Greenhorn Mountain Hike
Today was gorgeous, and Phil and I decided not to waste it. We drove up Ophir Creek Road to the short but spectacular hiking trail up Greenhorn Mountain. We took Finn and Sputnik, and I decided that Sputnik would be the special goat who carried out water bottles today. This was the first time I've ever put a pack on him, and although he was a bit skittish about the fastening and loading part, once it was installed he wore it like a champ. I'm feeling more and more confident than Sputnik will become a good packgoat if we keep working with him. 

A trio of cute guys at the trailhead: 

A pause to look at the view...

And what a view! 

Sputnik rockin' the pack. 

We found a memorial at the top of the mountain that was put there just this year. Finn paid his respects. 

Sputnik was very excited about this cairn and ran ahead to check it out. 
Sputnik gave Phil a kiss... what a sweetie!

Finn practiced posing... what a ham! 

Sputnik marched down the hill to take in the view.

He looked this way and that...

...Then looked back to tell me the view was awesome.

He was right.

And after about five or ten minutes he decided he'd seen it all. 
Finn told me to quit taking pictures of Sputnik... the best view was of HIM!

It took Finn forever to find a spot where he could lay down comfortably. There is an overabundance of sharp rocks on this mountain. And as soon as he found it, it was time to head back. 

Sputnik told me he was too awesome to lay down--he's a packgoat! 

One last photo by the cairn, and then the wind kicked up and it was really time to head back. But what a wonderful day on the mountain! We couldn't have asked for a prettier day.  
What a great day and impressive views! I think Cuzco has been giving Sputnik and Finn posing lessons!
Goatberries Happen!
Wow. I'm not used to places where you can see that far. When I climb a mountain it usually gives you a view of the next mountain over. Even the salt desert has a lot of rows of small mountains. Its like you guys can see off into the great planes from that hill.. erm. I mean mountain.

Your goats are looking good. You make some big ones. I have to say though-- that pack setup is small enough that Sputnik gets no gold stars for carrying the water today.
This is why we get the impressive views from atop Greenhorn Hill... er... "Mountain" Wink :  

From Wikipedia:  
     Greenhorn Mountain is the highest summit of the Wet Mountains range... The massive Greenhorn Mountain can be seen from Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Trinidad, and also from along Interstate 25, rising nearly 7,000 feet (2,100 m) above the surrounding valleys.

From Summitpost:
     Although the summit just nudges above the timberline at 12,347 and only ranks as the 1,107 highest peak in the state. There isn’t a higher mountain for over forty miles. So Greenhorn’s summit provides a wonderful 360 degree view, and actually ranks as Colorado’s 11th most prominent peak.

As for Sputnik's pack--well, let's just say that Sputnik, being my Special Ed goat, gets gold stars just for not screaming his head off or having a panic attack about the blue fabric-monster attacking his back. This was a big step for my little idiot savant. And after all, he is only 15 months old. No point rushing things.
The drive and hike up Greenhorn Mountain were so beautiful last week that we had to do it again yesterday when we knew the aspen leaves would be at their peak. This time Phil and I had company! The couple who bought Snickers, Sledge, and Hammer from us last month also came on this hike. The weather was fabulous once again, and even up top the wind was not too bad. 

James has made good friends with Snickers and had him carrying a small dog pack with lunch and water for our trip. We all lamented the shortcomings of dog packs, but they are better than nothing. James is unable to carry any pack at all, so having a goat that can carry even a few things for him is the only way he can get into the mountains.    

Sledge came along on our hike too (Hammer is on the verge of losing his manhood and had to stay home for this trip until that issue is resolved). Sledge carried James' fanny pack around his neck for almost the entire hike. I thought it was hilarious. He's still a love bug and wants to sit in Deirdre's lap at every opportunity.   

The big boys all remembered each other, and Snickers immediately went about putting Sputnik in his place, right after Finn put Snickers in his place. Old pecking orders die hard! Sputnik cried for his brother for a few minutes when we all went home, but the tears did not last long. I think they are both secretly glad to be rid of the competition. Wink 

James leads the troupe of young packgoats back down the trail. James' and Deirdre's other little baby packgoat, Frodo, brings up the rear. He is also an Alpine/Nubian cross and is as sweet as he can be.   

Deirdre and I stopped to chat and take in the view before heading down the trail after the boys. A few minutes later, we heard worried baa-aa-ing and Finn poked his head around the hilltop. He was upset we weren't with the herd and had left the others to come back up the trail to check on us, which we found very touching. I like a goat that looks after his humans. 
Next time I visit I want to do this hike. It's absolutely gorgeous! I am SO happy you found such an awesome home for your boys.
Goatberries Happen!

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