Posts Tagged ‘snow

13
Feb
19

April Adventure Part One – Pigeon River Country

April 12-13, 2018

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Four days off in mid-April during a winter that refused to end, what did I do? Well, for the first portion of the long weekend, I headed up to my parents’ house to drop off my injured Yukon (at the time we thought he had a torn CCL, more about that later). Then, I loaded Mira back up for an overnight backpacking trip to the Pigeon River Country State Forest.

We arrived at the trailhead parking lot at around noon and while wrangling an overexcited Mira, I crammed everything we’d need for our little adventure into my pack. We started our hike in a light drizzle with intensified as we made our way to the forest headquarters. The trail, already covered in 6 inches of sloppy snow and ice was made more treacherous, each step an effort. Thank goodness for hiking poles! Headquarters was closed so we took shelter on the covered porch, reading some pamphlets before continuing on the trail toward our destination for the night.

Getting started – Mira and me at the trailhead

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Made it to headquarters, slightly damp

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PRC is inherently quiet, but winter intensifies that silence, the only sounds being our footsteps slogging through the slush and the sounds of drizzle dripping onto my pack. Signs of the state’s only elk herd were all around us, huge rubs on trees along the trail, their large tracks icy along the slushy trail and large piles of scat (which Mira eyed longingly more than once).

Plenty of elk sign along the trail!

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By the time we reached the 10 mile loop cutoff, we were both exhausted, so I opted to leave the uppermost portion of the trail off and head west toward Section 4 Lake and ultimately the south end of Grass Lake where I was planning on camping for the night. Just past Section 4 Lake, I noticed some larger tracks iced into the snow that at a glance didn’t look like elk. I moved in for a closer look and saw they were made by a recently awakened, rarely seen, forest dweller, Ursus americanus – the American black bear. As I always do when I find slightly out of the ordinary (somewhat scary) tracks, I sent a photo to my mom so she and Dad could worry even more. I suppose it’s not as bad as my first solo fly fishing trip where, when I arrived at my campsite along Rock Creek in Montana, I found a mountain lion track in the mud and sent a photo to Mom captioned “Here kitty kitty!”

It seemed like forever, probably because both Mira and I had slowed to a crawl, but we finally reached the south end of Grass Lake and set up the small Kelty backpacking tent on the wet snow. Mira’s needs took priority, she was shivering and could hardly stay awake (she is 13 years old I guess, 6+ miles in slushy snow is a workout for an old lady). Wrapped in a down throw, she struggled to stay awake nodding off, but unwilling to give in a fall asleep. I made her some warm Honest Kitchen before heating water for my Mountain House meal. We snuggled in for the night, both of us still shivering so I filled a Nalgene with hot water and crammed Mira into my bag with me. Sleep didn’t come easy despite the added warmth, visions of rampaging bears filling my head.

Pigeon River

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Made it to the cutoff, time to head to camp!

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Bear!!!

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Tired old dog after a strenuous hike!

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Camp for the night

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Thankfully, we survived the night without slipping into a hypothermic coma or being eaten by a starving bear. After breaking camp, I was soaked and exhausted and so was Mira, time to head cross country and forego the top end of the loop. I broke trail threw the deep wet snow and Mira followed close behind. Powered by trail mix, granola bars (Tucker’s Carnibars in Mira’s case), we were back to the car in no time and heading back south to my parents’ to don dry clothes and rejoin our Yukon.

 

 

29
Apr
16

Pups Go West 2016 – Anticipation

Anticipation is always high right before heading out on another roadtrip. My plan was to come home from work, finish loading up the Jeep, then snooze with the pups for a few hours prior to beginning our annual pilgrimage to the desert. I’m sure I managed a couple of minutes of sleep, but Red Rock fever had even reached the dogs, they were convinced that 9PM was long enough to sleep and it was time to leave!

Mira ready to roll after spending all day sleeping – glad someone was well rested!

On I-196 by 1030PM, we were set to glide through Chicago traffic with ease, the middle of the night being a much better time to tackle the madness south of the Windy City. Both dogs were pretty impressed with our stop at the toll booth on I-80 when the lady in the booth handed them each a dog cookie!

Cookies!!!!

As the night made way for dawn, it became very clear that this trip would be fueled by copious amounts of Mt. Dew, SweetTarts Mini Chewy candies, 5-hr Energy Drinks and girl rock sung at the top of my lungs, much to the chagrin of my dogs (I challenge you to sing “What’s Up?” By 4 Non Blondes quietly).

