Arch Hike
Phil and I took Finn and Sputnik for a little hike out to a local arch this afternoon. The boys did very well and stayed behind us almost the entire time. Looks like they're learning! 

Me and the goats and the last of the wildflowers. 

Rock climbing under the arch.

Finn is too much like Cuzco. He's always posing for the camera. 

Sputnik doesn't have the posing thing down so well, but he's photogenic nonetheless. 
Wow thats a very different kind of arch. I'm so used to the sandstone ones that your local arch is quite a surprise. Its like the kind of thing you'd see on the beach with waves blasting through it.

Very green considering how dry the last few weeks have been. I saw some trees turning orange on the mountain and we havent had a cool spell yet. I think its more drying out than fall colors.
Yeah, it's a granite arch. In fact, I think "Granite Arch" is one of its names, the other being "St. Charles Arch" because it's on the St. Charles river (it's really more of a creek). It's massive. When I friend of mine took me out to show me the arch a few years ago, I expected a little peek-a-boo hole in the rocks somewhere--not this massive hole! You can climb on top of it too, but we didn't do that yesterday.

We've been very blessed with the green this year. It's been drier recently, but not enough to discourage the grass yet.
Last Saturday, Phil and I organized a group hike to the Saint Charles Arch. The above post is the last time I was there, so it's been four years! It’s an easy five-mile round trip and the arch is always a surprise the first time you see it. I like to call it the arch “which cannot be found except by those who already knows where it is" because so many people have looked for it but failed to locate it. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to find it again myself, except it looks like the ATV riders have cleared the trail in recent years. Technically there are no motorized vehicles allowed, but I can't complain. The trail was practically obliterated in spots and was fast disappearing from lack of use. I'm glad someone took the time and effort to open it back up and clear some sections that had been blocked off by fallen timber. 

Among the group was Steve from Beulah who bought Max and Sgt. Pepper from me a year ago. He brought them along and I hardly recognized them! They’ve grown magnificently and look very healthy and happy. Max (now Axel) is wearing a Warnke Kid Pack now. 

My long-time friend Tiffany also joined us from Pueblo West, as did Jeff and Diana from Rye whose daughter Emma has been taking riding lessons from me this summer. Finn and Sputnik carried the gear and Buster Brown came along for the scenery. 

Steve's goats needed a little persuasion to cross the creek. 

The area beneath the arch was shady and full of yummy green things for goats to eat. The rest of us scattered out across the boulders under the arch to eat our picnic lunches.   

And there it is! The Saint Charles Arch! It's rare to see a granite arch this size.  

Here's a photo that Steve took. 

Buster Brown and I hung out together during lunch because he kept trying to share Emma's sandwich. 

Phil and Jeff climbed to the top of the arch to take in the view. 
The hike back out was long and hot and largely uphill, so Finn gave Emma a lift for probably close to a mile. 

Emma and Buster Brown formed an immediate bond and became inseparable throughout the hike. If Emma lagged behind, Buster stopped and waited for her. Once in a while, Buster would get nervous if the older goats got too far ahead, so he would trot a little and Emma would jog beside him with her hand on his back. Emma’s parents told us she would never have lasted the whole hike without Buster Brown to keep her company. 

It was just a little further down this hill that Buster got a few feet ahead of Emma and she slipped. Buster turned around quickly and said, “Baaa!” with a worried look on his face. They could not have been a sweeter pair. 

Emma climbed back on Finn for the final uphill portion of the trail. With the way her hair is blowing back, you’d think Emma and Finn were in a race! Emma later asked her mom if she could start taking goatback riding lessons!   

Finn stuck his head over the side and flapped his ears in the breeze on the ride home. 

We created lots of fun memories on Saturday, but this is the one I love best. 
Great photos and story!  What a sweet thing for Buster Brown and Emma to bond like that!  Heart
Everyone needs a Buster Brown in there lives.
Emma's mom brought her over the other day just so she could visit Buster Brown. He was the first goat to walk right up to her. We went on the patio and taught him to shake hands.
On Saturday we hiked to the arch again with some different folks who had never been there before. Once again we brought Finn and Sputnik as our faithful beasts of burden. None of these folks had hiked with goats before.

We picnicked under the arch as usual where the goats managed to politely finagle some food scraps off of our innocent and naive friends. This was Sputnik’s first experience with peanut butter. He liked it but he was bothered by the way it stuck to his lips and tongue. He’d eat a piece of PB&J, then rub his lips up and down along the log, then try another piece, then rub and rub some more. Janie eventually took her napkin and wiped his lips for him which was very amusing.

Finn wasn’t too interested in food but Alane really wanted to feed him something so she tempted him over with an almond butter biscuit. He didn’t end up tasting it, but he had to at least give it a token smell.

I love how Finn and Alane are making the same face here.

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