The freedom to pee on everything in sight is one of the reasons that the Great Outdoors are so great. After all, nothing says "I'm hiking" like dropping trou and unleashing a steaming stream of freedom all over an unsuspecting ant colony.
At Olympic National Park, however, park planners say "Urine for a surprise" when it comes to one of the most dangerous animals in the region and its love of all things salty.
Dangerous mountain goats apparently can't resist human urine and will come for miles in order to lick up the salinated treat.
A new goat-management plan signed by Park Superintendent Karen Gustin urges people to pee a full 200 yards from trails to keep the goats away from the trails and away from the humans on them.
Goats near trails might not be a problem, but these particular mountain goats can be very aggressive, perhaps even moreso when defending a delicious puddle of wiz.
Though the incident wasn't urine-related, last year a mountain goat gored and killed 63-year-old Port Angeles resident Bob Boardman on the Switchback Trail near Klahhane Ridge.
Avoiding close encounters with goats is in the best interest of all park visitors because the new plan also calls for two-week closures of areas where aggressive goats are seen--whether they attack someone or not.
Speaking to The Peninsula Daily News, Louise Johnson, ONP's chief of natural resources management says the wiz crackdown is a "new concept" and that the science on goats' love for urine is unsettled.
"We're trying to get a better understanding of the behavior of mountain goats and their attraction to salt," Johnson said.
Don't believe that goats love watersports? Check out this description from hiker Dave McBee from an article he wrote called "Mountain Goats Drank My Pee."
I was awakened in the morning by a curious snuffling; I peeked out of the tent to see a goat kid about six feet away. As quickly and quietly as possible, I dug out my camera, leaned out, and snapped a off-balance shot, presuming that it would flee as soon as it figured out I was up. But no, the kid, and an adult I took to be its nanny, worked the slab of granite that I'd whizzed on all night for a good half hour, assiduously hoovering the surface. They seemed perfectly at ease being within four or five feet of where I sat. When I briefly stood up to reposition myself, the nanny shot me a stern glance which I interpreted to mean that I should sit back down. Hey - the only mountain goats I'd ever seen before had been distant white specks 500 yards away, so I decided I could stay seated as long as they wanted. The goats showed themselves to be greedy little whores for the salt: they carefully and thoroughly licked the slab, and where my pee had run into a patch of gravel at the low end, the nanny dug up that gravel and vigorously chewed it up.
And then I realized I had to pee again. I slowly stood up, causing the goats to move away twenty feet or so. I turned away, found another rock slab, whipped it out, and suddenly the nanny had moved around in front of me and was closing in.
"Oh, hell, no, you little pervert! Get the fuck away from me!"
She scooted away, but as soon as I was finished they both moved right in on the wet spot. When the kid tried to cut in front of the nanny, she'd roughly shoved it out of her way.
Although in fairness, anyone who's ever watched a dog devour a pile of poop knows that goats hardly have a monopoly on doing nasty stuff with bodily waste.