Rain turned into snow in central Nebraska making my eyelids droop uncontrollably. I gave in to exhaustion and pulled into a rest stop, crawled into the back of the Jeep with the dogs and took a quick nap.  The heavy snow would continue to cause problems for quite some time, slowing progress all the way through to western Colorado.

Western Nebraska

West of Denver


Silverthorne, CO looking west toward Frisco

My original goal for the first day was to stop for the night in Green River, UT so we’d be close to our destination the next morning.  Unfortunately, the Motel 6 was booked solid for the night.  I checked Grand Junction and not only did the Motel 6 have rooms available, but it was $20/night cheaper than Green River.  Over the years of traveling with my beasts, I’ve decided that Motel 6 best fits our needs.  Not only are they exceptionally dog friendly, but also very reasonably priced (dogs stay free at most which saves a lot) – they may be a bit spartan for some but fit our travel needs very well.

After 24 hours on the road, 2-one hour naps included, the dogs and I were happy to arrive at our home for the night.  Yukon quickly claimed one of the beds and Mira immediately fell asleep on my pillow.  I was amazed that I was able to make the push from Michigan to western Colorado in one day but it was time to rest up for our first day in Utah!

Making themselves at home for the night

28
Dec
08

Winter Wonderland

Several days of crazy snowfall has left us with deep powdery snow at the farm, that’s pretty much over Mira.  That’s right OVER MIRA!!  Both the dogs are having a blast plowing through the snow like dogs possessed while eating it and digging like crazy (Yukon of course).  We’re supposed to get several more inches on top of what we already have before Christmas – should make for an interesting drive up north.  At least the dogs enjoy it!!




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Looking down to see Andrew’s new little GSP puppy, Morgan, and my not-so-little Aussie puppy, Mesa, laying next to me like this last night brought up a huge upwelling of emotions. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The GSP/Aussie duo of Cache and Elle that we just lost were similar in age difference and were best buddies from the second they met. They often cuddled on the couch together next to me, just like these new pups do. I have a feeling they’ll be just as inseparable as their predecessors were. . . #aussielovers #aussiepuppy #aussie #dogs #dogstagram #australianshepherdworld #australianshepherdsofinstagram #dogsofinsta #instadog #dog #aussies #puppylove #australianshepherd #puppy #puppiesofinstagram #dogsofinstagram #aussiesofinstagram #aussielove #cute #doglover #reddog #redmerle #redmerleaussie #adventuredog #adventurepuppy
Slo-mo humming bird moth (likely a white-lined sphinx), they were everywhere at dusk last night. Seriously cool creatures! . . . . . #insects #moth #nature #insect #entomology #hummingbirdmoth #whitelinedsphinxmoth #michigan #garden #slomo #iphonex
It’s a bit hard to admit, but while I instantly knew when I met Mesa that he was coming home with me, for about the first week I second guessed whether doing so was the right thing. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Cache had died only a couple of weeks before and while ludicrous, I felt like I was betraying him. I still cry most days about that little black dog, he was a gem (but aren’t they all). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ As the days and weeks have passed, I’ve seen him grow and learn and I have zero doubt that he was meant to be in my life. He seems to sense the somber vibe on the farm after all of the loss and provides love and humor whenever either Andrew or I need it. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ No dog replaces a previous dog, they just help to plug the ragged hole left in our hearts. I can’t wait to see this little moose continue to grow into an amazing adventure dog. . . #aussielovers #aussiepuppy #aussie #dogs #dogstagram #australianshepherdworld #australianshepherdsofinstagram #dogsofinsta #instadog #dog #aussies #puppylove #australianshepherd #puppy #puppiesofinstagram #dogsofinstagram #aussiesofinstagram #aussielove #cute #doglover #reddog #redmerle #redmerleaussie #adventuredog #adventurepuppy
“How could you betray me like this, Mom?!?!” . . #aussielovers #aussiepuppy #aussie #dogs #dogstagram #australianshepherdworld #australianshepherdsofinstagram #dogsofinsta #instadog #dog #aussies #australianshepherd #dogsofinstagram #aussiesofinstagram #aussielove #cute #doglover #adventuredog #bluemerle #olddogsrule #seniordog #seniordogsofinstagram #geriatricmenace
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