Yearly Archives: 2017

Mountain Hiking in Late December??

We’ve had almost no snow so far this winter, and the days have largely been in the 50’s so it’s perfect weather to be out. I’ve had Sox, Westin, and Lightning at my house for breeding purposes, but Westin and Lightning finished their job and needed to go back to their new home. Their owner came to get them today and before they took the boys, we all went out for a little hike and picnic lunch.

Sputnik got to carry the food and warm clothing because he loves carrying the pack. It makes him feel important. He’s gotten to where I no longer need to tie him up to saddle him and load the panniers. Today I didn’t even need to hold his halter while I hooked the britchen! I’m very happy with how well he’s come along despite his huge aversion to being touched, especially near the tail.

Finn has a halo circling each horn. I’m not sure he’s angelic enough to deserve this. Phil has taken to calling him “Grumpenstein” lately because he sulks and doesn’t want to take treats when we make him go out with us. He’s not as bad as last year, but I’m convinced that it’s a combination of not enough work and being in rut season, which he’s convinced he’s still part of. Finn hates leaving “his” girls at home with the bucks.

The camera seems to have caught me during an awkward moment when I was imitating the poor dope smoker we encountered at the trailhead. We’ve seen the old fellow walking around Rye lot lately and he’s done something strange at every encounter. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t drive or own a car. He’s always high as a kite and the cloud from his stinky joint had me choking as we made our way to the trail. We saw him again as we were driving home afterwards. He was still smoking, and he stepped into the road, held his jacket out like a cape, and did a bullfighter imitation in front of our truck. He seems fairly harmless, but I wonder how long it will take before someone accidentally runs over him.

Is Finn singing?

Little Lightning. What a cute baby! Tigerlily is expecting Lightning’s babies in April.

Westin is a very gung-ho little goat. He loaded himself into the truck today and he loves cookies.

Westin also loves scrub oak! He’s making a great lip here!

Beulah Yule Log – A Goat-O-Rama Tradition

As always, what an incredibly fun weekend!! Beulah really knows how to do Christmas up right, and we love being part of it!

The festivities started on Saturday night with the parade of lights. As usual there seem to be more people riding in the parade than watching it. This year we asked the folks leading the parade to please go at a walking pace because last year the fire trucks took off and left us running behind in pitch darkness. They did a great job not leaving Santa and his goat behind this year. In fact, the color guard led the parade on foot, so it went very smoothly. Unfortunately, we forgot the camera so there are no parade photos this year.

Phil dressed as Santa and drove his team and wagon all decked out in lights. I wore my elf hat and threw peppermint candy to the expectant crowds. The goats were very well behaved and we only had one small hiccup at the end when Phil turned to go down the last hill. Somehow the right rein on Sputnik’s bit came unhooked, so when Phil pulled on the reins to steady the team for the steep grade, only the left-hand reins engaged so the goats hooked a sharp turn and ran right off the road and almost hit the church. We pulled out of the parade to fix the equipment failure, but the folks who didn’t know what happened thought maybe our goats suddenly got religion!

Next day we headed back to Beulah for the Yule Log Festival. The goats are an expected part of the event now and people look forward to seeing them. Here we are next to last year’s Yule Log. Every year, a piece of the Yule Log is saved to start the Yule Fire next year. The tradition has been continued in Beulah for something like 65 years now.

As always, folks loved Finn and Sputnik. Sputnik preferred to be fed pine boughs rather than submit to petting, but Finn soaked up any and all attention.

This lovely lady had him falling asleep completely!

The kids were a lot of fun while we were at the lodge. They petted the goats and fed them fresh pine boughs

But once we started on our hunt for the Yule Log, Sputnik got a little testy. The kids especially were crowding in close and touching his flanks, which made him jump around and run into people in front of him. I had to ask the kids to give us space so he could calm down. He’s come a long way for a goat that didn’t used to let people touch anywhere on his body, but he’ll probably never be completely comfortable in a crowd.

This was the warmest year for the Yule Log hunt and we got hot as we searched through the woods. Phil and I were very close to finding it this year, and Phil is pretty sure he even looked right at it and maybe walked over it. But there were lots of logs in the woods, so it was easy to miss! Our goats were no help at all apparently!

But they made up for it by helping pull the Yule Log back to the lodge. It was far afield this year so they had their work cut out for them. The girl who found it got to ride it all the way back with her brother. What fun!

We even made it into the local news again this year!

In Memoriam

This is our first Christmas without Cuzco in over fifteen years. A friend gave me this little figurine last spring after we said goodbye. It’s been sitting on my desk ever since (except when it came with us to Lake City for the NAPgA Rendezvous in June). I decided he needed a place on our tree.

I kept the hood ornament from our Buick and have been hanging it on our tree for a few years now. Cuzco loved riding in that car, so I hung the hood ornament near his likeness.

It’s a baby goat house party!

We had a “baby goat in the house” party this afternoon! At lunch break, Phil came downstairs and told me he’d had a hard morning at work. I knew just the thing to perk him up. After cleaning her muddy feet, I invited Coral into the house!

