Saturday, September 12, 2009

In case you are considering renting goats

In July, five friends and I rented goats for a week-long backpacking trip to the Uintas.

"They just follow you", we were told.
"They go 10 or 12 miles a day", we were told.

Let me introduce you to.....GOAT TRIP FROM HELL.

Within a half-mile of leaving the trail head we'd already lost a goat! Lost. Replacement value $600 for the goat, $600 for the gear.

Half an hour later I found him standing in the trees. We should have headed back to the trailer and called it good then. When the heavens give you signs like that you should listen.

We pulled, prodded, poked, begged, pleaded, cursed, and sometimes the goats would go. And sometimes not. When they would go they would average one mile an hour! And that was when they were going pretty good. At one time we figured it had taken us 90 minutes to go one mile. We kept saying that it was like herding cats. Ridiculous. And exhausting. At least if you had a pack-cat and it wouldn't go you could pick it up. By the end of the day we felt like we had gone 10 or 12 or 50 miles. Really we had gone 4.5.

So that was only part of it. On a steep, boulder-y slope (about 7-miles up the trail on the second day) a gigantic wind came up. Seriously, it had to be like hurricane gusts or something. It knocked over Karen, Joy and Sarah. Sarah broke her arm. So now Karen and Sarah had to hike off the mountain and it was late afternoon when they headed down. At one point they were hiking in the pitch black dark.

They went to the ER in Roosevelt to get Sarah's arm set. Sarah's son came to get her, and Karen headed back up the mountain after sleeping in a church parking lot for the rest of the night.

Meanwhile back on the mountain, there were four of us trying to wrangle five naughty goats and Betsy had not only HER backpack on but Sarah's strapped on her back, as well. She looked like a double-wide trailer.

Just exhausting. And very stressful.

We topped it off with a trip to the mechanic in Roosevelt because Sarah's truck was smelling hot. The gauges said everything was ok but there was a strange burning smell coming from the engine.

Actually, I'm amazed that we got out of that trip with only one fracture.
We weren't slated to come home until Saturday, but we couldn't take anymore.

Oh yeah, I left out the goat stampede.

Believe me when I say we considered a goat barbecue. We headed instead to Fish Lake for two nights.
Without goats.

Goatee and I during a lull in the pandemonium.

Saddling Goatee. Looks easy enough.

Karen giving Vulcan a little, uh, "guidance."

Joy dragging encouraging Cooper across the creek.
Goats HATE water.

                   Sarah with her splinted broken arm about to hike out 7 miles.
This gal is tough.                


                     Betsy as a "double-wide." This chick is strong.


            A happy ending.  All smiles at Fish Lake                                       


  1. Leslie you are so funny it would almost be worth it to join you on a trip. Or not.

  2. Okay I know I shouldn't be laughing but your narration of that trip was hillarious! Love it! I do hope that your friend's arm heals fast, though! You girls are tough!! :D

  3. Funny story! You're in your autumn years now so you should probably spend your vacations at the local retirement home playing cards.

  4. Very funny, Taylor/"Anonymous". It's not too late to write you out of the will. ---Mom

  5. Sorry Mom! It was just a joke. We all know you could run any one of us into the ground. Love ya!

  6. Oh man. What an adventure! I love that you and some friends rented goats for a vacation in the Unitas. Doesn't get much more adventurous then that! Seriously. This is like my dream future.

  7. I had a similar response once from a couple of llamas that were supposed to carry water for an overnight hiking trip in the Colorado Rockies...It is quite annoying when your four legged friends don't cooperate!

  8. As I read the caption of you "encouraging" the goat across the water, I said in my head... um um um mental retardation.
    Love ya!