Ben Lomond Hike 1-30-2013- Chester (Alpine) & Buddy (Lamancha)...& Tess the Springer
Ben Lomond Hike 1-30-2013- Chester (Alpine) & Buddy (Lamancha)...& Tess the Springer

Okay, I thought I would start this sub-forum with its first thread of a recent hike we did just before the snow started to fly.

I had been short hiking my two new (to me) boys the last few weeks. Just getting to know them a bit and doing some training & bonding, it seems to be working well. At first I was worried about their bonding to me as they were bottle raised by another who allowed me to buy them. (He sold them to me as they didn't have horns and they weren't getting the opportunity to fully develop as well as they might as his was a horned herd with the exception of these two sweet boys. {Chester/Alpine & Buddy/Lamancha})

So, I hiked them down from my goat property, a bit further up the mountain, to my house for the neighborhood kids...maybe a 1/2 mile each was fun. People in my neighborhood didn't know what to think but many stopped to talk and thought it was great to see them, how big, how gentle, how obedient they were. (Thx Charlie!)

This was their first real serious hike with me. We probably hiked up about 500-600 feet of elevation but took the wrong trail which eventually lead to a dead-end/ deer hide. We hiked back down and then hit the Bonneville Shoreline Trail for quite a while on the South-East side below Ben Lomond. (One of the taller peaks in Northern Utah on the Wasatch Front...which I live on the bench/base of.) While hiking we came across this really cool "Rock Garden" in a draw which was more of a Boulder Field created from years and years of washing off the mountain. Anyway, I thought it would be a great place to hike up & test the boys abilities as well as mine & Tess' (my 14 month old English Springer).

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We found some boulders in the field that were as big as 6-7' high but most were in the 1' to 3' had to really pick your way through them but it was plenty wide. We hiked up the boulder field for at least a 1/2 mile or so and ended up at nearly 6400 ft house is up at a little less than 5100 ft...we probably covered 6-7 miles total. (I think Tess probably covered 10-12 miles.) We rested a couple of times on the way up but it definitely worked out the boys (and me) to be sure as they were breathing pretty hard and had their tongues wagging a bit at the top of the boulder field. I figured if this out-of-shape 46 year old man could drag his butt up there (they were not carrying anything) that these 2.5 year olds would be just fine. They were...we rested for a bit near the top, the we then double timed it back down the mountain and then headed back home.

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Of course Tess won't be left out of showing off.

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At times, I would fast jog several hundred yards ahead to see if they would keep up and made sure I cut some corners out of problem, they stayed with me or caught up ASAP. Both were actually pretty thirsty when we got back. Tess decided to take a dip to cool off in a BLACK MUDDY spring/pool in the field...then again she had probably covered substantially more ground than we had. I tucked them in and I headed back to give Tess a COLD shower before she could once again come in the house...she wasn't impressed. LOL

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I have learned a ton about these boys in the last few hikes and I think they have adapted and bonded well with me. They were relaxed overall and happy to be on the trail. I whistle and call them and the majority of the time, no matter what they are doing, they come to the whistle. Interestingly, I thought the bigger more aggressive Alpine, Chester, was the leader of the two. While smart & has great instincts the more reserved gentle Buddy the Lamancha is the real thinker and the leader when on the trail and is always just 3 steps behind. Coming down hills Chester the Alpine is a pistol and likes to show off (Buddy is starting to gain confidence in this regard too) and does this little "look what I can do" jig when coming down. He then goes back to the rear eventually. Sometimes I am not sure if this is just his place or just because he hasn't seen a branch, leaf, plant or anything vaguely edible that he doesn't want to try. LOL. No seriously...its just his place and takes his lead from the mellow & always thinking Buddy.

While on the trail, we came across a couple dozen folks including a half dozen dogs, as many hunters and at least that many hikers & Mountain bikers. Goats were fine by all and no problems with the strange dogs...course Tess was with us which may have helped but the owners were respectful. Dogs were definitely checking them out; the goats watched the dogs...not getting to close but not taking eyes off them either. Like I said, I think Tess helps but they were originally raised with a GP Livestock Guard Dog.

Regarding Tess, while she wouldn't be a good live in LGD, she is an excellent travel companion and loves to be with me and the goats. So...I have been letting them all work out there relationship as Tess will be on the trail with us always. She has been thumped a bit by both goats when too close as she acted a bit forward at first...just wanting to play. Now she loves to play chicken at times, which Chester thinks is fun...not so much with Buddy though. Actually Chester does like to play with her but she is now getting confident enough to let Chester know when enough is enough and to be more gentle with her. He just kinda looks as to say "Whoops...sorry." Seriously, they seem to have worked out their relationship as she's with me all the time when hiking and at least 50% time feeding etc. As many know I have ordered 4 new Ober kids next spring, I will raise them from day one around her and they will be great on the trail I am sure and they will be HER goats.

Both goats have learned to jump up on boulders or logs or spools almost 100% of the time on command; "up-up". Sometimes Buddy in his Great Thinker roll has to be coaxed a bit more. Chester never does...peanuts help both come to a meeting of the minds though. LOL

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Overall it wasn't too bad. I plan on them being able to do 10-15 miles a day on our planned pack trips next year. When full grown, taking 2-3 days into & thru the back country, two days stationary & then 2 days out. If they are conditioned and we take brakes...and don't over load them, I think they should be able to do it. Key words...if they are conditioned.

Since then, it dumped a ton of snow the following week so we have been hiking in a 12-18" of snow a couple times a week. Finally last Saturday we just hiked down from the property to my neighborhood again and visited with several neighbors and their kids. By the time they got back we had hiked about 3 miles.

All the folks loved it as no one has animals and none of the kids had ever seen goats before, even dogs seem to be rare in this neighborhood for some reason. Anyway we even gave a few short rides to tiny tikes but without saddles it was kind of hard as goats spines are pretty bony up where they were riding...but the saddles and panniers are on order so next time will be better for them. BTW they were not on leads at all and I just had tethers that were wrapped back on themselves for quick grabs if needed...I didn't really. I usually walk with a coiled 15' check chord that I can put on my dog or the goats as necessary...or through both tethers on the goats. I also swing it on occasion to make sure they stay behind me. make sure and the

The boys were on pretty good behavior even though they did dead-head a few rose bushes.

Overall, I am just so pleased with these two and the wonderful job Charlie Jennings did with a great start their first couple of years. I m grateful that he let me take over an try to give them a good home to start my hornless herd. Thx my friend!

Anyway, just a few thoughts I would share.

Here is the full slide show...

Take care!


Finally, today I just came across some photos & another write up of where we went. I just didn't go up as high...but I will be in the Spring for sure!

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I went to just below the snow tunnel shown here.

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Hope you all enjoyed the long and picture heavy write up!


LOCATION: Top-of-Utah at the South base of Ben Lomond
Very cool adventure! Thanks for sharing! I love hiking the mountains when I visit family back in Utah, though mostly Spanish/Diamond Fork.
Nice! Smile
*Saltlick*  Rancho Topaz   
near Topaz Lake, Nevada

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