More Rights To Protect. Do You Like To Hike?

Hiking Buddies

President NAPgA

Are you an outdoors person?  Do you hike?  Many people who do heavy-duty outdoor hiking and climbing have found that carrying 50-100 on their backs is just too much.  And, many now own Pack Goats as their companion and helper.  So why is the government trying to stop these people with born, raised, and bonded pack goats (not fielded, pastured, farmed or milked) from taking them into the forests?  Larry Robinson, President of NAPgA, North American Pack Goat Association says:

The North American Pack Goat Association’s (NAPgA) Troubles in the Winds

In November of 2011, the Shoshone National Forest summarily closed the Wind River Range to pack goats. Ostensibly, it was because they represented a threat to the Bighorn Sheep (BHS) there. Prior to the closure, the NAPgA Land Use committee presented the Shoshone NF with 12 ‘Best Management Practices that we had formulated to give the NF managers assurance that we could not be a threat to the BHS.

In spite of these efforts, on November 2011, the lion’s share of the Wind River Range was closed to goats. During the Fall of 2012 and during the public comment period, we did a 2000+ mailing attempting to write the Shoshone NF opposing the elimination of goats from the forest.

So, nothing to do but wait for the FEIS, expected October 2013, right? After all this is a one-time issue, confined to Wyoming isn’t it?? Sadly, not remotely!

Subsequent to the end of the Shoshone NF public comment period, I became aware that the Inyo NF had reinstated a closure to goats similar to the Winds. Radar is now tuned to long-range. More research indicates that Wallow-Whitman in Oregon is also redoing their forest plan and the operative statement in their plan is, “No pack goats in BHS habitat, or adjacent to BHS habitat. So the reality begins to coalesce that this is not by any stretch of the imagination a limited action, and there is most assuredly an agenda to eliminate goats from the forests period.

Further research indicates that 8 other forest agencies have been instructed to re-accomplish their forest plans. It is time for everyone to put his or her antennas up to full height. It may be goats now, but they will eventually come with the lance for your particular ‘ox’!

He Authored “Ben Hur” and died on this Day in February, 1905

On this day, February l5, l905, Lewis Wallace, the author of Ben Hur, died. Lew left behind him a lifetime of political and military accomplishments. The world, however, remembers him chiefly as the author of the novel Ben Hur, which he subtitled, “a tale of the Christ.”

Lew Wallace was born in 1827, the son of an Indiana governor. As a young man he served in the United States’ war with Mexico. After the war, he studied law, set up a law practice, and served in the Indiana State Senate.

When the Civil War broke out, he immediately re-enlisted and rose to the rank of Major General. In 1864, he fought–and lost–the Battle of Monocacy, but he held his position long enough to allow union defenders to reach Washington, D.C., preventing its capture by Confederate general Jubal Early. After the war, Lew served on the court martial that tried Lincoln’s assassins.

Lew was inspired to write novels after reading Prescott’s Conquest of Mexico. His first novel, The Fair God, was about those events. His second novel, Ben Hur, was conceived after sitting on a train, listening spellbound for two hours, while the agnostic Colonel Robert Ingersoll, poured out “a medley of argument, eloquence, wit, satire, audacity, irreverence, poetry, brilliant antitheses, and pungent excoriation of believers in God, Christ, and Heaven, the like of which I had never heard.”

Until then, Lew had been indifferent to the claims of religion (although he loved the story of the wise men and had begun a tale about them). “… Yet here was I now moved as never before, and by what? The most outright denials of all human knowledge of God, Christ, Heaven… Was the Colonel right? What had I on which to answer yes or no? He had made me ashamed of my ignorance: and then–here is the unexpected of the affair–as I walked on in the cool darkness, I was aroused for the first time in my life to the importance of religion… I thought of the manuscript in my desk. Its closing scene was the child Christ in the cave by Bethlehem: why not go on with the story down to the crucifixion? That would make a book, and compel me to study everything of pertinency; after which, possibly, I would be possessed of opinions of real value.

“It only remains to say that I did as resolved, with results–first, the book Ben Hur, and second, a conviction amounting to absolute belief in God and the Divinity of Christ.”

While governor of New Mexico, Lew wrote his dramatic story. Though never a member of a church, he became the best selling religious author of his day. Ben Hur sold 300,000 copies within ten years, and was translated into dozens of languages, including Arabic and Chinese.

The year after Ben Hur was published in 1880, Wallace began a four-year term as U.S. ambassador to Turkey, where he cultivated very good relations with the Sultan. The last years of his life Wallace spent as a public lecturer. Today his statue stands in the Capitol building at Washington, representing the State of Indiana.


  1. Adapted from an earlier Christian History Institute story.
  2. Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes. 1907.
  3. General Lew Wallace Study and Museum.
  4. Morsberger, Robert E. and Morsberger, Katherine M. Lew Wallace: Militant Romantic. McGraw Hill, 1980.
  5. Wallace, Lew. The Illustrated Ben-Hur. Bonanza, 1978.
  6. “Wallace, Lewis.” Encyclopedia Americana. Chicago: American Corp., 1954.

Last updated June, 2007


A Southwestern Trip To Remember

English: Zion Canyon at sunset in Zion Nationa...

