The Goat Spot Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Note: This trip report is dedicated to the memory of Sam, Alida and Joe Bockino’s “gentle giant†pack goat, who died early in September. Sam’s brother Chester is alive and well, and continues to pack with Alida and Joe.

We recently returned from a backpacking trip on the Payette National Forest and I am eager to describe the experience.

Our group consisted of: Harriet and her 3 goats Miss Daisy (4 yrs), The Wart, and Vegas (1 yr); Alida and Joe and their goat Chester (7 yrs); and ourselves with our 3 wethers Barley (4 yrs), Skippy and Oly (2 yrs). We had all first met in July, at the Pack Goat Rendezvous in Weippe, Idaho. Of course, we were slightly apprehensive, wondering how 7 goats from 3 different “herds†would interact, but what was the worst that could happen? :)

We saddled our 7 goats on a warm September morning at a trail head outside of New Meadows Idaho, on the Payette National Forest. We quickly figured out the “hiking order,†and goats from each “herd†were interspersed by their owners. The day being warm and water being scarce, we carried plenty of water and took frequent breaks in the shade. If a goat tried to get out of line on the trail, a quick “block†with a trekking pole and a stern command was usually sufficient to keep it in its place.

After about 5 miles, we came to a beautiful meadow that had a small spring running through it. Alida dubbed it “Sam’s Meadow,†in memory of the beloved goat she & Joe lost just recently. We set up our tents, high lines, and tarps & spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and watching our goats graze and occasionally confront each other. We chalked these short skirmishes up to fairly normal behavior, as the goats tried to figure out the whole new combined “herd†hierarchy. All these altercations ended quickly & harmlessly, as there was lots of room for the goats to spread out and get away from each other.[attachment=1:3qot81b7]Big Goats Barley & Chester.JPG[/attachment:3qot81b7]
It was interesting and fun to see the goats of various sizes and ages interact. We even had 2 females & 2 hornless goats (both Harriet’s) in the mix. Size seemed to play a big role, but hornless vs. horns also became apparent. We were able to keep conflict down to a minimum, using vigilance & well-aimed squirt bottles! :twisted: [attachment=5:3qot81b7]Skippy Ball Cap.JPG[/attachment:3qot81b7]
The next morning, we took a day hike to a nearby lake. The fall colors were beginning to show in much of the high country, and the scenery was gorgeous, as we threaded through strings of timber and alpine meadows. Once we arrived at the lake, everyone had lunch & a couple of us went fishing, while the goats rested or played on a rock slide adjacent to the lake. After lunch, we decided to see if we could make a loop out of the trip, by going cross-country. We ended up climbing up a beautiful valley, over a small saddle and back down to camp. From the saddle, we could see the rugged Seven Devils Mountains, across Hell’s Canyon, and over to Oregon. The goats made the climb look effortless & they seemed to enjoy the scramble, the view, & all the “snacks†along the way.[attachment=0:3qot81b7]Lunchtime play.JPG[/attachment:3qot81b7] [attachment=4:3qot81b7]Harriet & Miss Daisy off-trail.JPG[/attachment:3qot81b7]
We woke the next morning to low clouds & drizzle. We had planned on spending a third night, but it looked like a cold front was moving in and we didn’t feel like sitting around in the rain. During a break in the weather, we packed up & hiked back to the trail head. Fortunately the sun came out long enough to dry the brush & we arrived back at our vehicles just as the rain started again in earnest. Our timing was perfect![attachment=2:3qot81b7]Harriet's Goats under the tarp.JPG[/attachment:3qot81b7]
Our total distance for 3 days was about 17 miles (5 miles in and out to our campsite, plus a 7-mile day-hike, partially off-trail). Our total elevation gain was a little over 3000 feet. The adult goats (over 4 years old) carried between 30-40 lbs each, and the younger goats carried about 10-20 lbs each, depending on their age.

There were so many fun things about this outing. We got a chance to interact with other goat packers, share and compare techniques for managing, training, and packing our goats, all in a beautiful setting. We got to exchange camping recipes, goat first aid ideas, equipment suggestions, what to bring & what to leave at home, with respect to our goats and ourselves. We got to see how our goats related with their humans and with each other, both on the trail and in camp. If you have ever wondered how your goats might do when combined with other goats on the trail, trips like this will help you to understand their behavior.

Once again, I would like to thank Northwest Packgoats for providing the environment to meet fellow goat packers. If we hadn’t joined this Forum and gone to the Rendezvous in July, we never would have met our new friends & their goats. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn and gain experience with others that share our “passion.†We are already looking forward to more adventures together![attachment=3:3qot81b7]Sam's Meadow.jpg[/attachment:3qot81b7]
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone!

Brighteyes--the area where we hiked is less than 4 hours from Boise. There are lots of options for hiking on the Payette National Forest. There are several hiking guides to that area, including Margaret Fuller's excellent books "Trails of Western Idaho," and "Trails of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness."

The Sawtooth Wilderness and White Clouds in Central Idaho are also spectacular for goat hiking and these are both less than 4 hours from Boise. There are several guidebooks to those areas as well.

Hope you get to check out some of those places soon!
 

· Senior Member
Joined
·
113 Posts
My wife and I took our goats on an 8 day backpack trip to the Seven Devils at the end of July. We hit the flower season perfectly and the scenery was beyond description. As our goats were only 6 months old they got off easy, tagging along with us while we humans carried all the heavy stuff!

As I'm sure many of you know, we got a lot of interest from other hikers when we encountered them on the trail. A few people were aware that goats could be used for packing, but most expressed surprise and even confusion (several people even mistook them for wild mountain goats!! LOL!)

For those of you not familiar with the Seven Devils, it is a very scenic wilderness area in north-central Idaho that allows goat packing. Here are some photos of our trip.

[attachment=4:2a3k6ef4]Seven Devils 2011 FB1.jpg[/attachment:2a3k6ef4]
At the trailhead

[attachment=3:2a3k6ef4]Seven Devils 2011 FB2.jpg[/attachment:2a3k6ef4]
There was still snow in some parts of the trail, making for tricky crossing

[attachment=2:2a3k6ef4]Seven Devils 2011 FB3.JPG[/attachment:2a3k6ef4]
The scenery was amazing. The goats were in heaven with all the great browse.

[attachment=1:2a3k6ef4]Seven Devils 2011 FB5.jpg[/attachment:2a3k6ef4]
We had to be part goat ourselves to find a campsite some days!

[attachment=0:2a3k6ef4]Seven Devils 2011 FB6.jpg[/attachment:2a3k6ef4]
Remington, our red heeler, carried her own food
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Bwana Ken, your photo of that snow crossing reminds me of when we did the 7 Devils loop trip last year with our 3 goats (July 2010). We encountered the exact same problem at (I'm sure) the same place. In fact, we had run into another backpacking couple the previous day, who got spooked at this spot, & turned around, thus failing to complete the loop. We spent the rest of the day worrying about whether or not we would be able to cross the snowfield. As luck would have it, we happened to find a shovel that had been abandoned at a nearby spring, so Carl put it to good use. The two goats in this photo were about a year old at the time; thus the miniature "training packs." We did find the crossing a bit sporty but the goats didn't seem phased by it one bit! :)[attachment=0:3f2i1qbi]7 Devils.jpg[/attachment:3f2i1qbi]

Thanks for the awesome photos! Your goats are adorable!
 

Attachments

1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top