journal . stories . life

20 ~ April 2022

I am busy in the spring planting the gardens and tending to the chickens, preparing for them to be self-sufficient during my summer trips. After setting up bulk feeders and automatic waterers, all I have to do is to find someone to come into the yard to collect the eggs when I am gone. The neighbor kids are usually happy to do it, and earn some money along with getting eggs for their parents.

But I was able to get to a stopping point in all my garden and yard work to head out for a few days in April, to climb up to a high ridge of Ponderosa Pine and set up camp near a rock outcropping. This spot carried with it the thrill of discovery, since I had never been there before. On one of the days I climbed higher up on the ridge, until the going got very tough because of all the downed timber, where I turned around.

The beauty of going backpacking like this, or even staying in a cabin, is I am pulled away from my normal life, with all the things to do, and instead let the peace of the pines, the quiet of the wilderness, and the companionship of my border collies drift to the forefront of my consciousness. If I stay for at least two nights I am rested enough that the backpack trip out is easier.

Mollie has had some problems lately, and I was wondering if her age was catching up with her. (almost 14). But after a trip to the vet and a cocktail of pills, she recovered enough to handle the backpack trip without any problems. While Beau and Hayley would rest in or near the tent when in camp, Mollie would always want to be by my side, no matter what I was doing. One afternoon this enabled her and I to slip away to another rock outcropping. I whistled, which was a sign for the other dogs to come and play the game ‘find Dad.’ It took Hayley and Beau quite a while to figure out where we were. Beau is the one that does the finding, putting his nose down and following my scent.

It was a good trip, and I am already thinking of where I will go for the next one.


“I believe in the forest, and the meadow, and the night . . . ” - Thoreau, in Walking

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“Wherever you go, go with all your heart"