.
Escalante13_2 Escalante13_3

A foreign encounter

I had a very good time photographing Cuzco in Spooky Canyon. We shocked a whole troop of foreigners, though. We got to a boulder where Cuzco couldn’t go any further (and we sure weren’t going to hoist him up!), but the canyon was too narrow to turn around and there were a bunch of people behind us. So we skooched into a nook and hung out while the other tourists squeezed past us. Cuzco was very good about it all. He made himself as small as possible against the wall (not easy for such a big goat to do) and stood very patiently while everyone wiggled past.

The bigger problem was when people tried to pass Nubbin and Petunia. The babies were very excited and kept moving. I told people to just push them aside with their feet, but I don’t think they understood me, and one lady wouldn’t go because Nubbin was in her way. I finally had to go ahead and give Nubbin a little shove with my foot, and that’s when the lady finally understood that it was ok to push past the baby goat. I guess she thought I would be mad or something. After they passed, I had to back Cuzco up about 20 feet before we found a place where he could safely turn around. He didn’t seem to mind at all though. I was pleased to discover that he walks backwards about as easily as he walks forwards, even around blind corners. Cuzco may be an ornery old cuss sometimes, but when push comes to shove, he’s about as solid and dependable a hiking buddy as I could ask for.



What’s up there, Nubbin?



The mud was awesome. It was all cracked and rolled, and it made the most delicious crunching noises under my feet. I loved stomping on it! The best bit was when I found these super-cool wrist gauntlets!! Meet Nanno: Mud Warrior!!