Pack a picnic and bring your family to The Swetsville Zoo! Once a farmer, Bill Swets decided his efforts were better spent in zookeeping- but not the kind you’re thinking of. Starting in 1985, Swets began using old farm machinery, car parts, scrap metal and appliances to create HUGE metal sculptures – mostly goofy looking people or animals. 100 of Bill’s creations are still housed on his farm (8 miles North of the Ranch). Enjoy a picnic at this free “zoo,” which is open every day during daylight hours. The Swetsville Zoo is across from the Walmart Supercenter at the Harmony Exit of I-25.
Listen up boys! While your wives are out fabric shopping, the river is where it’s at! (Ladies, that doesn’t mean I’m discouraging you from going fishing too!) Unfortunately, the status of the Cache la Poudre River, one of NoCo’s most popular fly fishing rivers, is questionable right now because of the fire. But there are still plenty of excellent fishing opportunities! Don’t worry if you’ve never done it before – pictured above is Arcangelo Cella, my Italian best friend from Boston, who’d never fished a day in his life before vacationing with me in Colorado. He was a fly fishing pro in no time!
Keep in mind that if you’re over 16, you need to get a Colorado fishing license (available for 1 day, 5 days or more!). Do not fret – Sportsman’s Warehouse is just THREE MILES from the Ranch and is on your way to either The Big Thompson or St. Vrain Rivers (listed below). Sportsman’s Warehouse sells fishing licenses at their customer services counter: 1675 Rocky Mountain Avenue, Loveland, CO 80538. As you get closer to the foothills, there are also several mom n’ pop type fishing shops that sell licenses.
Anyway, The Big Thompson River and St. Vrain Rivers are two of your best fishing options within reasonable driving distance of The Ranch:
The Big Thompson River (West of Loveland) is closest to The Ranch. The Big Thompson starts in Rocky Mountain National Park and flows into the Estes Park Dam. Once through the dam, it maneuvers through Big Thompson canyon down to Loveland. Check out this great blog on fishing The Big Thompson: http://coloradoflyfishingreports.blogspot.com/2011/05/big-thompson-river-colorado.html
The St. Vrain River (West of Lyons) is another very popular option. Check out this link for more information: http://www.coloradofishing.net/ft_ffish1.htm
Here are some helpful links on Fishing in Colorado:
And if you want to be a total geek (like my dad), check out the fishing reports before you go:
Finally, let me recommend Jax Outdoor, a favorite of many Colorado outdoors-men & -women It has stores in Loveland and Fort Collins! This is also a great place for good quality Coloradoy food (elk jerky, buffalo jerky, deer jerky, steak rubs, CO based food products, etc.) and souvenirs if you’re interested.
Our PROMOTE THE GOAT T-Shirts are in! Our crew ordered a test batch of shirts to see if we liked them, and they’re great!
Now I need your opinions: Would you rather have white t-shirts that you can wear in the show ring, or colored t-shirts like the ones above (not necessarily purple and green…)? We were planning on ordering white t-shirts to sell at the National Show, but if you’d rather have colored shirts, we may reconsider!
Leave your feedback in the comments!
#9: The Benson Sculpture Garden
Art lovers, look no further than the Benson Sculpture Garden, one of Loveland’s favorite public displays of art. Benson Sculpture is a 10 acres park with over 135 beautiful sculptures located at 2908 Aspen Drive in Loveland, Colorado (10 miles from The Ranch). It’s a great place to take a peaceful stroll or enjoy a picnic!
Check out this great site if you’re interested in further exploring the public art of Loveland! http://www.colo-news.com/art_of_loveland/
Hey Colorado, keep your eyes peeled in the coming weeks!
The Goat Show Doc crew will be making stops at the Centerra Mall, Downtown Fort Collins, and Colorado State University to interview the unsuspecting public on goats and just how much they know about our favorite farm animal. It’s like “Jaywalking” but with less chin and more hooves.
Let’s hope you all fare better than the folks at the Santa Monica Pier…
See you soon!
#10: Mexican Food, Margaritas & Salsa Dancing at The Rio
Are you salivating yet? I thought so. One of the most popular restaurants in Fort Collins is The Rio, known for its delicious food, enormous margaritas and salsa dancing. The Rio is about 16 miles (25 minutes) from The Ranch and is a great way to celebrate your national’s success! (or drown your sorrows in delicious margaritas) http://www.riograndemexican.com/fort-collins
Check out their happy hour specials (Monday – Friday 3-6 PM):
- $1 off Rio margaritas
- $1 off Big Tex margaritas
- $3 drafts
- $3 tacos
- $5 guacamole, chile con queso, and queso deluxe
From 8-10 PM on Wednesday, Margaritas are $5!
The Rio is also known for its salsa dancing every Tuesday. Don’t worry if you’ve never done it before! They offer lessons for $3! Can’t beat that. Lessons start at 7:30 PM, open dancing from 8 – 10 PM.
