TAHOE MEADOWS - Hikers, horses and bikes, sure ... but goats on a trail?
Yeah that's right. Five goats took a break at the Tahoe Meadows trailhead on Friday after hiking a portion of the Tahoe Rim Trail that sits about eight miles northeast of Incline Village.
The animals were loaded down with a month's worth of camping gear owned by two ladies from Oregon. Alice Beberness, of Eugene, and Carolyn Eddy, of Estacada, planned to hike the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail.
Beberness and Eddy both raise goats in Oregon. Their business is called Eagle Creek Pack Goats. Eddy has Eagle Creek running through her back yard, which is south of Mount Hood. She also publishes a quarterly magazine called Goat Trails.
"(Goats) are small, energy efficient and don't have traits like horses, which always dig into the trail," Eddy said.
Beberness said goats are ideal trail companions because they don't have to stop to eat. They can chomp down a hunk of grass without losing a step.
"They nibble along like deer," Beberness said.
Friday was the group's third day on the trail. The night before, the goats encountered their first bear and successfully scared it off.
Eddy said the goats they had with them range in age from 3 to 8 years old and that on average goats live 12 to 18 years. Back in Oregon, Eddy has 30 goats and Beberness has 15.
- Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at email@example.com