Mountain goats

We spotted this guy atop Banff's Sulfur Mountain, which we climbed a month ago today. I was surprised by how unperturbed he was. A few moments later he was joined by his lady and offspring, both of whom sauntered so casually that it seemed us humans were merely moving trees. Unimportant.

We ate our sandwiches on a picnic table at the scenic overlook, where we were dive-bombed by merciless snowbirds. The birds made the goats seem even more tame. It got so we had to eat one at a time, the other on the lookout for the beaky monsters as they swooped down, one after another, aching for a bite of our turkey-avocados. But the goats--the goats were chill.

It reminded me a bit of awkward holiday parties, where the loudest and most memorable guests are the ones who never stop talking, or worse, never stop drinking, stopping between sips to slip in a passive-aggressive comment about the uselessness of your degree, all the while the real interesting people in the room are lumbering off to heated discussions in quiet corners. These are the people whose environments we want to discover--those far-off, beautiful corners of the world where there are jobs with benefits and vacations around the world.

I wonder if these people, like the goats on the hill, shed their skins once a year, and when they do, if they've also got to fight off the birds.