So... You want to be a goat hunter?
Because this is what your legs will look like after the trip we are about to tell you about! (Believe it or not, it's worse in person!)
Last Tuesday, Sheri flew in to stay with the kids while we snuck away to chase goats in the highcountry. Thursday morning we got up at about 3 am and headed out so that we could get on the trail nice and early.Here we are packed up and ready to start our treck into Avalanche Lake. We were planning on staying our first night there and then moving camp each day to another basin.
Home sweet home! Here is our tent nestled in a nice little grove of pine trees. It was such a perfect spot except that Clint forgot to tell me (until way later) that he found a very large pile of bear scat about 40 yards behind the tent... and it was not very old... Had I known we may have been moving camp!
and this is the stunning view from the door of our tent. Does it get much better than this???
and at night there was a little ice on the water, but it never got too cold!
The first day we got schooled by the goats. We saw one up above us and we tried to follow it up the mountain. It slipped away from us and went down this chute to get away. This was just as steep and ugly as it looks.
Here is a little pica... Such a cute little guy!
For our day hunts we just put the minimum on our pack frames and headed out. That way if we got a goat we could pack it back to camp.
As you can see, everything was super steep up and down!
After we chased the goat up the mountain and it disappeared through the chute, Clint did spot it again and had a pretty easy shot at it. Unfortunately had he shot it where it was, we may have never been able to actually get it because it was in a really tough spot! Then we spotted another goat bedded down, and tried to sneak up on it. But, I blew it and accidentally dislodged a rock that started a bunch of rocks tumbling down the hill. Needless to say the goat didn't give us a chance to take another look and quickly left us in her dust. As I said before, we totally got schooled by those goats the first day. So, feeling a little discouraged we returned to camp, ate a good dinner and went to sleep.
The next morning we woke up to another beautiful day and headed out. This time we were smarter and set up in a spot where about 3 different basins came together. After watching several goats move through here and there, Clint left to take a look into another basin while I watched for a goat that seemed to be moving towards us. Here are some of the views we got to enjoy.
All the sudden, I heard a shot. One of the goats we had been watching had come out below Clint. It is seriously amazing how fast they move. They look so effortless and fluid just moving along, and when they decide to move they can cover some major ground. After getting quite an education the first day, Clint had decided not to be too picky about his goat. Last year this area only had a 25 % success rate so Clint had decided to take the first opportunity that a goat offered him. So, here was a beautiful goat within range. Clint took the opportunity and harvested a gorgeous mature goat.
Here is the happy hunter when I got to him!
Well, now we have to go get to the goat! So, we strap on our packs and prepare to make the slide/hike down to where the goat landed. Unfortunately, after Clint shot her she had a little tumble before coming to rest almost at the bottom of the other basin.
His goat is at the bottom of this!
Here is Clint with his amazing goat! They are such neat critters and we have so much respect for them! Aren't they beautiful!
Their feet are so cool and totally enable them to move with ease through the rocks!
After a lot of work, we made it up and out of the basin with the goat on our backs. I ended up doing a lot of sliding on the other side cause it was really steep shale, and that certainly is what contributed to the extensive bruising on my legs. But, we made it safely back to camp and this is the incredible view we got to enjoy... Here is the reflection of the moon in a small lake by our tent.
and this was the view out of our tent!