Cute baby goat overload!!!

The first thing she noticed was the apples on the kitchen counter. Yum!

So how could we resist giving her one?

Oops… it rolled under the cabinet. Phil will fetch it.

Next she tried to eat the imitation jungle that adorns our Korean War bomb tail. Sorry Coral–no plastic for goats!

She was quite puzzled by our carpet. She kept sniffing and nibbling at it like she thought maybe it was grass, but she also knew there was something not quite right about it.

Next Coral asked if she could play with the X-Box Kinect.

Or go upstairs?

Or maybe downstairs to the basement?

Coral seemed very intrigued by the sound coming up the stairs from the blower on our wood stove.

“How about you come give me a hug!”

What an adorable little face! I couldn’t help falling in love with this baby goatie. I’m so glad we kept her!

Goats and Ghouls and Dragons

Phil and I attended Rye “Halloween Town” again this year but left the goat-drawn hearse at home this time. We like to mix things up, so a 9-foot inflatable dragon was our showpiece this year. I originally planned to bring the cart and give rides to kids, but we had so much stuff in our truck already that I decided not to bring one more thing. I also planned to bring Tigerlily as my wizard sidekick (she almost looks like a unicorn), but Phil was worried that she would mess up the truck on the way to town and we wanted a nice clean pickup bed to put the dragon in. Sputnik is the only goat who reliably controls himself while riding in the truck, so Sputnik came to Halloween Town with us.

I wrapped Sputnik’s horns in “lightning” vetwrap but he wore no other costume. He did all his dress-up duty for the year at State Fair when I made him wear a humiliating chicken suit. I was a wizard. I chose this because it was a very cold evening and I needed a very warm costume. I stayed nice and toasty.

Phil was an executioner. He was warm except for his hands. He forgot to bring gloves. The kids were terrified of this costume! Many of them would start toward the candy and then freeze in their tracks and just stare at Phil with their mouths open until he spoke to them.

I thought the truck looked pretty awesome. The lighted skeleton that we made last year to “drive” our hearse looked great laying at the feet of our vicious man-eating dragon. We used the coffin from last year’s hearse as our candy holder. Green and purple lights adorned the coffin inside and out, and another skeleton guarded the candy. Some of the kids were just as afraid to take candy out of the coffin as they were to approach Phil and the fire breathing dragon!

We had some really fun pumpkins this year. We went to a corn maze and pumpkin patch on Sunday with my family and the specialty pumpkins were free. We picked out a few gnarly ones, including a ghoulish green one, a pumpkin that looked like it had cancer, one that had green warts, and a “red warty thing” pumpkin (yes, that’s its official name!). We also carved some normal pumpkins into jack o’ lanterns, and they looked pretty cool once darkness fell.

The skeleton got creepy in the dark too. We had our fog machine going for an eerie effect.

Our truck after dark.

Sputnik did not have a very good time, unfortunately. He did ok at first, but early in the evening he got mobbed by about six kids at once and he freaked out. I took him for a walk in some out-of-the way places, but he never really settled down. He’s used to having Finn by his side and he reverted to his younger, skittish self. He didn’t want to be touched at all but was overly eager to perform tricks and get treats. He’s usually not rude about treats, but he was last night, especially after I introduced him to the candy! He was ok with most of the costumes, but one full-body T-Rex suit freaked him out. He got pretty loud for a while but since it amused the crowd I guess it was ok. Someone said they thought the dragon was roaring, but it was just Sputnik hollering from behind the truck. On the plus side, he never messed the sidewalk but politely did his business in the grass.

Picnic on Bartlett, or Sputnik’s Day in the Spotlight

Saturday Phil and I hiked up Bartlett Trail again, only this time we took Finn and Sputnik and packed a picnic lunch. Since there wasn’t much to bring, Sputnik did the honors of carrying the pack while Finn went in the buff. This was Sputnik’s day in the camera lens. Finn usually hogs the frame, and if Sputnik isn’t wearing a pack he becomes invisible even if he’s somewhere in the picture. But Finn stayed out of the way this time (I guess he was ashamed to be doing no work), and Sputnik’s red panniers helped him stick out against the sparse fall foliage so I indulged in taking way too many photos of my beautiful packgoat.

T-Bolt Charioteers!

Rye Homecoming was today and Phil and I hitched up our chariots for parade! Phil wore his Thor thunder god outfit. The theme this year was pirates, but we didn’t know that so we went with the Thunderbolt theme since we can’t go wrong with that. The football team is the Rye Thunderbolts or “T-Bolts” as they are known locally.

I went with sort of a lady Thor outfit. The T-Bolt’s colors are purple and silver so I was going to wear a purple cape with my silver dress until I realized that we used all the purple material to line the coffin in our Halloween goat hearse last year. So I found a leftover scrap and made a sash instead. The wonderful purple wig came from Phil’s mother and it was perfect for the occasion!