English: Zion Canyon at sunset in Zion National Park as seen from Angels Landing looking south. Français : Zion Canyon (Parc national de Zion, en Utah, USA) au coucher du soleil vu d’Angels Landing en regardant vers le sud. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It started out to be a special trip to visit my oldest daughter, Jolie and her husband, Damien in their new hometown and see D be installed as Rector of an Anglican church(Holy Cross) in West Texas. (Alpine)

After years of school, working, assisting, changing denominations, God directed my kids to a beautiful small town, USA.  The parish was full of friendly people who radiated the love of our Savior and whom seemed grateful for the arrival of the new rector and wife.  A meaningful service with communion was followed by a delightful lunch.  I had the opportunity to mingle with the members and get an introduction to the group at large.

Damien, who graduated with a Bible Degree previously, also obtained a Masters in Divinity this last year.  He has also been a finished carpenter and builder.  Jolie, graduated with an undergraduate degree in Commercial Art and now a Masters in Biblical Studies from Cranmer House in Texas.  Jolie has been blessed with talents in music, art, design and teaching.

It was exciting to visit in Alpine and see an oasis in the midst of the hot southwest.  We stayed at a very green grassy RV Park outside the town close to their parsonage.  Church is not far from where they live at the present.  Big Bend National Park is only about an hour from Alpine and we drove out to see the mountains separating the state from Mexico.

When we left, we headed to the New Mexican community where we snow bird amounting to several years now.  When we left in early May from Glenwood, we got home and heard that there had been fire in the Gilas.  It could have been worse, but will pose a problem for flooding during the next year of so because of losing so much foliage.  We had never been there when it was hot, so without an air-conditioner in our RV we suffered a little…(not too bad)

For a change we stayed at a different RV Park with several hot spring pools.  New Mexico is known for hot springs throughout this part of the state.  The night skies promised a beautiful starry and moonlit evening from the pool.  We were there for a short stay and saw as many of our friends as we could.  It is always a treat to stop by “The Blue Front” grill owned by Bucky.  Bucky started out his career in the Nashville area in Country/Bluegrass, but used wisdom as a family man to move back to NM to raise a family and stay close to his roots.  His music can be enjoyed all over New Mexico and at his bar & grill on Thursday nights.

Moving on to Arizona, we saw a lot of pretty sunsets and went through Flagstaff and Payson where we saw more glorious mountains mixed with a hint of green.  We ate at one of the best Mexican restaurants in the country in Payson, “El Rancho”.  I managed to talk Larry into letting me shop for a few minutes…I mean a few ?  Anyhow, I found a mahogany short secretary that suited my tastes perfectly.  INto the truck it went!

I hope to download my photos tomorrow when I get my new cable.  We ventured through “Zion National Park” in Utah to complete our touring trip.  I have always liked tunnels, and we drove through one to get to the main part of the park.  It is easy to believe in a creator while looking at these fabulous marvels.  Not only the colors were nice, but there are so many lines, grooves, chunks, holes, slots, etc.  I hope to go back there for more one day.

We didn’t take any goats with us this time, but our dog, Maxie, is such a good traveler.  He slept most of the time in the truck and slept in the RV with us at night.  He enjoyed running around some but we managed to keep him under leash control a lot of the time.  He was glad to get home and have the run of the yard and back porch.  Kit Kat was waiting for us all when we arrived and all was well.  Home looked good.

Me and Harry

For those of you who know what a wimp I have been most of my life, I am glad to report that I made it all the way up the Catwalk and the soreness is wearing out of my body!  Another moment that proves “God is not finished with me yet”!

Larry, Harry and I had a delightful hike on an almost perfect day in New Mexico.  I am sworn to secrecy on Harry’s age, let’s just say that an 80+ man who can ride a skinny rim bicycle up and down windy surfaces accompanied us with great hiking stories from the past, some of his life’s great moments heavy with a bundle of friendship.

We had planned to leave NM today, but the Holy Spirit laid on our hearts to give a little more time out of our schedule to someone that we felt truly needs it and deserves it.  We will have to drive a little faster back to Boise, but if you would pray for us in that regard, we would really appreciate it!

’til next time…

Just Before Sunset in New Mexico

Just before Sunset

Larry and I  shopped with discrimination in the eclectic, festive New Mexican town of Silver City.  Of course, I am the real shopper of the family, checking out each antique, thrift, vintage, and card shop existing on the main drag of Bullard Street downtown.  But while I continue to ambulate up and down the steps at each sidewalk corner at intersections, Larry can often be found at “The Old Curiosity Shop” looking for books where we have made a yearly friend, owner of the shop.

We try not to leave Silver without eating at “Diane’s”, a well-known cafe/restaurant that has been written up in the NY Times and where Diane, herself, has trained chefs herself.  Her site grew so fast that she opened a new store for her bakery and deli across the way.  Not to compete with Rose’s in Portland, OR, Diane serves up some tall cakes herself, along with other breads and pastries.  We never leave hungry when leaving Silver, as there are Mexican, Mediterranean, and other soup and sandwich joints.

On our hour-long ride back to Glenwood to our temporary home, we watch the sun on its way down, admiring the alpenglow and the ever-changing shapes and colors of the mountains, clouds, and sky.  The only thing I could really complain about might be that I am a little thirsty, as it is a dry climate and the May temps are rising fast!  Once we get home, though, the black sky and bright stars above a quiet terrain with an occasional coyote holler or the pounding hoofs of javelinas, aid to help you settle in to a good nights sleep in the inviting southwest.