Charlie Horse's 2018 Pack Goat Picture Thread

Discussion in 'Pack and Working Goats' started by Charlie Horse, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Charlie Horse

    Charlie Horse Active Member Supporting Member

    203
    Dec 15, 2012
    Yet another outing.... This time only with Woodstock and Luna.

    An early morning hike. California smoke is once again blowing in, causing the sun to glow a dim orange. Woodstock would be invisible here if it werent for his packs.

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    Notice the grid pattern on the rocks. That whole layer was doing that. Ancient aliens, I'm sure.

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    I did find some dinosaur bone fragments including half of a hip socket. I look at the chunks but leave them where I found them... I suspect someone else had seen these because one chunk was reassembled and left on a rock. I think the actual main fossil was covered by some rocks washing down from above. There was a pale green conglomerate layer about 3 inches thick that had shards of bone embedded, so I think I know where I should have been looking. I always like photographing the fossils but there wasn't much to work with today.

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    Woodstock is half alpine, half boer. He's a great goat, though his back is a tad short for the saddles I have. He's a great packer and smart enough to keep himself out of trouble-- He'll go around instead of over, if you please.

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    So smoky. Just a 4 hour hike with a lot of wandering and exploring so not a huge distance traveled. It was good times though. The odd thing is how silent it was. One bird, one lizard, and a jack rabbit were the only life to be seen. It was strangely silent. The drought has killed everything I guess.
     
  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    That is a shame the drought has hurt so much. But how cool to find bones.
     

  3. Charlie Horse

    Charlie Horse Active Member Supporting Member

    203
    Dec 15, 2012
    Had some pack goat friends visit for a few days of hiking! Nan and Phil brought their goats Sputnik and Fin.

    The plan was to do Calf Canyon, a branch of Buckhorn Draw. I've done this canyon plenty, but never have I gone beyond the arch caves where the canyon splits into 2 directions. This time we went all the way to the end.

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    The dirt roads are well maintained. Due to the horse trailer we parked on the main road and hiked a block to get to Calf Canyon's trail head. We got a late start-- The 27 mile drive from home took longer than I guessed and we always ended up making big breakfasts and stuff.

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    To get a sense of scale, look at Nan at the base of that cracked rock.

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    Fin had a welt on his side right where the pack cinch goes. He got it from fighting my goats for fun overnight... He probably planned it so he wouldn't have to carry a pack.

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    Shelby is a 7 year old skinny, tall Alpine goat. Barry Goatalo is only 1 and look at his size already! He's Alpine with 25% Nubian. He's got the height but is better filled out and has a great walking gait. He may end up being my best packer. Nan's goats are obviously larger than mine. They're some kind of mix.

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    An obstacle that Shelby had a hard time with. He easily made the jump up, but his packs full of water pulled him back off the cliff. Didn't matter-- It was easy to just go around. The other goats did it, and then had to jump over the chasm to finish the maneuver.

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    I've climbed up into those before. All I accomplished was getting sand in my boots. I was hoping to find some Indian petroglyphs of a Golden Arches menu. Nothing...

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    Thats smoke from the Forest Service's pride and joy: A controlled burn done in the driest year in living memory that got out of control the second some government guy lit the match. Burned off the top of "trail mountain" and filled the desert with smoke which tinted the light to orange. Makes for a cool photo, though.
     
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  4. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    They all look good. Looks like a really nice area to hike.
     
  5. Charlie Horse

    Charlie Horse Active Member Supporting Member

    203
    Dec 15, 2012
    12 Aug 2018

    Last night I decided to do a medium hike idea I have been thinking about for months-- Its just taken a back seat to other plans till now. Got up at 5:00 and ate and loaded up the goats. Today I brought Shelby GT and Barry Goatalo. Only Shelby is old enough to carry water. The plan was to hike the red cliffs which are only a mile or two from the Morrison formation (Where I've hiked a lot recently) but very different geologically. I planned based on google map photos, which don't really tell you much about what a cliff looks like since its all overhead shots. My general plan was to go along the bottom of the cliffs, find a certain wash to the south, make my way up to the top of the cliffs, and back to the car.

