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Saturday’s scene: meeting a mountain goat in Montana


Mountain goat at Hidden Lake Overlook

Meeting up with a mountain goat in Glacier National Park is fairly easy to do. Alan photographed this one when our Road Scholar hiking program stopped for lunch at Hidden Lake Overlook in the Montana national park. Actually, he was photographing me when his peripheral vision caught movement in the trees. Swinging the camera around, Alan began clicking away at a female mountain goat—notice the short, straight horns instead of the huge curly ones worn by the rams. (Editor’s note: Sorry for a moment I confused mountain goats with big horn sheep.) She stood there shivering for what seemed like forever as hikers scurried around to take photos. In reality, the entire event lasted about five or ten minutes.

Why was the mountain goat shivering? It wasn’t from the cold as the day was unusually mild for September.

“What’s wrong with her?” I asked Road Scholar guide Stephanie Paidus.

She replied, “The mountain goat is already wearing her winter coat and the warm temperature is causing her to overheat.”

Is this an effect of global warming? Possibly.

Learn more about how climate change is affecting Glacier National Park in my article, “Hiking Glacier National Park: Has the Crown of the Continent Lost Her Jewels?” at Green Global Travel.

What have you learned from a visit to one of our national parks? Join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook or send us an email to ask a question or share your experience.

Alan and I think a national park adventure is like participating in nature’s laboratory. We learn something new on every visit.

Disclosure: Road Scholar has provided this travel experience, but the opinions are our own.

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