I’ve resigned to post some trip reports this year, so I’ll start with this mini-trip as a trial run of my own, to get accustomed to the system.

We adopted our friendly-giant Max last fall so he was an unknown as a camping dog. He initially showed resistance to carrying his pack, and he likes to bolt out the front door and run around the neighborhood investigating the neighbors’ trash. So I thought that a trial run would be in order.

We did a tent-test in the backyard, which went ok. I then settled on a one-nighter to a destination that isn’t too far away, but still isolated enough that Max couldn’t cause too much trouble. We drove to a central Colorado wilderness area that I’ve visited often in the past to shake off the winter rust. While there are a couple of 13ers there, we just explored gentle terrain ranging from 9,000-11,500 ft, in and out of the trees. I brought gear that wasn’t too precious or delicate, since Max can be a real klutz.

In the end, it went pretty well, lots of beaver ponds, a few elk, great sunny-breezy weather, a comfortable campsite, and no bugs. Max had a lot of fun. He’s certainly never enjoyed freedom like that before. He did roam around a lot more than my other dogs (who tend to stay near the campsite), but he always found his way back, so that’s a plus. Next time … two dogs, and we’ll see if my old-timer Zelda can give Max some tips.  :-)