Check out this article from The Denver Post on the origins and success of The Rio. It even has recipes! http://www.denverpost.com/recommended/ci_19802315
Please drink responsibly and always have a designated driver!
With the Goat Show Doc., our team aims to generate a recognition of the goat and all its wonderful qualities. In the United States the goat has remained critically underrated in comparison to other dairy animals. How can this be possible when goats are so widely used elsewhere?
94% of the world’s goat population can be found in developing countries, with Africa (especially Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia) and Asia (notably India, Pakistan, and China) accounting for about 81% alone. As mentioned in previous posts, goats offer an affordable and healthy chance at livelihood in the most marginal and distant communities. According to the International Livestock Research Institute (http://www.ilri.org/InfoServ/Webpub/fulldocs/Outlk2840/Goats.htm) “[goats] are distributed in extremes of climates: from tropical desert, characterized by temperature extremes such as in the Thar, Sahel and Negev deserts, with insignificant rainfall and sparse vegetation; high altitude [mountain] areas up to 2,500 m such as the Hindu-Kush Himalayan region; and the wet tropics with high temperature, humidity, rainfall and abundant vegetative cover, such as those in many parts of South-east Asia.” Perhaps the goat should be the new symbol for global and cultural unity! How many specific things (not to objectify) can you name that are valued unconditionally across nations? I’m only thinking goats (but then again, that’s all I’ve been thinking about).
When it comes to more impoverished populations, goats simply represent hope and a promised future. Sustenance aside, the basic principles of ownership instill a sense of pride and purpose. So it appears the goats’ well roundedness globally also translates to their domestic presence as well, providing basic, yet profound mental and physical comforts.
I’ll leave you with an except from the classic song “Ain’t no Mountain High Enough,” which I think accurately represents the goat’s unbeatable environmental versatility:
“Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough, ain’t no river wide enough to keep goats from getting to you, baby.”
Those are the words…right?
If you’re a human, chances are you’ve eaten cheese. If you’re like most humans, chances are you eat A LOT of cheese, and in many different forms, garnishing many different foods. Be it pizza, burgers, pasta, salads, Mexican food, and more, cheese graces many a plate (can anyone think of a Chinese dish that uses cheese???).
So what if instead of your classic cow milk cheeses you replaced them with goat milk cheeses? Well, you’d get all the benefits of goat milk like less fat and calories, higher calcium, more protein, more vitamin A and other nutrients, and digestive ease!
Goat cheeses (often referred to as “chèvre”) can be found in markets nationwide and in many flavorful styles.
If you’re feeling personally motivated, check out this site on how to make goat cheese yourself:
And take a peek at Redwood Hill’s recipe page to learn how to incorporate the many goat cheeses into great overall meals:
Try goat cheese today!
The photos in this post are of a goat cheese plate made by Goat Show Doc’s own Helena Bowen for an 80+ guest party. It was the only plate to be completely consumed by the end of the night!
#11: Go Shopping for Quilting Supplies!
A little known fact about me- I love to quilt! My mom and I quilted day in and day out when I was in middle school and high school. I first learned to quilt by hand and later moved on to machine quilting. I love batiks, applique, strips and curves, convergence quilts and McKenna Ryan Quilts (pictured above). My mom still belongs to a local quilting club that meets every week. Thus, I understand the joys and pleasures of scouting out new quilting shops when traveling. A quilting stash is never complete. There are always more fabrics and more patterns to be found (despite what your husband may think…) Lucky for you, there are tons of great quilting shops in the area!
Here is a list of some quilting shops in Northern Colorado, listed in order of distance from The Ranch. My personal favorites are The Fig Leaf, Quilting Hands, The Quilted Corner and Quilter’s Stash. NoCo readers, if you have opinions about these shops or know of other good ones, please respond as well!
Quilter’s Stash (6.5 Miles)
1180 West Ash Street #100, Windsor, CO 80550
The Little Wool Shoppe (7 Miles)
429 Main Street, Windsor, CO 80550
The Fig Leaf (14 Miles)
2700 South College Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80525
Laughing Ladies Quilting (16 Miles)
349 Massachusetts Avenue, Berthoud, Colorado 80513
Wild N’ Wooly (17.5 Miles)
2030 35th Ave # A, Greeley, CO 80634
The Quilter’s Studio (28 Miles)
364 Main St. Longmont, CO 80501
Quilting Hands (33 Miles)
424 Main, Lyons, CO 80540
Breaking News, Everyone: The numbers are in!
2283 Goats will be at the 2012 American Dairy Goat National Show!
Of course, ADGA is still totaling some of the snail-mail entries, but 2283 is a great start! This is going to be awesome!
(Sable breeders – I still haven’t heard back from anyone about whether or not Sables made it, but I’ll let you know when I do)