Monday, January 7, 2013

Tess goes backpacking

Tess has gone on numerous hiking trips since she was a relatively young dog.  I've waited to go backpacking with her until she had matured physically (and mentally--> since she would be sharing my one person tent!).  Her first backpacking trip was in May 2012, when she was just over a year old.  To ring in the New Year, she accompanied me on another, more strenuous trip. 

She definitely has the hang of backpacking.  Walk, walk, walk, and when it's lunch time REST (unless there are squirrels to be monitored....).  And then more walking and finally CAMP.  Melinda's lap is much warmer than the ground during dinner, and then it's off to the tent, where it can be hard to find a good sleeping position, but by the second night it goes a lot more smoothly......

And of course, the best part about a strenuous winter hike is the DOUBLE RATIONS!!!!!

I'm so happy I chose a Brittany as my doggie companion.  Active enough to keep up on my adventures with energy to spare, but small enough to stuff inside my sleeping bag, or manhandle on the trail. 

Below is a collection of photos from my trip that include Tess with captions as I see fit......the pictures are not in order.

The trip was a 20 mile, 4 day 3 night trip in Ohlone.  Dogs are allowed on the trail during the day, but not overnight, thus Tess was on duty most of the trip.

The last morning of the trip, taken from on top of a very tall rock, looking down into camp.  

On the last day, heading back to the car, I decided that since Tess's pack was empty (no more kibble!) she could carry the myler poncho that doubled as our "pad" inside the tent, and a picnic blanket.  The ground was very cold (nights into the 20's F) and even during lunch Tess appreciated some insulation from the ground.

I had broken ice in this trough the night before, but by the next morning, it was frozen solid again.  Tess didn't understand that she was the drink out of the little hole I had broken through and kept thinking she was supposed to jump on top of this strange trail object.

A picture that I hoped would come out better than it actually did :(.

Within the first mile of our trip.  

First major landmark that reassures us that we are making progress on the trail, which is very STEEPLY uphill for the first couple of miles.  

Yes, I qualify for a service dog, and yes, Tess is a "real" service dog :).    Tess waits on the morning of the second day for us to get our stuff in order.......

 And waits......

And decides that we are all ridiculous.  And she will now do her best "lion in the Sahara" impression.

Tess decides that my new years resolution is to get both of us killed.

Rose Peak shortly before settling in for the second (and coldest) night.  

 Tess is not amused.  Just because she's only 35 pounds doesn't mean I can just pose her on objects 5 feet in the air "just because". 

Face off with a bull.  Tess reminds me that she is bird dog, not a cattle dog, and her services do not include "get bull and his herd off the trail". 

 The last day. Testing the waters before the humans cross. 

Starting out the trip.  Let's go!