journal . stories . life

20 February ~ 2022

One of my most memorable backpack trips was climbing up over 13,200 ElkHead Pass with border collies Bud, Boogie, and Cody. We camped way above timberline behind an unnamed lake north of Mt Harvard in the Sawatch Range of Colorado. That was our basecamp, and from there went out to explore, including hiking across the valley of Pine Creek to another set of alpine lakes. In the evenings and early mornings we relaxed near camp, gazing down at the vast landscape below, and watching the light change on the mountain.

Those three were with me when I first started backpacking, which was over 30 years ago now. With them I got hooked on the freedom of wandering the mountains and setting up camp where we ended up in the evenings. Hiking off trail behind them was like taking a young kid to the zoo for the first time - your experience is heightened by seeing how much they enjoy it all. We had some amazing days together, which I will never forget.

I like to believe that my old companions could be nearby on the good mountain days now and in the future.

That is the mystery though isn’t it? I suspect there is so much more than we think we know.

Additional photos with Bud, Cody, and Boogie

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart"