Just back in from the 2012 Ohio Regional Packgoat Rendezvous, this year held in Ohiopyle, PA, rather than in actual Ohio.  Turns out PA is a lot closer to Frederick, MD, where the bulk of us were from.  Our goats are still little enough to share a dog crate, so we loaded up the van and loaded up the boys, and headed West.

The trip should have been just under three hours.  Sadly, Pennsylvania’s budget does not allow for road signs at intersections, so none of the roads we needed had signs on them.  We had to take the “That LOOKS like it might be right, but lets drive a bit farther and see if a more likely candidate appears” approach.  It adds some time to your trip.  Seriously, Ohiopyle, a Sharpie and some coroplast will run you about $30.  Label your damned roads.

As we arrived, rain clouds were moving in quickly, so I hustled to get the tent up and the fly on while Brian–our fearless leader–“helped” Julianna rig a high-line and tarp shelter for Tango and Jester.  Which is to say, Julianna stood very near him while he did it and then said Thank You.


We got done in time and the rainshower was very short (phew).  The kids all loaded up and went to the river and the falls.  I stayed behind to read until I dozed, waking to hear the goats being ungrateful for shade:

Their leads are not long enough for this to be at all comfortable. But they do it anyway, and fight for space.

Our Frederick 4-H group was the bulk of the campers–8 kids and 5 adults.  There was also a couple from Indiana and their two goats and Donny from WV and his three goats and dog. Fifteen people, fourteen goats.  I think.

Back from the swim, the girls (all but one kid are girls) hung out with their goats

It’s like Pony Club. For weird girls.

The next day, after breakfast, we did a short geocaching hike.

Lily, looking for the cache

Brian holds aloft the geocache box

Lily has a look inside at the various “tradables” inside

As you can see, most of the goats are not even on leads. That’s LIly in the back.

Lyndsey and Julianna walking back.

We were all a bit warm after that hike, so we decided to go back to the river for a dip.  It was…as icy as a mountain stream.  Bracing.

Marauding gang of mermaids, or, “It’s too cold to put our arms in!”

It’s like Lake Superior!

They made it to the rock in the middle. That was their goal. After that, they were good to get out and go back to camp.

We went back for lunch and then headed to the park’s amphitheater to give a demonstration about pack goats.  Donny loaned us a couple of wee dog packs for our boys.  Cutest thing ever.

Everyone in their Sunday Best. On Saturday.

Heading down to the show. “Hello Cleveland!”

The traditional Goat Drag is taking place behind Lly and Tango

Waiting their turn to go on.

Uh, Mom? I don’t think we can get down from here…

Most of the crew

After the show, we all loaded back into our vehicles (no carpooling b/c most of us had taken out extra seats to fit more gear or goats) and headed to the Natural Waterslide.  Guess what ELSE Ohiopyle doesn’t have?  Adequate parking.  Gorgeous mid-afternoon in summer?  Good luck.  After much circling and cursing, we finally all got a place and headed down to the sort of fun I cannot BELIEVE is legal.  I was just as flummoxed the last time we were there.  I’m guessing it’s not nearly as deadly as it looks, since it’s still open.  Right?

Here comes Julianna…

“Whee! Ow! Whee! Ow!”


Lily’s turn!

In addition to the slide, there is the Jumping Off A Big Rock Into A Small Hole.  The water is alternately quite deep and rather shallow, so aim was…critical.  There was a kid of about 9 or 10 there, jumping over and over.  All the giggling girls in bikinis asked him for help and guidance and to show them what to do over and over.  I suspect he comes there every. single. day.  Julianna worked up the nerve to make the jump.  I worked up the nerve to not scream “ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIIIIND?!?” and Lily, whose turn it is to break a bone this summer, thankfully abstained.  phew.

It’s that mermaid gang again.

I wish pictures did this place justice.  It’s preternaturally beautiful.  Like a Disney set, it’s just a little too perfect.  The light was just a little inside-for-outside.

And unlike last time?  I was unpacked in under an hour.  It’s good to have larger, more helpful children.