Third Annual Hassey "Goat Vacation"
This was a good year to stick closer to home and even get back to my roots. Cuzco is getting too old to make a two-day journey all the way to Utah, so in the interest of giving the old fella an easy time, Phil and I decided to have our "goat vacation" in my old hometown of Lake City, CO this year. My parents still own a house there so we were able to stay for free--an added bonus!

We started out the trip with a detour to Colorado Gators near Alamosa. There are lots of gators, and Phil made friends with one of the smaller specimens whose name escapes me.

I made even better friends with a corn snake named Kali. She loved my hat and tried to get up under it. Unfortunately, she took the scenic route through my braid. Snake scales being what they are, once she started there was no going back. Several people had to intervene to feed her slowly through my hair--not easy seeing as she was fatter in the middle and my hair was braided fairly tight. But in the end we got her out with no damage to the snake or to my pigtail.

After the Gator Ranch we made our way to Lake City, where we were greeted by a late September blizzard over Slumgullion Pass. It was beautiful, but I was in shorts. I stopped somewhere near Creede to blanket Cuzco. He's not as resistant to cold as he used to be.

The golden aspens were a beautiful contrast to the fresh white snow.

Our first day in Lake City was a cold one, but we braved a short hike anyhow. We didn't plan to be out long and the goats were both coughing and sneezing after the chilly night in the trailer, so we took it easy and went without packs.

Cuzco gazes down at Lake City's Ball Flats area. I wonder if he remembers living here?

Phil wants a driveway paved with gold. I told him we should line the driveway with aspens and it will be gold every fall.
The next day was also cold, so we stayed in and around town. We visited one lady who recently retired from working at the local Post Office and is now filling her days with painting animals for her "Painted Petting Zoo." I was surprised by the sheer number of them! Cuzco made friends with a Kudu while Pac-Man and Phil hung out with a gorilla. Pac-Man was unimpressed by the armadillo.

On the last day my parents came with us for a long drive to Arrowhead Inn and a short hike on the Big Blue trail. The goats rode in the pickup bed and I'm not sure how much they enjoyed the ride since the road was pretty dodgy in places. But Cuzco is too old to run behind the truck anymore and Pac-Man is too lazy, so they had to stay in the back.

The Inn at Arrowhead had some of the biggest aspen trees I have ever seen. Cuzco and I were both impressed!

Phil found an indecent carving on one of the trees--*gasp*!!! (Don't worry--we hid the goats' eyes as they walked past.)
On the third day of our trip, the sun came out and the weather warmed up (a little). Phil and I decided to pack a lunch (and some warm clothing) and take a day hike up the Alpine Gulch trail. Cuzco was in his element. He LOVES to pack! Cuzco usually lags any time he's walking with us sans gear, but when he's wearing a saddle he marches right on my heels. The hackles stay down and the growling and bad temper evaporate. He's all business and he's ready to tackle anything.

I'm hoping some of Cuzco's good manners can rub off on Pac-Man. As a packing prospect, Pac-Man is mostly living up to his 3/4 Nubian reputation for being loud and lazy. He's inclined to turn back and take himself home if he thinks an obstacle is too difficult, and he complains regularly and loudly. But he's come a long way. Just this past spring, a log such as this one would have proved impassible for Pac-Man. But we crossed lots of water on this hike, and Pac-Man walked over every log without coaxing or coercion.

Cuzco fell off a log and went bobbing down the river once when he was about six months old. He's never trusted them since and prefers to wade. He's quite a good creek navigator.

It's crossings like this one that confirm Cuzco's worse suspicions about log bridges. I almost slipped off this one myself! Pac-Man crossed admirably in my footsteps. I'm getting pretty proud of this guy!

Meanwhile, Cuzco doesn't care if the water is up to his neck--he's not walking on that dangerous ice-covered spit of wood!

"You guys comin'?" I think Pac-Man is finally getting the hang of this hiking thing!

I found a glass paw-print on a golden tile. I wonder if a crystal cat walked here?
On our way out of Lake City, we passed "Viker's Nude Ranch." Phil's comment was, "My, this place has certainly gone downhill since old Perk died!" Perk Vickers was the patriarch whose family homesteaded this ranch in the 1800's. He died this past summer at nearly 100 years old and his dude ranch seems to have taken on a new identity. Wink

We stopped for a short while at North Clear Creek Falls and posed for photos with our goats because waterfall pictures are even better with goats in them.

Pac-Man recently started getting less nervous about heights. The less nervous he is, the more nervous I am! That's a loooong drop there, buddy!

Phil was nervous about this photo shoot. A young man died last month when he leaned over the falls for a picture and tumbled to his death. Naturally I told Phil this news right before I asked if he would pose on the edge of the cliff with his goats. Tongue
Awesome looking trip. Looks like the goats did well, how fun!!!
What a fun hike. Great write up and pics Nanno! Thanks for sharing you adventure! I wonder what Pacman would look like with horns?
All I can say is WOW! What an awesome time you guys and the goats had. I love the photos and comments.
Goatberries Happen!
Its good to see the old goat still on the road. None can say he hasn't had an awesome life for a goat.

Looks like it was a fun trip! I'd sure like to have done more adventures this year, but things have gotten busy lately. I'm going to try to do a San Rafael trip soon though before the worst of the weather comes in. I can tell my goats are asking me why we havent been adventuring lately. Some kind of goat ESP or something.

Seeing the snow and cool weather hiking makes me think about my yak Tibetty. I could actually have switched from goats to yak for winter hikes if I got myself some more serious cold weather equipment. That'd be fun for sure, kind of like my heavy-rain camping trip this summer. I'll probably get another yak someday. But dang, I'm really not happy that winter is coming up.
I saw some Yaks for sale in the Spokane area and thought of you. I never paid much attention to them before, but they look pretty cool!

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