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    The sun was just rising as we started the hike. There's still plenty of smoke in the air making the red cliffs more orange. The base of the cliffs is a series of washes and ravines, so there was some up-down-up as we crossed them. Fortunately the weren't as difficult as I had expected.

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    These hoodoos can be seen from the road, and I've always wanted to visit them. Note the gaps.

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    Looking up. The tallest part of the cliff is above the hoodoos. You cant step through the gap because there's a 20 foot drop on the other side!

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    At the top of those cliffs is Lookout Point, a destination later in this hike. Note the thin overhangs.

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    We left the cliffs and traversed a badlands/wash area with rather steep slopes and deep ravines. We worked our way down to the river and road, out and away from the cliffs and walked south toward the next waypoint.

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    The problem is there was a badlands hilly maze we had to pass through. There was no point in a map because you'd spend more time reading it than moving. After a while I discovered it was far faster to walk the straight top of the mounds than the winding ravines. Here you can see the main cliffs. The daunting task is to find a way up to the top. Failure to do so would mean a longer trip back around.

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    Its here that I found an amazing area! A miniature goblin valley, but with a more cliff-like structure and green sandstone layers on top of the red. The area is untouched, since anyone coming here would have to pass the maze and as far as I can tell, there are no roads or paths other than the wash.

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    There was a particularly interesting formation I took several pictures of. So cool. This area would make a GREAT camp site for a future expedition.

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    Barry Goatalo's face....

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  6. Charlie Horse

    Charlie Horse Active Member Supporting Member

    203
    Dec 15, 2012
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    Here we left the goblins and moved up the canyon. I knew most of the canyon was dead ends, but I was hoping I could find a way up. I was lucky. There was one, and only one way up a steep dirt scree field. There was even some water in the canyon for the dog and goats. The goats didn't want to jump a certain rock near the top, but eventually made it up without any issues. Suddenly, up above, everything changed color.

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    In this layer the sandstone was light gray with a hint, or in this case, a lot of green.

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    Ok. So I can stand next to a 25 foot cliff that would probably kill me without a lot of worry. But standing next to a 250 foot cliff freaks me out as if it'd kill me EVEN MORE! I ended up following a ledge, of all things, next to the main drop-off. A 30-40 foot cliff up on one side, and the big drop on the other. The ledge was 25-45 feet wide but for some reason I was doing the high-anxiety thing the whole mile or two that we followed the ledge.

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    Lucky for my sanity the goats didn't really go up to the edge very often.

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    I bet the pictures would be better if I dared get near the edge.

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    Too much smoke in the air kinda ruins the pictures. No blue sky, no distant desert.

    After the cliff I was moving along disappeared, I was on a upward sloping plane that led to Lookout Point. I for sure wanted to go to the point, so even though it was getting hot, we trudged along a shortcut. There was a 6 foot tall cairn on the point. The point was at least 30 feet wide at the narrowest but had large overhangs. Lucky for me the animals were too hot to care about the view. I couldn't see much from there anyhow because of the smoke. We headed back along the cliff edge and were getting closer to the car at last.

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    We dropped down the cliffs to a layer of goblin rock. Smooth but hard stone surface that turns to goblins on the cliff face. Very awesome scenery here. You can see the red cliffs but Lookout Point is around the corner.

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    I think I have a few NAPGA calendar entries from this trip! The trip probably took about 6 hours and was around 12 miles, best guess. Next week will be a totally different environment so stay tuned.
     
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  7. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Those are such neat pictures. It must really be beautiful in person.
     
  8. Dwarf Dad

    Dwarf Dad Well-Known Member

    I feel exactly the same!
     
  9. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
  10. MadCatX

    MadCatX Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2018
    GA
    Very very cool - I love the pics.
     
  11. Charlie Horse

    Charlie Horse Active Member Supporting Member

    203
    Dec 15, 2012
    Last week's trip was to the south of Miller's Canyon exit on I-70 to visit "Miller's Cows", gigantic rocks that have rolled off of the yellow cliffs above, down on to the smooth gray mud slopes below. I had put this hike off for a week due to big thunder storms moving over the area several times in the previous days and I suspected the blackish-gray dirt out there was capable of making some epic mud.

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    One of "Miller's Cows".

