“Sure”, he said.

“Really?”, I said.

“Yes, as long as you’re not alone.”

So that was it. The whole conversation was over. And somehow I was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail Again this year. Sophie is going, and so is Bianca if she doesn’t land a full time job, and so is Kris if her job doesn’t start before then.

Just the Southern Portion. Just the 702 miles from Kennedy Meadows South to Campo.

And I thought about how the pandemic was trucking along and how I stopped writing about it so long ago and how I probably shouldn’t have, as a matter of a family historical document. But I don’t have kids and everyone knows just what happened during this time anyway. But how will anyone ever know how the goats came to be?


I could start at the beginning, but that was too long ago to remember. Maybe a few months in Real Time. In Calendar Time. Maybe several years in Pandemic Time. But here we are, and the hunt for a few good goats is well underway. I don’t want to hike the PCT without them. I want the company and I want them to help me carry water. And I want them to help keep me from breaking my feet. Again. I want to pet a warm creature and coo into his ear and tell him he’s a good boy. I want a partnership.

So I searched Craigslist every day. And I joined Facebook groups. Pack Goats and New Homes for Pack Goats and all the local livestock groups, and I wrote to every goat farm and dairy farm and talked to every person I could get my hands on. Some of them laughed and said I’d never find what I was looking for. Some said the pandemic has caused so much homesteading that “The Days of Cheap and Easy to Find Goats is Over”. But most were kind and gave me a ton of advice and spent hours on the phone with me answering every question I could think of and then wished me luck. But still no goats. I reached out to 4-H extensions and the University and expanded my Craigslist search to include surrounding states.

I finally found a possibility. His name was Buck. He looked sturdy with kind eyes.

Mom and I drove for four hours through the snowy roads in the mountains, past chain control, and over into the glory of the California sun and warmth.

He was a happy goat. Their favorite. We loaded him up in the back of my mid-sized SUV, handed over $150, and watched them try not to choke up as their darling goat drove away. Back over the snowy mountain passes. Back to our home where that California boy needed a warm coat which we didn’t have. We picked up a sweatshirt for him at Wal-Mart and I wrangled him around until I got it on him and he seemed to know we were helping him, and that he looked really handsome in burnt umber. Mom said it wasn’t a rodeo, it was a Goat-eo. He baaa-ed his quiet little baaa, and we pet him and snuggled him and took video of him strutting about.

And I thought and thought and realized his new name was Bosco.

Bosco, my sweet boy.

We were one tiny step closer.


Karen · March 24, 2021 at 9:56 am

You will need matching t shirts for you and your team. Goat Team Go!

    jodie · April 5, 2021 at 7:52 pm

    I LOVE IT!!!

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