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Goats, Puppies & Other Critters


3/3/10, Mullin, TX - The two Belgians were hitched up and pulling through some fairly hilly terrain today. Most of the morning was spent driving up the road to the City of Goldthwaite.   The weather was gorgeous and traffic was light, so we chugged right along.

Ascending the hills with Bob hooked up is always a challenge.  His mind is always so full of philosophical thoughts, he forgets that he’’s suppose to be pulling. When I give him a couple of slaps with the lines and some verbal encouragement, I can just hear his thoughts, ‘Nag, Nag, Nag; all you do is Nag.  Henry David Throeau, Aristotle, and all the other philosophers never head to put up with this!’

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Camped at the Smith Ranch in Mullen

After lunch, a lot of folks stopped to chat as we made out way northwest out of Goldthwaite. The terrain became hilly, but very pretty, with a lot of live oak dotting the pastures.  I had my sights set on a roadside park for the night. Just before we got there, I stopped and talked to a lady who said it was closed, but that I could stay just up the road, at their ranch.

So, tonight we’re camped at the Smith Ranch in Mullen. It’s a very scenic location, with a sweeping vista, which includes a lake and thousands of acres of rangeland. John Smith and his wife have been fantastic, and ensured that the horses and I are comfortable.  The Smith’s have been livestock dealers for years, and have quite an assortment right here on the ranch.  Cattle, donkeys, llamas, goats, sheep and geese dot the landscape.

Mills County is the ‘Meat Goat Capital of America’, and nearly every pasture has a flock of goats in it.  With goats currently selling for about $2/pound on the hoof, it’s a good thing for local ranchers.

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John Smith with a litter of 12 puppies

You can see from the picture above, that the myth of the tough old Texas Rancher, is not always portrayed accurately by Hollywood actors. I saw a prime example of this when I stayed at the Feed Store in Kerens, TX.   Every morning, a large group of farmers and ranchers would stop by for morning coffee at the Feed Store.  A bunch of them would sit in a circle of chairs and discuss the world as a whole.  I was invited to attend, and was under the impression that the topics of discussion would include such things as, range conditions, predators, shady politicians, and such not. I was a little taken back, when one grizzled old guy turned to another and said, “Hey, did you see American Idol last night?”