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    I'm starting to think Miller isn't taking care of his cows. This one has a hole in it.

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    This one is calving. I don't think she needs any help.

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    Here's a rather old cow. Lookin' a little weathered and bony.

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    Ok. That does it. I went around a corner and found where Miller was hiding the skeletons of cows he'd neglected. Miller is a bad rancher!

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    Barry Goatalo takes the stage!

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    Shelby GT wonders about the implications of the failure to find supersymetry particles in the Large Hadron Collider for the standard model of quantum physics.

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    I found some shards of a rather rare kind of agate or obsidian in one tiny area about 10 feet on a side. I bet once upon a time a Freemont Indian was making arrowheads here. The funny thing is that this particular type of rock is found nowhere near here so it caught my eye.

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    Luna on the Lunar Landscape!
     
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  12. Charlie Horse

    Charlie Horse Active Member Supporting Member

    203
    Dec 15, 2012
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    Shelby climbs the slope. Its times like this when I wish I'd bothered to properly adjust his saddle straps.

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    This pinnacle.

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    Shelby GT, don't stare at it! You could go blind!

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    This trip involved a lot of walking. Sometimes we'd walk on the dirt road. Here's a funny story that wrote itself in the muddy footprints I found as I walked. At first, I saw a man's footprints in the hard dirt road walking toward the highway. He'd apparently been on the road when it was raining and very muddy, as even on the road his feet sunk an inch and the prints filled with water and then turned white with alkali. The footprints went on for miles. Then suddenly a woman's footprints ran next to the man's prints. I guessed she got left behind. I started thinking that perhaps these were tracks of someone that got their vehicle stuck in the mud way out in the desert. I started looking for dried mud puddles with a rotting hand sticking out. It got more amusing when, about 6 miles from the highway, I saw a child's footprints with the group! I'm pretty sure the man made it to civilization-- I'm pretty sure the woman and kid met their fate out there.

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    Barry Goatalo agrees with my interpretation of the footprints.

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    Group shot. It was a successful trip, but not really that exciting. I had plans to get to a certain area I wanted to explore, but on the map distances don't seem so far as when you're actually walking. Canyons look easy until the surprise 20 foot cliff appears that didnt really show in google maps. I'll go back soon and drive down the dirt road of doom so I can start from where I turned around on this trip.
     
  13. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    That is a neat place. Rock formations are interesting.
     
  14. Charlie Horse

    Charlie Horse Active Member Supporting Member

    203
    Dec 15, 2012
    Today was a trip to Dry Wash. Its not far from a lot of the other places I've gone recently and is related to the green sandstone that caps the red goblin layer.

    I took Woodstock and Barry Goatalo because I couldn't find Bacchus' halter. I'm wondering if it fell off in the field down the road where he had been staying...

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    There is something high-tech about these rocks...

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    Just check out that sandstone!
    Dry Wash isn't that dry and I got my shins all scratched up by brush.

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    Its all about the ears, don't you think?

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    After quite a few miles in the green sandstone, we broke into the goblin layer.

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    Hiding in the shade of a hoodoo. We took our first water break here. The goats weren't too interested in drinking.

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    I came over a hill and very suddenly before my eyes was a Skeksis castle, complete with moat! It was quite a sight.

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    Woodstock is very much like one of the Skeksis' counterparts, the old ones. Don't you think?

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    Here's the east side. The two towers only touch in one spot. Next time there's a great conjunction, I'm coming back with a crystal shard. We'll see what happens!

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    Escaping the castle.

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    Found a lot of really cool rocks here, and I'm not talking about the goblins. Its a rock hound's dream. Every ten feet on this one gravel bar, you'd need to stop and pick up some cool looking glassy rock. It was like candy laying around everywhere.

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    Woodstock endures. He was out of energy. We'd been walking for four hours and it was getting warm. Everyone was panting.
    Luna pissed me off chasing a couple antelope. She showed up later with lather and foam on her chin, and a tongue that was 10 feet long.

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    Nearly back to the car.

    It was a great trip. I'm going back and hiking the goblin cliffs next time, rather than the wash... Once we get some cooler weather, anyhow.
     
