NAPgA Pack Goat Rendezvous June 25-28!
Friday night after our hike we were treated to a very good presentation by Dr. Maggie Highland from WSU about the Bighorn Sheep pneumonia die-offs. She seems to be of the opinion that banning domestic sheep and goats from BHS habitat is not the solution. I had a very interesting time listening to her speak with John Mionczynski after her talk. Dr. Highland indicated that she believes there is more going on in the herds than simple pneumonia and that there has to be some other catalyst to trigger the massive die-offs seen in some herds. John seemed to think that the key might be selenium availability and high nitrate levels in the rain. The biggest devastation has coincided with abnormally heavy rainfall and low selenium levels in the forage. 

Saturday morning we had a "guess the goats' weight" competition in which we guessed the weights of three different goats (Finn was one) and added them together for a final answer. Phil guessed within two pounds of the total weight and won a prize. We also listened to John Mionczynski talk about edible and medicinal plants, which was fascinating because we never left camp. I didn't realize there were so many useful plants right there under our feet! Unfortunately, I had to miss the last part because Dwite Sharp dragged Cuzco up to me and said, "I believe this is yours. He was helping himself to the items in the sale tent." Sure enough, Cuzco had a torn and half-eaten bag of goat treats hanging from his mouth. Oh well... I was planning to buy some of those goat treats anyway. I took the sodden bag and emptied the rest of the treats into my pouch, but in the process of fending off the younger goats while I did this, Cuzco quietly disappeared. I found him back in the tent "buying" more bags of goat cookies. I decided it was time to take him back to our campsite and had to miss the end of John's talk. 

Irene then shared with us about dehydrating food for the trail before the afternoon got hot and a few of us decided to drive over to Lake Henry for a swim. I decided to bring the boys. Cuzco, of course, swam at the 2013 Rendy, but I wanted to introduce the younger boys. The water was perfect--a very nice temperature and an easy, gradual slope with a solid sand and gravel bottom. Finn and Snickers balked at first, but they figured it out rather quickly and were soon following us into the water and swimming without hesitation. Sputnik was a different story. He bawled at the top of his lungs the minute the water hit his chest, and he didn't stop even when it went over his head. The result was that he ended up with facefulls of water which got into his mouth and nose and caused him to splutter and scream some more. The silly goat was so busy yelling that he wouldn't kick his legs and promptly sank when the water got deep. I had to buoy him along until he settled down enough to figure out that if he just kicked his legs instead of bawling about the unfairness of life, he could float just fine. 

"Come on Sputnik!" He went fairly willingly to this point.  

Finn and Snickers handled the water sensibly, and Finn even got to enjoying it I think. 

Finn follows Phil everywhere.


A close-up of Sputnik's panic-stricken face as he floundered in the deep water. I was holding him afloat at this point. 

Irene took a short video of Sputnik's (very loud) ordeal. He was convinced I was deliberately drowning him, but I promise I wasn't! In fact, I was the only reason he stayed above water for the first few minutes! 
Saturday night was a real treat. There were only a few items not purchased in the store which had to be auctioned. Several of these items ended up fetching more at action than their original asking price! I ended up with the entire left-over stash of homemade goat cookies that Cuzco was so fond of. Afterwards, John Mionczynski told the fascinating story of how he got into goat packing and showed us his first packsaddle which he fashioned himself from a couple of barn boards and a shovel handle. He also brought several other examples of early packsaddles and panniers and treated us to "goat songs" he composed on his old Swiss squeezebox. I brought Cuzco to the campfire so he could enjoy the music with us. Phil also jumped in on his fiddle and it was quite a treat. 

All things must come to an end and it would have been sad to pack up on Sunday morning except for the fact that Phil and I were looking forward to a visit with Herb (aka Charlie Horse) on our way home. He had been unable to attend the Rendy, but we arranged to stay with him Sunday night as we traveled through Salt Lake City. Herb has a bunch of goats, some of whom we met at the 2013 Rendy. But before we left, Phil had a fight with a tavern puzzle... er, tangled strap tie. 

Herb has a great goat shed that the goats can climb on top of. Check out the triple-goat action here! 

Bacchus was the clear king of the shed roof...

...and he viciously defended it against all invaders both real and perceived. 
I can't resist posting a few of these photos. Throwing two herds together into one pasture for a night is bound to raise some excitement, and our goats spent a good deal of time sparring with Herb's. Finn was trilled to clack horns with Bacchus and Woodstock, Herb's only horned goats. Bacchus proved a bit much for Finn and the fight was soon over, but Woodstock and Finn were quite well matched and the duel dragged out long enough for me to take far too many pictures.   
Wow, Finn is such a good looking goat! looks like a fun time and I love Charlie Horse's goat shed. I bet there has been a lot of hours of entertainment with that tower Smile
It was a great day. I hope we all can do it again next year.
Thanks Nebs. Finn is Phil's pride and joy. Wink

Surely more people than just Nancy and I took photos and has stories to share! Come on folks!
I forgot to elaborate before, but we also had a scale at the Rendy so we could weigh our goats. Cuzco was 196#, which was right where I expected him to be after his long trailer ride and a hike the day before. I also guessed Finn's weight exactly correct in the weight guessing game. He was 120# on the nose. Snickers came in at 116#, and Sputnik at 113#. I wish I'd had Pac-Man there. The weight tape had him at 180# last month, but he's growing at an alarming rate and that weight may be outdated already. He's got a neck like a linebacker and is getting to be strong as an ox. He's not as tall as Cuzco yet but I expect he'll finish out as tall or taller, and if he stays as fat as he is right now, he'll certainly outweigh Cuzco by a good 50#. I need to start making Pac-Man work out so he can shed some lard and get some muscle (him and me both!). There's nothing he loves more than lounging in his dust wallow.
I am a BAD participant. Apparently I have been a frequent reader-of-message-boards browser-of-posts etc as a guest, and I had never actually created a profile -- until today, when I was looking through Nanno's AWESOME pictures from the Rendy this year, and, upon my first attempt to reply to this message board, realized I was thus far a nameless lurker. So, I took immediate action... And now, here I am, with a legit profile and everything!

That being said, Nanno, THANK YOU for all the time and energy and effort you put in to maintaining and managing this website!! And, thank you times infinity for the amazing photos from the 2015 NAPgA Rendezvous :-)  I have been delinquent in organizing the many, many pictures I have from that fabulous weekend, but I will start to work on sorting them ASAP to share Heart
"Thank you for flying Church of England; cake or death?"
- Eddie Izzard
Hello Amy! So glad you finally came out of the woodwork! I can't wait to see your photos. Big Grin

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)