Picturing The Goatalympics

I grew up in small-town New England, and my mom has lived on a heavily potholed rural road for more than 20 years. You’d think I might have absorbed an ounce or two of farming knowledge through osmosis, at least. But I’ve spent my entire adult life in cities on the opposite coast (these days in Seattle)—except for the occasional you-pick jaunt for berries or corn, I really don’t know from farms.

So when a friend mentioned over cocktails a few months ago how excited she was for this year’s Goatalympics in Monroe, Wash., my slow western brain couldn’t make sense of the idea. “That is not a thing,” I said. “It is!” she insisted. “There’s a website. It’s totally glamorous. You can get a shirt and a bumper sticker.” Suddenly there was nothing I wanted more than to go to the Goatalympics.

Last weekend, I did. No bumper stickers in sight, but there were hordes of happy kids, a barnful of adoptable bunnies, a heritage center packed with cool old farming equipment—and, of course, the goats. In all manner of photogenic shapes and sizes, they pranced and pooped their way through obstacle courses, costume contests, and musical chairs, competing for the honors of longest beard, best spots, and biggest wattles. It was everything my neglected rural heart could hope for.

I wish I could tell you I picked up the names and breeds of my fuzzy new friends, but at my very first Goatalympics, all I could do was point, shoot, and admire. Before next year’s trip to the farm, this New England girl promises to learn a few new tricks.

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Picturing The Goatalympics