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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just going to post some pictures from last year's hiking in order. It will start with my first hike ever with goats beyond the local hills and end with some all day journeys. I have yet to do over night camping, which is something I plan on doing a lot of this year. Most of the hikes take place along the Wasatch Front. This year I plan on ranging far across the state.

Most of the hikes include my brother and his dogs and my youngest sister. I rarely appear in any pictures as I am the only shutter bug. I honestly dont have any other people in my life that are up for hiking! Espeically long hikes. They're either too old, too fat, or out of shape. I may try to do a few trips with other local goat packers this year.

Last year I started actually taking the goats hiking for the first time. Clay Zimmerman got me hooked on the idea when I saw his goats in the goat barn at the Utah State Fair in '11. I already had some goats. One female alpine, Victoria, who was still young (never bred), bottle raised by little girls. Then a female Saanan "Tina" (5, milker, and not the hiking type due to so many babies), who I got to produce milk for my baby yak. Then her son Gnibbley (half Saanan, half Nubian). Unfortunately Tina died 6 months after getting random pneumonia and she just went down hill after that, despite various de-worming precautions and lots of TLC. Perhaps it was cancer. She would rally and then waste away regardless of treatments. Then poor Gnibbley died due to getting castrated (He got the expensive 'surgical' style operation-- Looked great when I got him home but I found him mostly bled out late at night). I really loved those two. I replaced them with 2 goats by the same Alpine father: Shelby GT, a black alpine with white racing stripes. I got him the week that Carol Shelby the race car guru died. And his sister, Amelia Goat-hart who loves to be up high. She is a smaller brown and white from a Saanan mother and she has a wonderfully lovable personality. Both were mother raised but very very well socialized with humans. I'm keeping a look-out for another male. Hopefully I can find a ready-to-go pack goat. Otherwise I'll grab another baby this year-- Perhaps from a real pack goat breeder.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The first hike taking the goats in the truck was up near Sundance. You start at Aspen Grove and you go 2.5 miles or so to Stuart Falls. I remember it being 4 miles each way, so this turned out to be shorter than expected.

The goats did great except I discovered that they'd follow the largest group of humans... And that was a problem due to the unexpectedly large crowds that showed up on that Sunday! I think we met 200-300 people.

This was also our first time fitting the Suburban to carry goats without ruining the carpet. They traveled quietly, though for some reason Shelby likes to stand while on the road. The others stay down.

Shelby GT and Amelia Goat-hart


Big crowds at Stuart Falls. Many many pictures were taken of the goats!


Getting used to 3D terrain
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The next trip we went up the Timpanooke trail on Timpanogos. We made it just past the first scree field and to a snow patch at the bottom of a small cliff. We had taken one of those 'shortcut trails' that ended up being an all-fours scramble up a hillside earlier so we were worn out and turned around at about half-way up to the plateau at the top of Timp. None of us was in shape, including the goats and dogs. They did seem to find the snow bank interesting. It was gone two weeks later when we passed that same spot (July). In the end the goats seemed to be learning more and more about hiking and I was very pleased with their progress. I was learning about the goats too-- like how switchbacks confuse them, etc.



A flat spot that has a few goat-attracting rocks.



The goslings vandalizing a wild rose.



The snow bank.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This was our second attempt on Timpanogos, same trail as before. My brother and his dogs could not make it on this trip (I think he was riding motorcycles in Moab). This time we had a goal: Emerald Lake high on the strange plateau up on the back side of Timp. I never knew there was flat space up there and I've lived in sight of this mountain for 39 years. From the front it seems insanely steep and pointy with cliffs and 70 degree slopes. You cant see that there is flat space up there from any angle. This was truly a fun hike because I discovered a wonderland that I'd been missing my whole life. Its like those dreams you have when you find a new, massive room in your house that you'd never noticed before. Actually recently I dreamed I found an abandoned boom-town from the 1800s up on this mountain. Hah that would be awesome.

Dare devils. At this point I was just getting used to the idea that goats will do crazy things. I decided that if they fell off, it wasnt my fault. They'd have been bad pack goats anyhow. Am I right?



