Home > Trip > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2013 > Daily Dispatch #165

September 2, 2013: Hardship

Pete has repeatedly told me that hardship sells. I hate to admit this, but he’s right. It is what keeps readers reading. The death of Siggi notwithstanding, it has been a hardship free summer. We have had some amazingly good summer what with our meeting many fine people and riding many wonderful trails.

There in fact has been so little hardship lately that I have had to look hard in order to find any of worth to write about. The most recent ride, to Moose Meadows, is a case in point. It was a beautiful ride. Started out on a bridal path trail, and ended up in an alpine meadow. Along the way, we climbed some – there were some rocky sections,

but nothing to write home about. The horses were happy, and so were the dogs.

Minor hardship on the trail. Came to a creek in which at the center it was knee deep on the horses. Raudi plunged right in, Signy followed. Rainbow was right behind. Ryder, on the shore, raced back and forth. Rainbow waded into the water, in an attempt to convince her it was okay going, but the little dog did not believe her. Finally, Pete went back across the stream on Signy, and Ryder finally followed.

More minor hardship in camp. Unpacking, I realized that oh oh, I lost our ditty bag containing toothpaste, dental floss, tooth brushes, wash cloth, soap, and soap container. Oh oh. As I announced this to Pete, I felt the bacteria multiplying in my mouth. A night without flossing, unthinkable.

And minor hardship in the tent. While at Sarah’s we got a second Big Agnes tent—this was after the zipper blew on one that was only a month old. We had two options – we could go with the big Big Agnes or the small Big Agnes. We chose the small Big Agnes because we figured that we wanted to do a few more multi-day trips. Perhaps a mistake. What we didn’t take into account was that there was no room in the new tent, a smaller Big Agnes, than there was in the old tent, which was a mid-sized Big Agnes.

We tied the dogs up outside, before going to bed. Upon crawling into bed, Rainbow began barking, and Ryder began growling. It went like this: roof, roof, roof, growl, roof growl, roof, roof, growl, roof. Pete told Rainbow repeatedly to shut up, this of course did no good at all.

I found myself, of course, wishing I had my ditty bag, which contained ear plugs, but no such luck. Roof, roof, growl, roof, roof, roof, on it went.

Pete finally suggested that we bring both dogs into the tent. My response to this was to curl into as tight a ball as I could, in order to avoid the canine onslaught. So this is what we did. He unzipped the tent, and unclipped both dogs from their leads. Both then came tearing into the tent, Rainbow to the rear, and Ryder to someplace in between.

Amazingly, both dogs settled in. I remained curled up in ball most of the night because I did not want to disturb Ryder, who was at my feet. Being a puppy and one who had never before slept in a tent, she could easily have been all over the place. I was surprised that they were as quiet as they were. Made me realize that Rainbow was jerking our chain. She just wanted to be in the tent.

Some might rightfully say that we brought this hardship on ourselves. First, there was Rainbow, who up until recently has been hard headed. And now there is Ryder, who is soft headed. Furthermore, what do we expect, going horse trekking with not one, but two dogs?

I must say that it’s clearly an instance in which the joy of canine ownership is outweighing the angst of canine ownership. The very best part of canine ownership is, at the near day’s end, watching both tired dogs collapse and go to sleep. It is then that I know that I’ve done my job, which is to tire them out.

Last night, I found myself hoping that their dreams were as sweet as mine.

Next: 166: 8/3/13: Cow Paddy Camping