4th Annual Hassey "Goat Vacation"
#1
October rolled around and it was time for the 4th annual Hassey “Goat Vacation”! We went to Escalante, Utah again this year, but we stopped for a couple of days of camping and hiking in the San Rafael Swell near our favorite state park, Goblin Valley (see Taffy and Charlie Horse's excellent account of the trip here). Herb was the trusty guide for this trip, and I must say he did an excellent job! We arrived on a Thursday afternoon, got our vehicles parked, and headed up to Chute Canyon for a late afternoon hike. The cliffs looked amazing in the last glowing rays of the sun, but the sheer size of them made them difficult to photograph.
   

Finn is a show-off. A BIG show-off. Not only does he try to climb higher than anyone else, he’s as big a ham for the camera as Cuzco and has already learned just how to pose.
   

   

Finn saw a hole in the rock.
   

And what do you do when you find a hole in the rock? Why, you squeeze through it of course!
   

Of course, we can’t have any hike without an obligatory “Glamour Shot” of Cuzco. If Finn likes to pose for the camera, I can tell you exactly where he learned it! Cuzco was very loyal on this hike. My friend Taffy from Washington had to walk slower on the way back because of a cranky knee, so I stayed behind and visited with her while the rest of our party went on ahead to the trucks. Usually Cuzco leads the way when we’re headed back, but in spite of the “herd” going on ahead, he stayed back with Taffy and I and made sure we didn’t get left behind. (Of course he nagged us a bit along the way.)
   
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#2
So how did the rest of the trip turn out in Escelante?
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#3
I think we need to make this an annual outing! It was SO much fun!
Goatberries Happen!
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#4
Every time I pull out a camera all I get is goat butts. How do you get those 2 to look at a camera? It is probable a natural born ham trait that Oberhasli goats don't have. That is one of Cuzo's finest shots and I think I have seen everyone posted since the original Packgoat Forum.
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#5
@ Nancy: Even at thirteen, Cuzco's still got it!  Cool

@ Charlie Horse: Never fear! The story of our trip will continue as time allows.
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#6
After a good rest on Friday night, we got up early (but not too early) Saturday morning to begin our long hike down Wild Horse Canyon. First things first, though. There being no toilet facilities at our primitive campsite, Phil came prepared
   

Pac-Man carried our food and water on this hike and he did an admirable job. He never complained, and he only tried to scrape the pack off on boulders for the first hour or two. Cuzco did not have to do anything except look noble for the outbound trek, and he did an admirable job of this. 
   

One of the most enjoyable parts of Wild Horse Canyon was right near the beginning where we encountered this lovely playground of unique boulders and miniature arches. I could have played here with the goats all day! 

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Besides looking noble, Cuzco also kept an eye on Larry. He thought Larry looked very suspicious with those walking poles. And since Larry described himself as a "cranky old curmudgeon" on more than one occasion, it's possible Cuzco thought he had found a kindred spirit. 
   

Cuzco really enjoyed this opportunity to micromanage Larry's activities: "You should point the camera a little more left!" 

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Phil and Cuzco both loved this rock. 

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This was another favorite rock: 

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#7
I love how goats like to go right up to the edge and peer down as though they are going to jump, but you can see their nervous posture when they're not sure where the bottom is. We skirted around this little slot canyon and then backtracked up it. 

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Naw... Finn hasn't learned to pose for the camera at all... not at all. Tongue

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It was a tight fit in some spots. 
   

Finn and Bacchus going at it. This was one of their few altercations. It seemed that my goats and Herb's goats were content to stick mainly to their own herds during this trip, so there was very little fighting. 

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One might think I wear bright colors to match my goats, but the truth is that I breed goats to match my love for bright colors. 

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We stopped for lunch at this lovely, shady little rock shelf. We had been in the sun for a while at this point, so this was a cool and relaxing spot for everybody, human and goat alike.  

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#8
My posts are always fairly self-indulgent, but please forgive me this extra hedonistic batch of photos that Phil took of my side quest up a shelf of the canyon. All four of our goats came with me so they could be in the photos too. 

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Cuzco saw the camera and posed regally in the background, but Finn stole the spotlight at this show. 
   

I tried to get a nice shot of just me and Pac-Man--this was our last weekend together, after all. But Cuzco couldn't help sneaking in from behind to grab a bit of the glory.  

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We tried again with even less success. Finn didn't sneak in to steal a bit of the picture--he crashed in and obliterated it! 

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This photo gives a better sense of the scale of these canyon walls. 
   

"Yes, Finn, you can be in the picture with me by yourself." 

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As usual, Cuzco gets the final word in any self-indulgent photo shoot. Cuzco wouldn't even allow me into this shot! 
   
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#9
We clearly took waaaayyy too many photos of our hike down Wild Horse Canyon, so I'll have to finish this series later. Wink
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#10
We came out of the canyon shortly after lunch and spent a little time contemplating the terrain and discussing the best way to get to our destination: Wild Horse Window. 
   

For some reason I ended up in front even though I had no more clue how to get there than anybody else. But I guess someone's got to lead the charge! Onward-ho! 
   


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For once, Sputnik actually posed for a photo. He rarely sits still long enough for us to get a decent shot of him. 
     

Finally, near the top! And Sputnik, Pac-Man, and Cuzco posed for this totally boss movie-poster-trio shot.  

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