I really didnt like them climbing on the top of the ice caves on this snow pile. Its true the water flowing under it was nothing deep, but I would get wet rescuing them if they fell.



Sasha sure knows how to cool down. She kindof looked bedraggled in this picture.



This is the last so-called shortcut I'll be taking. It may have been faster but it sure was a workout!



Up high there were gigantic (for Utah) pines that created dark forests. This was new territory for me and I loved the look.



Sasha striking a pose.



Now lets stop. At this point we were getting in to a lot of wild flowers. Many colors. As I came over the last rise, I'd find a new rise blocking my view of the plateau. When we finally walked over the last of them, I was greeted with this scene. It blew my mind. The close puffy clouds were scrolling shadows across the terrain. Flowers everywhere. It was a scene from a dream-- I'd never found anything like this and once again I was amazed that it was so close all these years!



Up periscope!



Poppies will make her sleep..... Poppies.... Poppies.... Well at least I felt like I was over the rainbow.



I could see people trying to get past some mountain goats up on that ridge. I was a little surprised that the people were so close to them... and that made me wonder what would happen when we got there. Because Emerald Lake was on the other side of that ridge.



Victoria's Secret up on a rock, surveying her kingdom.



Uhoh. Goats. Too close for my liking. But they seemed more interested in my crew than aggressive so we pushed past them.



Looking back at them after we had passed. They really were amazed at the little goats.



Just past the goats we got a vew of Emerald Lake. You can also get a feeling for how much higher the mountain goes if one were to attempt to summit it. I was certainly in no shape to try. The little shack is a hut thats been there for decades.



Emerald Lake was too cold to dip your feet in. It was in fact quite painful. That didnt stop Sasha from taking a dip. Later I would learn it is quite deep in some spots. Sitting on the island in the lake we could hear occasional rocks falling off of the cliffs and landing on the snow field. People would also slide down the snow as they short cutted down from the summit.



Goslings walking across the strange little stone path. The stream leads down the other path toward Sundance.



By the time we headed back the mountain goats had moved. Check out this epic picture of goats and goats:



They're insane.



This was the hike that hooked me on hiking and taking advantage of this state's amazing scenes. Taking the goats doubles the fun even if they're not packing anything. Its too bad I cant take the goats to some of the best places such as Moab and such. Timpanogos is horse and dog friendly though, and it makes for a cheap (close) place to go on day hikes. I'll be doing more hikes up this trail this summer, so if any locals want to go, let me know!
 

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Gorgeous! It reminds me so much of one of the trails I used to hike and horseback ride near Lake City. It was called the Alpine Gulch trail, and it had similar views, with deep, dense pine forests, waterfalls, a proliferation of wildflowers, rock slides, emerald tundra, and a wide basin meadow at the top with a lake at the end of it. Your photos bring back some awesome memories. Thanks for sharing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
the "Goslings" is the nickname for the 2 little ones. It always gets laughs. Its like when I say "I'm a poet and didn't even think I was!" ..... People stop. Think. murmur something to themselves and then laugh.
 

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Beautiful place up on timp. I haven't ever been there myself and plan on going sometime this summer if I can. How long did it take you to reach emerald lake? You should try going to the Uintas this summer, there are lots of beautiful places up there. If you are heading out feel free to give me a shout and I will see if you I can make the trip with you. Looks like a fun trip and you have a good looking bunch!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
On another hike up the Timpanooke trail, we decided to set a different goal: The crashed WW2 bomber. It is about the same distance as Emerald Lake, except you take a right instead of a left when you get to the "Toilets -->" sign on the plateau. You cant miss it-- big sheets of aluminum shining in the sun on a scree field up at the base of the cliffs. My understanding is that 7 people died in the crash in '65 or so. The plane obviously burned after crashing as some parts show melted magnesium and aluminum. One of the engines has rolled down a few hundred yards to the plateau. There's not much left but piles of aluminum spars and sheeting. I'm sure anything interesting has been carted off as souvenirs. There's a little memorial painted on a sheet of aluminum naming the crew members. You have to pick your way up there and climb some steep hillsides to reach it, but it is a must-see for anyone that frequents Timpanogos.



Victoria and Amelia posing with the crashed bomber.



