26 March ~ 2021

It was colder than I expected in the morning on our overnight backpack trip, because the wind had died down - 14 degrees. I quickly started a campfire, and me and Mollie sat close to it. Mollie is the only one that will get near enough the fire to feel it's warmth; Beau and Hayley are too cautious.

When I had let the dogs out of the tent in the middle of the night, Beau did his usual bark loudly, to alert any critters he is there. I am always ok with that. What was unusual this time is a half hour later he wanted out again. All three dogs went out and I could see they had their noses in the air, picking up the scent of something. In the morning they were very interested in a scent up on the rock outcropping above our tent. What was out there??? (this is mountain lion country).

In all our years of backpacking and camping I have only seen eyeshine at night a couple of times, and only had my perimeter lines triggered twice. Both times I was backpacking in Grizzly Country of Montana. I have always thought the presence of several dogs is a deterrent to wild things coming too close.

What I have always loved about backpacking is being out alone through the dusk, night time, and early morning hours - truly the best time of the day. You can feel the peace from nature, and I have always thought it can become part of your character. (and hoped it does)

“Lacking the pains of winter, we do not deserve the rapture and respite of Spring" - Donald Hall

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