Lone Star Hoofenanny April 5-7
We are headed out tomorrow and look forward to seeing some of you in Texas!
Safe travels and takes lots of photos to share with the rest of us!
Goatberries Happen!
Is it going to be flooded? The mainstream media is totally ignoring the floods because of the more important matter of Jussie Smullet. But the floods are out there. This could make for high grain and hay prices, not to mention grocery prices this year.
I don't drink beer, but if I did, I'd prefer Dos Equis.  Stay thirsty my friends!
As far as I know it's not flooding in Texas right now. Might be a little rainy next weekend, but doesn't look too serious. Nebraska is where it's been flooding so bad lately. I think we can blame a lot of that on Colorado's tremendous runoff this year. We had a lot of snow. In fact, I don't know if you heard about all the avalanches this year, but one of them demolished the home of Lake City's sheriff. He was a guy who worked summers at the camp where I boarded my horse when I was a teenager (he was about my age), and his wife is someone I taught horse camp with. It's a miracle no one was killed. The house was reduced to matchwood and it took a long time to dig the family out.
I did hear that story on new up here in North Idaho. What a freak thing. With luck all of mother nature will settle down for a few months.
I don't know how many folks will even be checking this site, but we've got an update on location. Due to thunderstorms in the area on Saturday, we will be moving to a different camping area with a pavilion. We're going to be at Ratcliff Lake camping area right off Hwy 7 near Ratcliff, TX. It's very easy to find and has all the facilities (including electrical hookups and running water and showers in the bathroom!). We will be all the way down at the very end of the lake from the entrance. We have the group camping spot reserved for Friday and Saturday nights for $30/night. It will accommodate up to four families, which should be plenty for our little gathering. For those coming down only for Saturday (no overnight), there is a $5/vehicle day use fee. Please pay it on your way in at the self-pay station so you can get a tag to put in your windshield.

The rain may put a damper on our lunch hike, but we'll play by ear and hopefully we'll be able to get out and do a bit of tromping. Those of us who are there on Friday will be able to participate in a small work project right next to our campsite. It will involve cleaning up brush and weeds around the foundations of the old sawmill so people can explore the old ruins safely.

We'll see you there!
Wish all interested parties from Texas could be here with us. The park people have been so good to us.
Nan has been working herself to a frazzle l am sure, tho she won't admit it ;-) , to help us 3 newbies learn to trim, saddle fit and educate a few curiosity seekers who breezed in. She was a big help on our poor Sprite who has been to H... and back this year and left him with a distaste for strangers and less cooperative with us. She had him settled down amazingly. And found a possible trouble spot on Frankie's foot. She gave us 3 a buggy ride behind Sputnik which is more fun than anyone should be allowed. My first time to drive a goat let alone any animal and Sputnik was very cooperative. Phil's fiddling was fun and festive as usual.

We didn't get to see much park although our location and lake view was super nice. The weather, darn, I was beginning to think Nan could do anything but apparently her magic touch isn't geared for weather control. Rain, rain, rain!

But thank you, Phil and Nan, for a very good and beneficial event. We are indebted. And, Kim, so nice to meet you and your goats.
I had a lot of fun seeing everyone and meeting their goats! It was a smaller-than-expected turnout, but I suspect the bad weather had a lot to do with it. I wish we'd had some sunshine this weekend, but at least it wasn't cold like the previous weekend! I really liked Sprite. He's a good boy despite being afraid of everyone and everything right now. I hope he has some good experiences and rediscovers his trust in people. He's a big, beautiful, and gentle boy. It's a shame to see him so terrified. Hopefully he stays healthy so you don't have to do any more "bad" things to him!

I'm glad everyone was able to take a turn driving Sputnik. I would have loved for us to do a bit more of that but the rain started moving in. We were so fortunate to have that pavilion! It was a great place to trim hooves and try on saddles without having to stand in mud or get our equipment wet.

Thanks so much for coming! I hope we can do it again sometime.
We arrived at Davy Crockett National Forest on Thursday morning, April 4th. It was drizzling when we stopped at the Ranger Station to check in and make sure we were still "good to go" with our packgoat event. It turned out they were intrigued and rather excited about it, but not excited about our planned location given the weather forecast. We were supposed to be stationed in the primitive Piney Creek horse camp, but with no facilities other than a vault toilet, they thought we might be rather miserable out there. So they pulled some strings and allowed us a variation so we could camp in the very nice Ratcliff Lake Campground where we had use of a covered pavilion and bathrooms with running water and hot showers! 

Nevertheless, Phil and I decided to explore the horse camp before setting up in the lakeside one. It was a very nice area, but we could see how it would be quite miserable in a prolonged rainstorm. The ground was very soft, so we might have had trouble with trucks and trailers getting stuck in the mud. No one wants to winch their way out of a camping spot!   

Phil and I quickly realized that the horse camp seems to be frequented by less-than-respectable citizens who have no concept of pack it in/pack it out. We could not hope to make a dent in the big piles of trash left near the pond and the trailheads, but we saddled up Finn and Sputnik and cleaned up both sides of the roadway leading into the camp. Had we stayed in this camp for the weekend, I know what our work project would have been!  

By the end we had filled both goats' panniers to the top with empty beer bottles, cans, and plastic cups. Interestingly, Bud Light and water appear to be the litterbug's most-preferred beverages in both Texas and Colorado. 

After the garbage run, Phil and I took a 3-mile hike on one of the trails that started from the camp. It was very muddy so not really the best hike I've ever taken, but I found a cool little archway! 
Phil and I arrived in camp at 10:00 Friday morning. It was a lovely, quiet spot on a cul-de-sac at the very end of the campground with a wonderful view of the lake. This camping area does not normally allow any sort of livestock, but we were grateful to the park rangers for stretching the rules to accommodate us here.  

Phil and I set up our tent and a pen for the boys. There was lush, green clover everywhere and the goats could not have been more delighted! Robert and Connie Losee had set up their camp the night before and their four goats were picketed out on lines.  

Friday was "work project day" and our task was to clear weeds and brush off the foundations of the old sawmill that was abandoned in 1920. A lot of people and their kids explore the ruins, so the park likes to keep the trees and poison ivy at bay. Thankfully, we had the perfect crew for such a task! Connie took up a weed whacker, I grabbed a machete, Phil and Robert manned the limb loppers, and the goats just did what they do naturally. 

"I'm not sure the park really required this thorough of a job, Sputnik!"  

With only four of us we didn't quite get it looking like the White House lawn, but we put a dent in the overgrowth and our goats enjoyed the variety of woody browse and tender leaves. 

Later that day, Phil and I took our boys for a walk and Finn had fun jumping over this road barrier. It was quite high and I wish I could have gotten a clear picture of him. He was so graceful and kept leaping back and forth again and again, wagging his tail excitedly before and after each jump. He's such an athletic fellow and he loves to show off! 

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)