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Goats Do Roam – Cascades Adventure

Encounters with mountain goats

Over 40 years ago we were on a cross country trip in the Olympic National Park here in Washington. We hiked in to Flap Jack lakes and camped the first night.

On our second day, we crossed Gladys Divide, we’d dropped packs on the trail to climb the rotten rock pinnacle of Cruiser. All went well until on the descent we saw a group of mountain goats eagerly examining our packs. Alternately glissading and sliding on the mixed snow & scree slopes, we chased them off — all but 2 who were discussing the liberation of my army surplus wool pants by pulling from the cuff or each leg.

We finally convinced them to depart and I re-packed my slightly longer pants. The next part of our trip took us across several large snowfields on our cross-country traverse towards a climb of  Mt Skokomish and Mt Stone. . The goats had followed us, and kindly waited for us to break trail as they were going in the same direction. Audrey insists I carried on a conversation with the goat directly behind me, thinking it was her. We found a beautiful alpine meadow spot to camp, and hung our packs high on of the few scraggly conifers making its way in this near treeless shale ground. No sooner had we finished our dinner and retired to our sleeping bags than we were disturbed by the goats rasp-like tongues licking the outside of our tent. This went on intermittently throughout the night – we’d bang on the tent interior walls and they’d cease for awhile, but then be back.

Next morning, we got an early start, and passed the goat group, peacefully napping in the snow just above our camp.

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    Mountain goats, licking salt from climber\
    Mountain goats, licking salt from climber’s pack
    Curious Mountain goats,

    Curious Mountain goats

    Curious Mountain goats,

    Curious Mountain goats,

    Mountain goats, licking salt from climber\

    Mountain goats, licking salt from climber’s pack

    Mountain goats, licking salt from climber\

    Mountain goats, licking salt from climber’s pack

    Curious Mountain goats

    Curious Mountain goats

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