Finn and Sputnik were pretty good considering how little we’ve driven them lately. I think we’ve only been out once since the International Goat Days Festival six weeks ago. Sputnik thought it was a race, not a parade, and he kept trying to trot ahead and pass everyone. Luckily he’s very good at the “whoa” command but it meant that we went along in short bursts where we trotted and then screeched to a halt before trotting on when the parade got far enough ahead.

Finn took a more leisurely attitude about the whole thing and almost got left behind a couple of times. Finn loves attention and doesn’t mind lingering in the street while people admire him and take pictures.

Hiking with the girls

Phil and I hiked a couple of miles up the Bartlett Trail last Sunday. Since Finn and Sputnik were nowhere to be found when we were ready to leave, we took TinCup and Nauti who happened to be loitering around the house looking for attention. They happily loaded into the truck and then very unhappily scolded us all the way to the trailhead, but once we got there they settled right down.

It was a beautiful, golden day. Most of the aspen leaves are gone but there are some patches still lingering here and there. The scrub oak is a lovely burnt orange right now and the grasses are tawny, giving everything a warm glow.

I had a hard time getting pictures of these girls because they were so clingy and insecure about being taken on a new trail away from home. They kept crowding me at first and trying to squeeze past me at every opportunity, but with the help of my jacket I was able to discourage them from constantly stepping on my heels and bumping into me. By the end of the hike they had relaxed enough to hang back and browse along the trail like goats are supposed to do.

The girls LOVED these rock outcroppings and didn’t want to leave this place! But since Tinny especially was making me nervous with her cliffside explorations, Phil and I hurried them along after snapping a few pictures.

The sure are best friends!

The Showdown

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that there was a video floating around on Facebook of our chariot race in Millington which I was trying to get ahold of.

Lo and behold!

We present your heroes! 

The supreme winners: 

Our champions greet their adoring fans. 

And here are some pictures of kids taking cart rides later that afternoon. I had fun wrapping Sputnik’s horns. Finn’s horns were done up in red and white so some of the kids called him the “Christmas goat”. 

The kids’ favorite thing about riding the goat cart was usually honking the horn. 


“Goat Vacation” Day 10 – We’ve got it all on UHF!

It was foggy when we packed up and left Ponca on Friday morning, but we climbed out of the valley into the sunshine of a gorgeous day–a perfect day for traveling and for…UHFing!

What, you might ask, is “UHFing”?

Let us go back to 1989 when “Weird Al” Yankovic wrote and starred in a go-nowhere film called “UHF” that later became a cult classic and Phil’s all-time favorite movie since childhood. It was filmed in Tulsa, OK, and since we happened to be driving through Tulsa on our way home, and since many of the places in the film are still there, it became a necessary stop.

Our first stop was “Big Edna’s Burger World”. This is what it looked like in the movie:

It has since been painted red and is now the home of the “Knotty Pig” BBQ and burger joint.

We got there just in time for lunch and boy was it ever GOOD! I’ve never seen such a variety of big, crazy burgers on one menu, and the BBQ was delicious. It was very reasonably priced too. Highly recommend!

Loved the welcome sign in the door!

Next stop was the apartment of Raul Hernandez of “Raul’s Wild Kingdom“.

He may not have needed no “stinking badgers,” but I’m sure Raul could have used a couple of goats in his apartment!

Next up was the cemetery from “Plots R Us” mortuary service.

We didn’t bring our goats in of course, but we snapped a quick shot from the street corner.

After visiting the cemetery, we walked back to the downtown area on our way to “City Hall” and stopped at a fountain so the goats could grab a drink (yes, I checked it for chlorine first).

After the goats got a refreshing drink and a rest in the shade, our next stop was the steps of “City Hall” which is actually First Christian Church.

As we were getting photos in front of “City Hall” our attention was grabbed by an uproar across the street. Catty-corner to the church was a Catholic school where the kids were in the playground for recess. They’d spied our goats and were clamoring along the fence to get a closer look. Not wanting to disappoint them, we moseyed over to say hi. The volume was incredible, as was the number of hands poking through the chain link. Every kid was trying to shout his or her question a little louder than their classmates. I’m not sure why Finn and Sputnik put up with it, but they were incredibly good-natured and sidled right up to the fence so the kids could reach them. Phil and I felt shell-shocked afterwards, but I get the feeling those kids will never forget the day the goats visited their school at recess.

Next up was Kuni’s Karate and Weird Al’s apartment.
Some trees and a big truck kept us from getting a good shot, and the building looks a bit different as it’s undergoing some remodeling, but this is the place!

Finally, the pinnacle of our UHF tour (drum roll please!)…

The UHF transmitter tower!

It looks just like it did in the movie except the little shack is long gone.

Even the parking lot is still there!

We loved that the registration number ends in “62”. For those who haven’t seen the movie, it was about TV station U62.

Phil snagged a piece of the parking lot to take home as a precious memento of our wonderful visit to the UHF filming locations in Tulsa, OK.