2017 NAPgA Rendezvous in Lake City, CO - June 15-18
Glad you got home safe, Charlie Horse! Thanks for posting a few photos. I took NONE all weekend. Phil took some on the Uncompahgre hike on Sunday, but that was it. We were so busy all weekend we decided to rely on everyone else to post photos this time. (And don't you dare disappoint us!)

It was a really incredible weekend. The weather could not have been more perfect. The items people donated to the store/auction this weekend were beyond amazing. I think we may have shattered a record with the income this year. I haven't done a head count, but this may have been the most well-attended Rendy ever. Our camping area was bursting at the seams. I had a lot of good feedback about all of the speakers. There was a nice variety of subjects and all the classes were very well attended.

I have to give a huge shout-out to the guys at the BLM. They were super excited to see us there and were very interested in what we do. They orchestrated our work project and we accomplished a lot in one day. We loaded rocks into our goats' panniers from a slide area on the trail and dumped them in a spot where the river had overflowed its banks and turned the trail into a muddy creek. We dammed up the river on that side and filled in about 40 feet of trail with rocks and gravel. Marc Warnke and I were loading about 35 lbs. of rocks into each pannier and our boys did marvelously well carrying so much weight. We didn't have to take them very far and the ground was level so they were easily up to the task. We also built two very impressive log bridges which the goats tested with us.

Most folks cleared out Sunday morning, but a few of us hiked up Uncompahgre Peak. There was still quite a lot of snow in some places and the goats had a pretty hard time in spots where the snow had become soft. Their feet aren't made for snow and they would sink down and start floundering pretty badly--especially the boys with packs. But everyone made it to the top, including our very own Australian low-lander, Kate (known around these parts as "DownUnderGal")!

What a great weekend! I can't thank everyone enough. I had helping hands wherever I needed them. I could not have done this without all the amazing support from all of you awesome packgoat folks!
The summit at 14,308 feet.  We all made it despite the altitude and snow and scary steep rocks.

Shelby GT enjoying the view to the west.

My new goat is 2 months and appears to be a born pack goat.  He made it up easier than anyone and despite not knowing who he was supposed to be with, he just stayed with the group.  If he were a human it'd be like going to college at age 5.  He's got quite the head start, just like Bacchus and Woodstock when I took them to the top of Timpanogos at 4 months.

Getting close to the fun part


Mount Unprounouncable


Its easy to relax when there's no air.

Earlier there were two low-lines and tons of new babies in a row. 
By this time most were hanging with their new owners.


I enjoyed taking my goats on an early morning and evening walk every day.


Nano and Sputnik


Gizmo seems right at home among the rocks and lichens.  He's going to be a great one.
Great pics Charlie Horse and it was good to meet you. I hope ph*&*s()*(t)* Dude has settled in and perhaps has a new name by now? Here are a few more pics from what was an awesome few days - thanks Nanno and Phil Smile !




Original John Mionczynski style pack saddle made by Charlie and signed by the man himself


Saph and Tigerlily


One of Dwite's babies




Uncompahgre Peak - Sputnik, Finn, Tigerlily and Shelby


Uncompahgre Peak - Finn


Uncompahgre Peak - ph*&*s()*(t)* Dude


Uncompahgre Peak -Tigerlily


Uncompahgre Peak - I think just about everyone is in this photo somewhere in the distance
Happiness is a baby goat snoring in your lap
Many thanks to Kate (a.k.a. "DownUnderGal") for letting me use her photos to make my posts. I slacked off and didn't take one photo all week! 

Phil and I picked Kate up at the airport in Colorado Springs the weekend before the Rendy and on Monday we loaded up and headed over to Lake City. We rented a small cabin and spent a couple of days enjoying the picturesque little town and visiting old friends that I grew up with there. 


Our goats cut quite a shine in my hometown as we walked them through the park, drove them with their wagon down the streets, and chauffeured them to the market in the bed of our pickup.   



We originally planned to bring only Finn and Sputnik to the Rendy, but Tigerlily was still recovering from the trauma of losing her first kid and the mastitis that followed afterward. She needed to be milked 2-3 times a day and my milking help at home could only come in the morning, so we brought Tigerlily with us. I felt that the change of scenery would do her good, and it did. She also got quite a lot of sympathy from two sweet girls we met in the park.  
Whose are these handsome faces in our rearview mirrors? 


The Hartman family has owned the San Juan Soda Company since I was a little girl. I grew up with the Hartman kids, and eventually they started having their own kids. Everyone chips in to help run the soda shop in the summer. It is the epitome of the "family business." 

The Hartmans have preserved the original old bar with its bar stools and they serve ice cream in what looks like a proper old-fashioned drug store. 

I had a fun time holding three goats and an ice cream cone and trying not to lose all four of them. 

