I study topo maps and satellite photos to find off trail spots that might be worth bushwacking too. The above is one; me and the dogs have been there four times since last summer. It is tough going around the contour of a slope, across rocks and over and around lots of downed trees.
I saw Old Ben attempt to get up over a bunch of boulders last night, and not have the strength. He let his weight carry him back down and went and found a different way. Not long after that my heavy pack tipped me backwards. I wondered what might have happened if that tree had not been there to catch me.
Its not easy getting older.
My young dogs sure had a good time, as you can see from the photo. I think their energy and joy being on a backpack trip gives me and Old Ben a little bit of a boost.
I sure don't plan to stay home, when the reward is camping in a place like that. The experience up there with my Borders is a whole lot better than any amount of money or comfort a person thinks they need. Sure, it might be dangerous, but none of us are going to get out of this life alive.\