9th Annual Hassey "Goat Vacation" -- It's About Time!!
Our second day of hiking was spent in the Dutch Flats desert area and it was the perfect place to go boulder-climbing with baby goats! I can't get over the bands of purple and white dirt. Just amazing. 

George and Butterfly had spent the previous day at their new home getting acquainted with Oscar and Felix. George no longer felt he had to protect Butterfly from the other boys so everyone was able to have a good time playing together.  

"Good job Phil Now just a little more to the left!" 

Seeing all the goats crowded underneath for the shade made Herb nervous. There's not much holding that massive weight up!  

We climbed to the top of this tall "ziggurat" to eat lunch. I had a spot of difficulty at the top. I wear dual-purpose horseback riding/hiking boots which means the treads are minimalist so they can slide easily out of stirrups. They work great in most situations, but this wasn't one of them. I started sliding downhill backwards and Phil had to come back and pull me up. I should've grabbed onto Sputnik and made him pull me up, but by the time I realized I needed help Sputnik was already disappearing over the top of the hill. Goats are such show-offs! 
(01-11-2021, 05:29 PM)Nanno Wrote: Some photos of the late lovely Bacchus for Herb: 

RIP Bacchus Heart
I wasn't crazy for not liking how the baby goats were pawing at the dirt pedestal.   Physics is a thing!

We found a new fossil.  A dinosaur tail!  Its cool to find stuff articulated like this.  I dont think I'll look so good after 150 million years!

George crowned himself "King George".  Odds are this will always be my favorite picture of him.

We had lunch on top of this stepped ziggurat and joked how funny it would be to place a lonely toilet on top.  Porcelain peak.  And what a view!

Shelby GT inspecting the modern art.

A petrified log.  This so-called paleo-soil was laid down by a vast, meandering river network.

The Morrison Formation has 90% of the fossils in the state.  It also has lots of cool agate and other rocks and crystals.  For instance, you almost always find rose-quartz clusters in proximity to dinosaur bones.  A week later I took my brother on this same hike and found that someone had carved out blocks of dino bone from my favorite area (at this location) so recently that their footprints and tire tracks were fresh.  Hopefully it was for science.
I don't drink beer, but if I did, I'd prefer Dos Equis.  Stay thirsty my friends!
We reached the top of the ziggurat and Finn and Sputnik immediately claimed the spot right near the edge with the most commanding view. 

"What do you want?" Finn and Sputnik had a reason to look somewhat annoyed. George and Butterfly kept creeping up and prodding at them, then gleefully scampering away when the horns swooshed at them. 

But I soon provided a distraction to the baby goats. Now I'm the one looking annoyed!  

This would have been a great photo of Sputnik if Finn weren't photobombing! 

I love the rocks contrasting with the dark purple-red dirt. It doesn't look quite real. It reminds me of something you'd see on an old Star Trek set. I wouldn't have been shocked to see someone clomping over the hilltop in a bright silver space suit and bubble helmet. 
We saw a lot of dinosaur fossils that day. We kept having to shoo goats away. Every time we stooped down to look at something up close or take a photograph, here came all the goats to find out what we were so interested in!

This wasn't a dinosaur bone. This was just a really cool piece of very bright lichen. It was in this vicinity that I found many little fragments of dinosaur bone and some neat rocks that I took home as souvenirs and to give to the nieces and nephews. 

More bones... 
We might think this hike was all about the scenery, or the dinosaur bones, but no... it was all about George and Butterfly. I took an embarrassing number of photographs of these two. They were so adventuresome! They were always the first to scale any large boulder, the first to explore around any bend, and the first to peek over any hilltop. These two were inseparable, and George couldn't climb anything that Butterfly didn't quickly prove she could climb too. They had SO MUCH FUN exploring, running, leaping, playing, and showing off. 

Butterfly was intrigued when Finn began licking up the purple dirt. I wonder what mineral he was ingesting? 

It was about here--on top of the ziggurat where we ate lunch--that George and Butterfly went a scary way down a very steep hill in order to sneak up below the spot where Finn and Sputnik were perched in their resting place. I was worried they wouldn't be able to get back up, but they seemed more worried about whether Finn and Sputnik would notice them launching a surprise attack. Silly babies!  

I love how they've each claimed their own lofty boulder--much like thrones from which to survey their domain. 
I said the hike was all about George and Butterfly, but George thought it was all about him--exclusively. He exuded the very essence of "King George" on this entire hike. Everywhere he went, his attitude boldly declared ownership of the entire surrounding landscape. "This is mine!" he said, and dared anyone to challenge his eminence. 

Look at the deep, powerful chest on this guy! Yes, he likes to puff it out, but he has a lot of natural endowment there too. I think he's going to be a very strong packgoat when he grows up.  

At some point, George obtained a lofty crown for his noble brow. 

"All hail King George!" 

As kingly as he looks, George did experience one very undignified moment of panic when he made a bold but foolish exploration around the wrong side of a huge boulder. It was about 30 feet tall with the back stuck in the dirt hillside and the front facing out to form a tall cliff with an undercut at the bottom. While the rest of us skirted around the back of the boulder in search of a steep but passable way down on the other side, George walked across the top to peer off the face of it. There was a narrow little "trail" that led him down and around along the cliff face until it suddenly petered out. There was no way forward and the spot was too narrow and steep to turn around safely. George wasn't experienced enough to know how to back up or turn on the spot in such a tricky place, so he crouched down close to the rock and began to bawl. I was still at the top of the boulder so Herb yelled up at me to go rescue George. Luckily he was only a couple feet below the top so I was able to lay down on my stomach, reach down, and haul him up by the collar. I'm sure the scene was terrifying from Herb's view! It looked like George might take a plunge off a 30-foot cliff. It's a good thing he wasn't any further down or he'd have had to figure that puzzle out on his own.
I said this hike was all about George and Butterfly. And George was convinced this hike was all about him. But we were both wrong. When it comes right down to it, this hike was all about Butterfly. 

Until now, I wasn't sure about her athletic abilities. I'd watched her recover all summer from her broken pelvis, and although she ran, jumped, and played as well as the other kids, I'd never seen what she could do in a boulder field. Would she be nervous? Would she be nimble enough to scale rocks safely? Would she have a tendency to get stuck or slip, trip, or fall?  

Turns out there was nothing this little goat couldn't do! She navigated big, steep rocks and wide jumps with ease.    

Watching Butterfly skip gracefully over boulders high above my head with no fear of heights, and then come racing down almost vertical descents brought me close to tears a few times. 

As usual, George thought this photo was all about him, but no. It was all about his crazy sister negotiating this ridiculously steep rock wall. Not one hint of soreness or inflexibility in those hips! 

Queen Butterfly: Long may she reign! 
That is amazing. Great job!
George and Butterfly make for a great story. Thanks

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