The Hartmans generously offered our goats as many broken waffle cones as Phil and Kate could carry away. While this photo makes it look like Finn is the hog, it was actually Sputnik who ate inhaled most of them, beating back all competition and daring them to come any closer.  
First thing Wednesday morning, we packed up the goats and headed to the Rendy site at Snowden Meadow, some five miles south of Lake City up the Henson Creek road. Pike Snowden's cabin looked a little lonely that morning with no campers on-site yet!  

The road to Snowden Meadow leads through the old Ute-Ulay mine. At one point there was a sizable town perched on the edge of this narrow canyon, and there were two different attempts to dam Henson Creek. Both dams blew out shortly after being built and no one tried to tame the river again.  


I had fun making these little Rendy packgoat signs! 

That afternoon, Kate and I took a little trip to Lake San Cristobal--the lake from which "Lake City" derives its name. Believe it or not, this little pond is the second largest natural lake in all of Colorado! It's also a fairly new lake, having been formed by a landslide some 700 years ago.  
Thursday, June 15 - NAPgA Rendezvous 2017 Day 1 

This had to be the busiest "Rendy Day 1" anyone has ever seen. Usually Thursday is pretty low-key with only a few trailers rolling in while many more show up on Day 2. This year it seems most folks made it in the first day, perhaps because I scheduled the classes for Friday instead of Saturday. 

It's always exciting when Dwite Sharp rolls in! He had 32 kids in his trailer and soon they were picketed out on the grass, waiting for their new owners to take them home after the Rendy. 

We had a great campfire discussion that night about Bighorn Sheep issues. Maggie Highland flew in from Pullman, WA just for this talk, and she shared quite a lot of information on Bighorn Sheep disease research and theories.  

Recently retired Lake City Forest Service/BLM officer, Edna Mason, also joined us for that discussion. She didn't have a lot to say, but what she said was very interesting. Apparently Bighorns in the Lake City area have never experienced a die-off despite the fact that domestic sheep have been grazing in their territory every summer for the past 100+ years. She is frustrated with the Wild Sheep Foundation's agenda to push domestic sheep out completely (even when there is no evidence of harm) instead of working with shepherds to find compromises. She believes the only reason Bighorns were recently collared and are being tracked in the Lake City area is so the Wild Sheep Foundation can prove territorial overlap with domestic grazing areas and use that evidence push domestic sheep out. 

John Mionczynski also shared many of his experiences studying Bighorns over the years. He is convinced that low selenium is one of the key factors in Bighorn die-offs. John was very interested to know that Lake City's herds have always been healthy. Edna was able to show John on a map where the local Bighorns live so he could collect plant and soil samples for testing.  

I hope that as knowledge is shared, we will arrive at a healthy solution to helping Bighorn Sheep thrive while still allowing multiple land-use activities such as goat packing and domestic sheep grazing. After hearing from all these bright minds on the subject, I'm convinced that it does not have to be "either-or".
Friday, June 16 - NAPgA Rendezvous Day 2

Friday was "education day" at the Rendy. Phil and I started off the morning with a class on driving. I had two different styles of single hitch harnesses to compare and contrast, and we hitched Finn and Sputnik up to their carts and let people take turns driving them around the field. The boys were very patient. I was hoping we would also have time to briefly go over the team hitch, but time ran out on us. 

Next up was Carolyn Eddy's conformation class. It was very interesting as she compared and contrasted several different goats at the Rendy. Here is one of Charlie Jennings' Oberhaslis. 

Carolyn used colored stickers to demonstrate the points of the goat to help train our eyes to see and compare angles and overall balance. It was a great teaching aid and one I'll have to remember in the future. 

Robin and Steve's Nigies were very interested in furthering their education at these classes. 

Clay Zimmerman started the afternoon out with a class on proper saddle fit and placement. I heard afterwards that it was wonderful and very practical, but unfortunately I had to miss it because I was helping set up the store tent, and then I had to make an emergency water run because my goats spilled their last bucket. They paid for it though--I hitched Finn and Sputnik to the wagon and made them haul the water back from the creek themselves!

After Clay's talk, John Mionczynski shared stories about the wildlife encounters he's had over the years.   

I skipped most of John's talk for a hike up to Nellie Creek Falls with a couple of friends and our goats. I was feeling a bit "peopled-out" at this point and needed a break, as did my goats. The falls were beautiful and the walk refreshing, but I didn't take any photos.  

The best part of the day was the campfire. Local historian, Grant Houston, shared stories from Lake City's colorful past, and even had something to tell us about Pike Snowden, the man who owned the land we were camping on and who built the cabin there. Afterwards, John M. played several songs on his squeezbox, and then Phil and Jenny Bowen (a friend of Dwite's from Kansas) played their fiddles. 

My friend Jordan and her young packgoat-in-training, Geronimo. 

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