The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Dodging Montana bears in 2006

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Road block:
And then as we continued our ascent, we encountered this mountain goat and her lamb on the trail. These animals were quite content to stay in the path and browse on the shrubs. Our half-hearted attempts to shush the animals off the trail resulted only in their giving us long, baleful glares, as you see here. They simply would not leave. We were flummoxed. Neither of us could interpret the mother's mood, and we did not know how she might respond since she had young with her. Note that she has very long horns, and I suspect she knows how to use them.

I noticed a few hikers about 30 m beyond the goats, blocked in their attempts to descend our trail, as we were blocked in our attempts to ascend it. We were all frozen on the path.

What could we do? We were less than 1 km from where I suspected to find the Pinguicula, but we were stymied by a pair of mountain goats. We were eating up time--we were just about at the halfway point in the day, at which we would have to return towards the car. But the goat would not move, so after a while we turned and headed back down the valley. This was a 20 km hike, by the way.

I've had countless previous experiences in almost, but not quite, reaching carnivorous plant sites. Usually I do not even mention those trips on my travel reports. However, this incident was worth describing as certainly the oddest reason I have ever been foiled.

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Revised: January 2008
©Barry Rice, 2005