Goats Do Roam

Audrey & I were on a cross country trip in Olympic National Park here in Washington.  On our second day, we’d dropped packs on the trail to climb the rotten rock pinnacle of Cruiser.  All went well until on descent we saw a group of mountain goats examining our packs. Alternately glissading and sliding on the mixed snow & scree slopes, we chased them off, all but 2 who were discussing the division of my army surplus wool pants by pulling from 2 legs. 

We finally convinced them to depart, and I re-packed my slightly expanded pants.  The next part of our trip took us across several large snowfields.  The goats had followed us, and kindly waited for us to break trail as they were going in the same direction.  Audrey insisted I carried on a conversation with the goat who’d slipped in 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 struggling in this otherwise 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 a while; then return.

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

Mountain goats, licking salt from climber’s pack, Gladys Pass Olympic National Park, Washington

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