The Goat People


I hiked 28.9 miles through the Marble Mountain Wilderness today, crossing endless, long, high ridgelines covered in wildflowers and lots of bear poop.

Perhaps the weirdest moment of the day was when a loose flock of people and animals materialized from the woods onto the trail right in front of me, coalescing into two men, a woman, two tiny children, two dogs, and 14 goats. They were all covered head to toe in dirt, wearing rags, and obviously hadn’t seen civilization in quite a while. One of the guys explained that they were spending the summer in the forest, gathering wild food where possible, and drinking a lot of goat milk; he carried a rifle, mostly to protect the goats since a mountain lion got one of them last year; and was eager to ask today’s date. Interesting folks.

5 replies
  1. Tim Rodenkirk
    Tim Rodenkirk says:

    Hi Noah,

    I’ve been following your adventures since the beginning. I never did hike the PCT (only portions of it), but when I first moved to OR I spent 6 weeks each year on the trail and the Marbles were always one of my favorite. I have never seen any place with so much bear sign and good places for bears to den. Oh, and I saw lots of them in the years I packed into there. Can’t believe you have only lost a few pounds, must be those eating frenzies you get to have here and there : ) Have a blast on the rest of your journey, I suspect you’ll blow through OR and end up in Canada before you know it.


  2. Pam Otley
    Pam Otley says:

    Hi Noah,

    Wow, the goat people! Very interesting! There is a story to be told there!
    I am so enjoying your daily entries and photos.

    Happy hiking!


  3. AnonyMoose
    AnonyMoose says:

    The name I’ve heard used for it is “The Fever”. It causes the most Calloused of Mountain Men to see and hear things that otherwise would be construed as the faint cry of the wilderness through wind stirred branches. They say it comes on strongest in the Marble Mountain Wilderness, when a mans been alone, left to smell the mingled scent of Wildflowers and Bear Poop. ;)

  4. Nancy Reichard
    Nancy Reichard says:

    We saw the goat people 8/28-30. One couple, 2 dogs, 15 goats. One of the goats was lost but found during the course of our 3-day hike. The couple lives year-round on the edge of the Marble wilderness. Great stories. (We have a few photos of that scene; also of mtn. lion tracks and scat along the same trail — lucky little lost & found goat!)

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