  15. Darby77

    Darby77 Active Member

    339
    Apr 23, 2016
    Love your adventures!
     
  16. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
  17. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Thanks so much for sharing these photographs!

    I'm partial to your Boer cross Woodstock - he is very handsome. I chuckled quite a bit at the description that he would "rather go around than over" - I will try to remember this phrase the next time I'm trying to describe to another goat owner the difference between containing Boers versus other breeds.
     
  18. Charlie Horse

    Charlie Horse Active Member Supporting Member

    203
    Dec 15, 2012
    Lone Tree/Whiskey Wash area north of I-70 on 22 Sept 2018

    I've been planning an overnight hike in this area for a while, though at first I intended to follow the wash all the way up to the Morrison Formation to the west. I changed my mind and decided that I'd have plenty to do just exploring a certain area only a couple miles from the highway, which looked interesting from google. However, as I studied the photo-map I could see that there was a sandstone layer about 12-15 feet thick that isolated an entire area above the river and there may not be a way up. I did see a good chance that if one followed the layer until it dove underground, and one followed some goblin rock ledges there was probably a way up. I also circled a spot on my hand drawn map that said "cool". We shall see....

    Woodstock and Shelby have never carried such a heavy load, at 40lbs each and about the max of what I really think they should be carrying. I also brought a backpack. The reason for the weight is water. I have to plan for zero water to be found when exploring a new area and since its a drought year.

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    We started at about 2:00 and crossed under the interstate, following the river bed. It was hot and packs were heavy.
    Once again Luna startled some antelope, but this time she obeyed me and did not chase them. The female seems to have an 80s hair style.

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    After a couple miles one is rewarded by some amazing cliff scenes and goblin formations. Other than a small trail there is no sign that humans ever visit this area, and in fact its not mentioned in my books on the Swell. Cattle do run here and I even found a sad cow mummy under a tree. Unfortunately its not far enough from the interstate that you escape the distant sound of semi trucks and their jake-brakes, and loudest of all, a Harley now and then.

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    Well the area that I circled as 'cool' turned out to be very cool indeed. Some very tall hoodoos! The problem is they sit on top of that indestructible sandstone slab right at the place it hits ground level, and by the time the monument stops, the slab is too high to climb.

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    The solution is to follow a side canyon to where the hoodoo monument's own formation goes underground. You can then follow that ledge over to the monuments and I was hoping find an easy path down to the secret isolated plateau. The problem is that there wasn't a great, easy way down! As I studied the rocks, the goats got to liking the shade and were refusing to follow me very close. Then it hit me... why not camp here? There were amazing views in all directions and a flat spot perfect for camping. A full moon would prevent anyone from falling off the sides, so I unloaded the goats and set up camp.

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    So here's the camp site looking south at the hoodoo monument. You can see what a nice little area I have. Sand has filled a hollow where I put my sleeping bag. The goats found other sand pits or slept next to me. The problem was they'd dig before settling and sometime flick sand on my area. No need for ropes here... In fact I think they could be dangerous in this situation.

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    Camp site looking north, back at the goblin formation we followed to get here. This picture was taken higher up on the hoodoos.

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    The view from camp looking west. This is Whiskey Wash going up to the Morrison Formation. You can see the purple-white banded paleosoils from here. I'm going to make it up that far someday, but it may be a two night trip.

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    Here's a view from camp to the south-east. You can see the smooth plateau floor made of that indestructible layer. You can see it in the distance-- Those low cliffs. Thats the edge and there's no way up. No scree slopes or weaknesses in the sheer edge. Farther south is I-70.

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    I brought a good book and a head-band flashlight. The moon rose and the night was warm. I'd overprepared for chill that never came. In fact, it was t-shirt weather the entire night. My sweat pants were too much, and its nearly October! But what a wonderful night... No mosquitos. I brought a little mp3 player and speaker and kept some chill music going all night to cover the sound of distant traffic and the goats fidgeting.

    End of day 1
     
  19. elvis&oliver

    elvis&oliver Well-Known Member

    833
    Jun 27, 2018
    Pa
    This is awesome thanks for sharing! What beautiful pictures of your views and I love the goats and your dog posing for the camera. Like they do it all the time:)
     
  20. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California