Hiking to Flytrip Lakes!
Another grand hike in Idaho! Well, maybe not, at least this time
This adventure began with great expeditionary fervor. The trailhead is at Atlanta, Idaho's Powerplant Campground. It follows the Middle Fork Boise River drainage for about 3-4 miles, then climbs over a granite precipice, after which it slowly returns to the drainage. At the ten mile point there is a junction. The west branch goes up the Timpa Creek drainage to Timpa Lake (and others), and the east branch goes up the Boise River drainage eventually ending up in the Spangle/Ingeborg Lake drainage. At the 4 mile point after turning up this drainage, there is another junction, and the east branch of that junction goes up, and I do mean UP, to a group of lakes called Flytrip Lakes.
However, all of that having been said, on this particular jaunt we had only gotten about 1 to 1-1/2 miles up the trail, when it was obvious that the goat that I call Freckles was having some desperately major issues just trying to breathe. Huh? So what was this about? Freckles was my rock, my stability in the goat herd, the energizer bunny of the caprine set. For want of a better plan, we sat down, presumably to analyze. Hiking partner, June, asked me, "What is that large lump on Freckles chest?" What lump indeed! Sadly, I had not noticed it prior, but it was about the size of 1/2 a large cantelope, and without question, it did NOT belong there on Freckle's chest! The reasonable conclusion was that it was putting a lot of pressure on Freckle's breathing apparatus, and as a result, this trip was clearly in the bag!
On the way out, hiking partner also noticed that Coffee Bean had fully collapsed pasterns. Since this causes an animal a fair degree of pain, apparently Coffee Bean was through being a pack animal as well. Two animals lost out of a fairly small herd to begin with doesn't leave you with much. As a case in point, the only ones left for hiking this season was Ezra (a VERY wild card as pack animals go), and Mocha, the one I call the midget.
The prologue is that Freckles went to the vet, $250 departed my budget, and next season he should be back in service as a pack animal... with the caveat that he is approaching the high end of his packing years, and will not likely be able to continue to carrying weight for long. For Freckles, retirement looms.