journal . stories . life

30 ~ January 2022

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 love 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 if you do it enough, that peace can become part of your character. (and hoping it does)

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“Wherever you go, go with all your heart"