Mountain Goat from Another World

I've heard that a low percentage of people in the world have seen a mountain goat like the one inset. I've seen a number of them, a few of them up close.

Seeing a mountain goat up close isn't necessarily a good thing.

Several years ago, friends of ours trekked with my son and I up to Francis Lake in the Wallowa Mountains in northeastern Oregon. The first day-and-a-half or so we were there we saw white specks that we suspected might be mountain goats.

Some of them were moving, which pretty much proved that they were mountain goats. What was especially interesting was seeing them moving south in the morning and then back north from where they'd come in the evening.

If you visit Francis Lake you'll see that there's an inviting stream that you can follow up into a steep mountain valley. We did that, and came to a beautiful and very loud waterfall. The terrain was rocky, and some of the younger men scaled a steep escarpment along one side of the waterfall while we older guys scaled a gentler incline.

I don't know why I turned my phone off as we scaled the last few feet of small boulders to get to the top. What we saw when we got there was heart-stopping. A massive bull mountain goat with coal black eyes staring back at me.

The younger men who'd scaled the more difficult incline reached the top moments later.

The goat didn't charge us as I switched on my phone, for which I'm thankful. The creature looked like a white buffalo--not anything to mess with.

I did manage to get some shots of the animals as they took flight, but nothing like the sight of that bull staring at us with the other goats behind him. That was a scene I'll never forget.

In the parallel worlds I write about in Saving Doctor Dewey, there are many Francis Lakes, each with a flock of mountain goats much like those I saw that day.


Life involves a lot of climbing, but it doesn't really feel like climbing. We're not aware that we've gotten to someplace amazing, and when God appears over the ridge we might not even notice.

Maybe it's a good thing that my phone was turned off when I encountered the mountain goat. Not having a picture forces me to treasure the memory inside myself instead of looking at it on my phone.

How many times does God appear to us but we're thinking about something else or zoned out from worrying or imagining being in different circumstances?

Life is meant to be lived consciously, and the best things can't be captured in a photo and treasured by looking at them on our phones. They're inside us, and are meant to change us as we think back and remember them.

Like our experiences with God. Praying, meditating on His word, letting him invade our thoughts, seeing Him in a friend or loved one. Look for him in the moment and suddenly you'll see Him appear over the next ridge.


B.L. Jenkins


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