On this hike we encountered a lot of wildlife. First, on the way up the switchbacks, we saw a raven type bird carrying 'something' in its beak, flying close to us. Then we heard this strange rushing sound and WHAM, a golden eagle zipped past us and strafed the raven, attempting to steal its catch. Later on the trail Sasha spooked a ground squirrel. He ran right at me and nearly climbed my leg trying to get away from the dog. It was a good move. I told Sasha to back off and he headed off into the rocks. On the way back down, in the same spot, a hummingbird flew up to us. It landed on my brother's finger. It seemed bushed. I poured some water into my hand and held it up to it and it sucked the whole thing down. Twice. It flew around a little and seemed to pick up strength after the drink. Here is a picture of it sitting on my sister's head. I was tempted to bring it home and feed it some humming bird nectar, but it gained enough strength to take off. Honestly though, I doubt he is alive today. I dont know what was wrong with him-- there is water and nectar up there, though it was quite the drought last year. Who knows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
There were a few trips up Timp where I didn't take a lot of pictures. At least one where we went to Emerald Lake again.

The next big trip was the Uintas. My brother had the big idea to go to "Bald Mountain". He said it had a great view, but it sounded like a pretty short hike to me. I did want to see the Uintas so he and my sister and I headed out.

It was a long drive for the goats, but they did great. I'm going to say it is about an hour and change. While technically high, the Uintas have roads that are also high, so its not like it feels like climbing Everest. The rock is very different than the sedimentary rock on the Wasatch range-- its all more of a metamorphic rock. I hear its over a billion years old, so its a bit of an anomaly.



My brother and his dogs, Sasha and the goats climbing Mt Baldy.



Little Amelia Goat-hart enjoying the hike.



90% of the Uintas in the distance.



Shelby G.T.



Camouflaged goat!



This guy knew how to beg.

After Bald Mountain we had plenty of daylight to burn so we hiked an area that looked nice from up above. We went on a loop that took us just west of Scout Lake, up over a saddle to Lofty Lake, and down to Kammas Lake, then back to the highway. Now that was fun because you dont get to do a lot of forest hiking in Utah. The lakes were cold and clear and there were no bugs and the temperature was perfect. What a day. We even had picnic tables for lunch. By the way, this area is only a few miles south of the next 'rendy'.



I never saw a living tree this large anywhere on the trip.
 

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Feb 18th just came off my five day straight work week. I had to arrest several drunks and numerous domestic violence calls resulting in lots of trips to the jail and tons of paper work.

Looking at all your trip photos just made my day today. WOW all I can say is WOW. Makes me want to move to Utah. Thanks for sharing I love the Victoria Goat. Sweet ALPINE.

"Long Live The Pack Goat"

Curtis King Burbank WA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This trip is Neff's Canyon. We picked it because it is close and it allows dogs, unlike some of the other canyons right next to Salt Lake, which are watersheds. From a distance it looks insanely steep and you cant imagine much of a trail. In reality it is rather steep and has a pretty nice trail. I keep hearing there are too many rattle snakes up this canyon, but I never saw any. It was late in the season. We had a threat of rain later in the hike, but the weather was great except on the summit where it was a bit windy. We did encounter a husky which was way too interested in goats. Always suspect huskies. Always. Getting to the trail head is a bit of a maze of neighborhood roads. I really enjoyed the hike! Its fun to explore stuff you never knew existed. My brother had done it before with his dogs, and he suggested we take a 'detour' to a trail on the other side of the canyon. We bushwhacked for some distance on very steep, scrubby terrain but never found the trail. On the way down the trail was so steep that my feet shoved to the front of my running shoes and the back of the shoe tended to wear on my achilles, which lost some skin. It taught me that I may need better shoes for hiking. I think it kicked everyone's butt more than me, though, for a change.



We were a few weeks too late for the fall color. Still, the scenery was fantastic.



Here at the ridge on top, there is a cave-- more of a hole. It has been filled in, though still some gaps and holes remain. My brother says it was one of the world's largest free-fall holes. It was a little spooky being anywhere near it. You can see some of the rocky rubble that they used to fill it in this picture.



Looking over the ridge toward the ski resorts. We're not allowed on ski resort land. I wonder how people come to own the mountain like that. I want a mountain!



