Sunday, October 9, 2011

Montana Part II

Where were we?  Oh, right.  Montana.  So The Wanderer and I decided that we were going to take the dogs backpacking - which was why I flew Bubba out there.  We went to the Beartooth Mountains - just north of Yellowstone.  

We decided to go to Lost Lake specifically.  The plan was to hike to Lost Lake, camp there, and hike back.  

Oh look!  Bears!  We took this seriously.  Bear bells, bear sprays...

but Bubba didn't need a bear bell.  His tags are loud enough.  Good lord.

Then we headed out.  

The Wanderer and the dogs.
So because it was bear country with a side of mountain lion, I wasn't sure if I was going to let Bubba off leash at all.  But it was so wide open at first and I could see pretty far.  So I let Bubba off leash but I made him stick much closer to me than I normally would on a hike.  He did really well.  For a while he was literally on my heels.  Maybe he smelled bear.
Me and Bubba.

When we're hiking and I am the last person, Bubba always checks up on me.  If he thinks I'm falling too far behind, he'll just stand there and wait for me to catch up before he'll continue walking.  It's so sweet.

After a thunderstorm that rolled in unexpectedly caused us to set up camp a bit early, we continued walking to Lost Lake.  Here it is!

Bubba was ready for a nap so he weaseled his way into a cuddle.

Then we walked back to our camp spot by the river.

And Bubba was ready to relax.

Oh!  And then I noticed these weird blood red circle spots on his belly.  They were bright red with a tiny black dot in the center.  It was so strange.  The next day they were a red ring.  Too fast to be ringworm, and no tick attached.  When we got back I called the vet and they said just some weird bug bite.  Don't worry about it.

So The Wanderer and I made dinner (not super awesome I'll be honest), chugged down some wine (awesome), and had some chocolate for dessert.  Sat in front of the fire we made for a minute, and then had to get the bear bag up in the trees quick.  We were losing light.

It went fine, but on the way back to camp my headlight lit up these eyes.

And closer.

I knew Caddie was back there tied to a tree, and it only made sense that it was her, but still.  Eerie.  Pitch black night, two pair of eyes shining back at you.  

The next morning we all woke up safe and sound.  

It was a lot colder than it was supposed to be that weekend.  50-60s during the day and 30s at night.  I recently bought a new much warmer down sleeping bag on the Middleman's recommendation, and boy was that thing warm.  I had my arms completely out of the bag most of the night.  That thing is stellar.  

And Bubba was warm too... at night.  And while hiking.  But in the evening and the morning when he wasn't moving around too much, his jacket just wasn't cutting it.  So I wrapped him up in down and hoped he'd stay that way while we made breakfast.

Then I went out on some rocks in the river to brush my teeth.  He followed me, as usual, but only about this far.  

Little dude hates water.

And once the tent was down, he had to find himself another bed.  The best choice was The Wanderer's backpack, apparently.  Good luck getting him off there so you can pack it.

We hiked back to the car, opened the doors, one second later Bubba jumped in, and then they got some treats.

Tired dogs, avoided getting soaked by rain, warm enough sleeping bags and clothes, some pretty sunny days, no bear/cougar encounters, not getting lost, and no injuries.  It was pretty successful all around.

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