4th Annual Hassey "Goat Vacation"
#21
Our third day in Escalante threatened rain again, so we thought we'd pick a couple of shorter hikes outside of town where the sky looked less ominous. The first one was Calf Creek Falls. We'd been here before with Nibbles and Cuzco in 2012, but it was so pretty we wanted to see it again even though this is a ridiculously popular trail. The number of people who stop us and ask about the goats makes the 5-mile round trip take a very long time. On the plus side, it is awfully fun to show off our little herd.  Cool

The overcast sky made the colors less vibrant this time, and the day was much too cold to tempt us in for a swim even though when I was last here I swore I'd bring my bathing suit on the next visit. However, the falls and the pool are beyond breathtaking no matter how gray the weather. 
   

Phil wanted a picture with his goats by the pool too! 

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Phil did eventually achieve some level of success getting them near the water.
   

But since I'm mean, I decided that standing next to the water wasn't good enough. I hooked Sputnik's halter to Cuzco's collar and dragged him with us across the shallow end.

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I thought maybe Sputnik would be brave enough after one crossing to follow Cuzco back voluntarily.  

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Clearly I was wrong. I had to go back over and fetch him, and he wasn't happy about it. 

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"Brave boy, Sputnik!" Nose-petting and treats were in order. 

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#22
I eventually decided that Sputnik had been water-traumatized enough and we made our way back to shore. 

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It was gratifying when he followed me willingly down to the waterside to pose for a photo. It's nice when training pays off!

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Finn was a lot more willing in his water lessons, and he took the courtesy of not splashing me like Sputnik had. Sputnik  the drama king had a tendency to lift his front feet entirely out of the water and slap them down with each step, soaking both of us. Finn walked like a normal goat, which was a nice change. 

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Some nice folks we met on the trail took photos of us and the goats. 

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The trail was cool, damp sand and smooth rock the entire way, so I gave my sandals to Cuzco to carry almost as soon as we left the trailhead. He only dropped them in a few steep places where they slid off the back. For the entire five-mile trip he balanced those shoes carefully and never shook them off or tried to lose them on a tree branch. I loved hiking barefoot at the time, but I regretted it that evening. I forgot that when one walks barefoot, one places their feet differently and uses different muscles than when one wears shoes. It's been many years since I went such a long way in bare feet, and I felt it! I ached from the hips down and was glad for a soak in the hot tub that night!    
   
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#23
We had plenty more daylight after Calf Creek Falls, so we headed just down the road to the Hwy 12 Escalante River access where there is a short hike up to some petroglyphs. Unfortunately, we could not take Cuzco on this hike. There was a rock shelf that was simply too high for him to climb or jump. He tried, but it was too much for him. I sadly had to take him back to the truck and leave him there while the rest of us took to the trail without him. Our one consolation was that it was a very short hike and we could see the truck from much of it. It was a cool, cloudy day so I knew he would not be uncomfortable--just unhappy. We were all unhappy. Poor Cuzco! 

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Well, I say the hike was short, but it would have been a lot shorter if we hadn't taken a wrong turn. We didn't find petroglyphs, but we found this cool pregnant-looking rock. 
   

The boys got a nice drink and we headed back the other way. 

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Once we got on the right trail, the petroglyphs were easy to spot. The were right at eye level! The square cuts around two of them are from early archaeologists' attempts to remove them so they could be displayed in museums. I guess they decided the rock was too fragile or something because for some reason they gave up. I'm glad.  

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Sputnik poses next to the image of his ancient relatives. 
   

There were more petroglyphs further on which were quite fascinating. Our photos of the most interesting rock art did not come out, but you can see it if you do an internet search for "hundred hands pictograph". It was four rows of handprints from what appears to be many different people who dipped their hands in paint and slapped the wall. Very cool! If you look closely at this petroglyph you can see a papoose!  

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I thought this rock looked a lot like Sputnik. I kind of regretted bringing him on this hike. He was terribly upset that we left Cuzco behind and he would not stop wailing. It wouldn't have been so bad if he weren't so LOUD. For such a little guy he sure has a set of bellows!
   