My brother brought treats.



The goslings want treats too!



This is as high as we went. Rain was coming. As we drove home on the highway we looked to the east and there was the canyon, drenched in rain. Great timing!
 

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Charlie Horse said:
... Then a female Saanan "Tina" (5, milker, and not the hiking type due to so many babies), who I got to produce milk for my baby yak.
I don't know how I missed this... I know something about yaks:

Domestic Yaks vs. Wild Yaks

There are five types of wild yaks and two classes of domestic yaks with sub-types.

Wild Yaks inhabit treeless uplands, from 3200 m to 5500 m and are rare on alpine and desert steppes. Modern domestic yaks are common in upperclass estates throughout the world.

The wild yaks are black, trim, royal, golden and wooley. The domestic yaks are upper: butler, footman, governess, skilled cook, housekeeper, senior parlour-maid, head house-maid and lady's maid, as well as the 'lower' : including kitchen-maid, scullery-maid, laundress, nursemaid, housemaid, stable-boy etc

Yaks have been more commonly used for domestics in non-European countries which is why the traditional "French maid"or "upstairs maid" outfit did not get invented in Iraq or Iran.

Wild yaks are not as intelligent as domestic yaks as evidenced by the google search on yaks. Yaks are more dense in the wild than in urban populations.

There is a trend to use yaks to make hamburgers, but their success is doubtful since it is difficult to make patties with cloven hooves; palms and opposable thumbs are more useful for such endeavors.

There are good reasons to raise yaks rather than cows. They are much lighter in weight making lifting them easier.

Yaks are also valued for making cashmere. Apparently domestic yaks are more suitable for such a cottage industry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
We decided to try going to Emerald Lake on Timpanogos from the Sundance side. We heard it was steeper and shorter. This is perhaps true. I felt like it was a much less interesting path than the Timpanooke trail-- less trees, less epic cliffs and glaciers and whatnot. It was also late in the season so there was a lot more brown. We decided to stick with the other trail for future hikes. By the way, my co-worker's sister was killed on this trail on a school outing. A freak snow storm came in May and a few students, in different places, slipped off the trail. He said he wanted to someday hike the trail since he's only ever heard descriptions of where the event happened and would like to visit it sometime. We may do that this year.


Amelia Goat-hart showing off.


Timpanogos Falls (I assume it is more impressive in spring)


Note the fresh snow in the distant shadows. We did come across some light snow on the trail.


Interesting jpg compression artifacting on the fur... its what you get when you crop.


Emerald Lake had mostly drained except for the deep area. A slushy ice sheet had formed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
This is the last hike of 2012 for us.

We planned on starting the hike on the ridge trail at the Timpanogos Summit parking lot, but the road had been closed (despite the lack of snow) so we started from the place the road was closed. It works fine and you get to see the same trail for most of the way anyhow. This trail is in a lot of pines and aspens. It is open to motorcycles so we were lucky we only encountered a few. In places when it is on the side of a hill it is hard to find a place to step off and let others pass. Also, it is smooth. Smooth with steep areas (no rocks) can mean you'll stretch your achiles and calf muscles more as you climb, so I was a little sore for the next few days. But thats a good thing. The goats loved this trip-- but like I say, you'll be encountering a lot of dirt bikes and mtn bikes normally. As you go far, the awesome peters out and you have more scrub oak and sage with less interesting hills. In the end you decide to turn around when you get bored. It wasn't a really long hike for us.


Thats Timpanogos in the background.


This is an interesting picture when related to the other hikes up Timpanogos. This is the Timpanooke canyon. The trail switch-backs up the area on the left with snow and pine trees, and the line where the trees seem to stop is the edge of that huge but secret plateau on top of Timp.


As pretty as this now, I'd love to have been here when the leaves were yellow. Next year!


strike.....EPIC POSE!


BAD Shelby! So bad! The treats are gone anyhow.

So thats it. Hiking in Utah 2012. It is warming up and in no time we're going to be hiking again. I'm thinking of planning a redrock hike for the early part of the year, down where it is warm. It may make for some even more epic pictures! And hopefully this year I pick up one or two more goats!
 
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