Camping and Hunting with Goats!

Posted by Kitty Sharkey , Tuesday, June 14, 2011 8:38 PM

Mushroom hunting that is.  Mmmm... Morels!!!

The goats and I returned home yesterday from 12 days camping at Camp Richardson in South Lake Tahoe.  Let me just say that camping with goats RULES!  They are so much fun!  They really enjoyed it.  And all the other folks camping during the week really enjoyed them too.  There were several small children that especially liked visiting them.  A special thanks to Elyza Bartlett, my friend Randy Bartletts' 7 year old daughter, who came over almost every morning and night to help with the feeding.  She has goats and chickens at home and was a big help!  She is a chicken whisperer!

Although I've participated at the Valhalla Renaissance Faire for years, this was my time as a vendor.  I set up a petting zoo called Haven's Court.  I had to make a substantial investment in fencing in order to do so, but I really enjoyed it. 

My goal was to earn enough to pay off the fencing.  Because of rain, attendance was down the first weekend.  But the second weekend was really crowded.   Although I didn't completely pay off the fencing, I came very close. The barnyard was a hit with both patrons and participants alike.  We even managed to sell some wild flower seed bombs.  Here's a picture of my friend Pam King posing with Moremi.

Special thanks to Freya Gereke, Ragani Harris, Teresa Sotelo, and Kate Merrill for their help in the barnyard.  Freya - I couldn't have done it without you!  I'm so glad I talked (dragged) you into coming.  I'm glad you had a wonderful vacation.  Same time next year! 

Due to the heavy rains followed by the bright sunshine, it was the perfect time to go hunting for some morels.  My friend and mushrooming partner Kate Merrill showed up for the second weekend.  We convinced Cory Huynh to join us and the goats for a little jaunt into the woods.   We even ran into my friend Tina Bailey and her family who joined in the hunt.

Once we were far enough away from the campsite, I was able to let the goats off leash. Well, sort of. They were tethered together in pairs so if one decided to take off, the other would counter balance the pull. Happily, they just followed us around where ever we went. Sammy was a pro at carrying our water in his packs. All the training we've done walking together through the East Bay Regional Park District really paid off. What a blast to have them along.

It was Cory's first time hunting for mushrooms.  Can I just say he's a natural?  Once he got into the zone, he found more than anyone else.  He even found a white one!  Too cool. 

The result of our afternoon hike?  My hat chock full of morels!!!  Kate has a dehydrator, so she took them home for processing.  I plan on using some of them as part of the final feast in Sunset Magazine's One Block Party Contest.

All in all?  One hell of a vacation!!!

2 Response to "Camping and Hunting with Goats!" Says:

Thanks so much for convincing me to go with you. I had more fun in over the week in at Valhalla than I have at any faire in years. The Morels from earlier in the week will be going into a risotto while we're camping in Ashland, OR. Who says you can't make classy food while camping? ;]

Rebekah Says:

I just came to your blog from Sarah's (Castle Rock) and I was wondering how I can find out about places to take my goats camping or hikeing. I've gone out a few times, but I would really like to go camping with them.