When we were loading everyone up to leave, Cuzco took off while I was rearranging tether spots. He left all of us at the truck, ran across the parking lot, and made a beeline for the trailhead. He totally ignored my calls and went a ways up the trail before I could catch him. I think he was determined to take another whack at that high rock and prove to himself that he could still do it. Poor fella. It's awfully hard to see him get too old to do things he loves.
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#24
Our final day in Escalante was probably the best. We hiked a portion of Bighorn Canyon and encountered some of the prettiest striped sandstone we've ever seen. But more on that later! First we encountered a lot of mud. The rain we'd had the two days previous had turned this normally dry wash into a bed of wet and very slimy clay. Phil and I had a few close calls, but I'm relieved to say that neither of us came to grief. While it would have been funny to look back on, the prospect of ever getting that gunk out of our truck seats was enough to make us tread very cautiously up that stream bed.

Some of the mud looked like moon craters.  

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GIANT GOATS ON THE MOON! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!
     

Where Finn goes... 

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Sputnik follows. 

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But Sputnik doesn't usually feel the need to do daredevil stunts like this: 
   

Cuzco doesn't do daredevil stunts either. He doesn't need to. 

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The first interesting feature we encountered was this row of giant dome-like rocks, the first of which had a tiny hoodoo on the very top. I wanted to climb up to it and even worked out an ascent plan, but when I contemplated a rope-less descent I decided that discretion is the better part of valor. 

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Selfie time!!

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#25
Phil and I went a short way up the side canyon with the giant domes and found a shallow slot where Cuzco and I spent some time bonding while Finn gazed down on us from the "high road."  
   

   

The turn into Bighorn Canyon was marked by a "hanging gate" on the hand-drawn map given us by our B & B hostess. Phil was very intrigued by the idea of a hanging gate and had to get pictures of its ruins. 

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The footing changed from gray clay to wavy pink sand the moment we turned into the canyon. 

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There were also goats falling out of the sky. 

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Monkey see, monkey do... cautiously.

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#26
Not long after we started up Bighorn Canyon, we began to encounter shallow slots and beautiful striped sandstone. 
   

   


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#27
The slots may have been shallow, but they were quite narrow and surprisingly long. The colors on the walls were simply spectacular.  
   


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We climbed out of a break between slot canyons and had a picnic lunch here next to a canyon wall that looked like it might have been a mural. 

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After lunch, Sputnik took the pack and we journeyed on over yellow slickrock. 

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Then back into another slot canyon. 
   
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#28
Considering how long and narrow the Bighorn slots were, it was surprising how few obstacles were in them. However, we did eventually encounter a fallen boulder that Cuzco could neither go over nor under, so we turned back. I hope one day to go back and explore further. Younger goats should have no problem with this canyon.

One of the obstacles was a fallen tree that luckily had just enough space to allow us to crawl under it on hands and knees. I had to remove Sputnik's pack so he could make it. 
   

"Can you do it Cuzco?" 
   

The old goat gave it a whirl. Climbing under things was always Cuzco's speciality. Did I ever tell how he squeezed into a chicken coop through a 12" x 12" door when he was five years old? 
   

Yep, he's still got it! 
   

"Easy-peasy!" 
   

Cuzco had no trouble with the narrow spots...
   

...but Phil got stuck once or twice! 
   
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#29
Phil found a pedestal. Phil can't encounter a pedestal without taking off his shirt and posing in statuesque splendor.
   

Finn cannot see someone else pose on a pedestal without sharing the glory.
   

   

"How does one get off this thing?" (And Finn made it look so easy!)
   

Nanno's turn!
   

Finn can't help it. It must be some kind of disorder. 
   

"No, go away goats! It's my time! (I'm getting mobbed!)" 
   

Goat pyramid!
   

Finally, Finn gets the rock to himself!
   
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#30
On our way back I found a shelf I wanted to sit on. But with a rounded edge and nothing to grab hold of at the top, I couldn't quite get up there. Finn, however, was quite curious what I was after and he decided he needed to investigate. Twice he leaped, scrambled, and fell back down with a thud. I thought he was going to give up after the spectacularly failed second attempt, but he backed up from the wall, gave his tail a quick, determined wag, and leaped with all his might. He made it to the rounded edge and started to slide back, but he clung tenaciously to the rock with his front toes, paddled his hind feet, and made it up. 
   

Naturally, he had to strut. 
   


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A final drink.
   

"Yes, Sputnik? Did you want something?"
   

Finn plunked his nose down in a mud patch and then gleefully tried to wipe it on everyone else. 
   
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