Arizona Meet Up

One of the things you might have noticed reading through our posts is that I reference other Instagram accounts a lot. That’s because on all of my dog based travels (and some non-dog travels) I meet up with different locals that I met because of Instagram. This past November, right before Thanksgiving some of my regular Instagram friends arranged a huge group camp in Arizona. We, and by we I mean the 15 plus humans and 20 plus dogs from at least 5 states, met up at a free primitive campsite that had room for all of our cars. Whenever camping somewhere remember to get the appropriate permits. We did need permits. But they were free and there were quite a few “experts” who could tell use what we needed.

Living in California, AZ is not far from me. So I took off later then I should have, the way you do when you under estimate the amount of time it takes to get somewhere. I took the turn off to the campsite right around sunset and drove down the 2 mile dirt road until I saw the mass of cars parked out in the middle of nowhere. It was a little rough on the dogs arriving late. Mine were hyped from being cooped in the car, and getting to a location with sooo many dogs that they didn’t know that well, but it all worked out. One of the important things to realize is that all dogs have different comfort levels. Mine like to play loud and rough. Which puts other dogs on edge especially in the dark. So the husky click that developed stayed away from the dogs that just weren’t digging the noise. It may not look like it. But these two loved playing with each other. Silly huskies and their teeth.

We hiked the Peralta trail in the morning. Storm went off with one of her favorite people, Dave from @longhaultrekkers, and Frankie stayed with me. The trail itself was challenging for me and super rocky. So, Frankie and I ended up way behind the group, not making it to the top. Luckily we had the company of a new friend @gypsygyrl and her pup. I’m sure Frankie could have made it to the top. But it wasn’t going to happen, the views all along the way were gorgeous. So, it didn’t feel like we really missed out. It’s super important to listen to your body when hiking and not risk injuring yourself out in the wilderness. For this trail my ankle just couldn’t hang, and I thought better be safe rather then sorry.

We went back for a bit of a rest at the campsite after our hike. The car ride back demonstrates just how tired the pups were after our drive, camping and a hike.

Well Storm was sleepy. Frankie was still ready to go. As always.

With that in mind we trekked to the Salt River with the group right around sunset. The views did not disappoint. Arizona sure knows how to put on a show at sunset.

Look you can see our friend Gretel, from @youdidwhatwithyourweiner basking in the golden glow of sunset with Frankie and Storm.

If you are ever looking to bring your dogs to Arizona, especially the Superstition Mountains, check out our friends in Instagram @trustyourtrail and @remdawg.the.tripawd. They definitely made this large dog meet up possible.

Mt. Baker Camping Trip

Today we return to the recap of our summer in Washington by taking a look back at our camping trip in Mt Baker area. The first thing that is important to note is that I am not a camper. After this trip I can say I have been camping a total of 4 times in my life. However, the places I wanted to explore were 3 plus hours away from my home base in Seattle so I was convinced by Jessica, a local who has explored Washington with her two pups, that camping was the way to go. So camp we did.

Lucky for me this turned in to a group camp with camping pros. Jessica, Jen and Dave camped with me. Helping me through the ways of camping and providing gear that I just didn’t have. I highly recommend their blogs http://www.youdidwhatwithyourweiner.com and http://www.longhaultrekkers.com to follow their different adventures.

We all met up in Mukilteo, piling gear for 5 people and 5 dogs into two cars and started our drive north. Our first stop was in Bellingham at the co-op for a delicious lunch. Then we continued on our way into the mountains.

Before stopping at our campsite we briefly stopped at Picture Lake. This wheelchair accessible trail is about a half mile and has amazing overlooks of the still lake with jagged mountains in the distance.

We then continued up the mountain to check out Artist Point. Here, I realized my flip flops were not the best choice in foot wear as there was snow. Soooooo much snow. In July. While my feet were not thrilled the dogs loved it. Because they love all things froze.

After this brief trip into the snow we returned to the campsite to set up camp. Even with all the bugs the campsite was fantastic. As was the stream that was right next to it.

Frankie and Storm settled in for the night. Enjoying being outdoors. I enjoyed the company as we hung out around the campfire waiting for the sun to go down and the stars to come out.

It finally started to get dark. And the Milky Way could be seen overhead at our campsite. So Jen and I drove back to Picture Lake to try our hand at night scape photography. This area has little to no light pollution. So it makes for the perfect spot to capture the Milky Way during the summer months. This was my first time trying this, so we trekked back to that short trail with our cameras, tripods and headlamps (use red or green lights to not disturb others) and found a great place to set up. The photos weren’t perfect. But for a first time. They were decent.

We went back to camp to get some sleep before our hike the next morning. It was an interesting night for me. My air mattress would not hold air so I slept on the ground. But at least the pups did good in the tent. Unlike Frankie’s first camping escapade.

In the morning we got into our cars and piled into our cars to get to the trailhead for Yellow Asther Butte. This trail is tough. I couldn’t finish it because of some post surgery pain. But what I did see was spectacular.

That view, those flowers, and a cute pup. You can’t go wrong

Always searching for the next view. Or squirrel.

The horse flies were out and on the attack.

That view though.

Resting with me in the trail.

While the others finished the trail. I napped in my friends truck with the dogs. It was much needed after a rough night of sleep. Then it was back to the campsite for some river romping and relaxing until golden hour. At that time we packed the dogs and went to Artist Point to traverse the snow and watch as the sun turned Shuksan pink.

Back at the camp we enjoyed some banana boats. And prepared for the next day where we would break down camp and head to Heliotrope Ridge for our last hike in the area.

The pups may or may not have wanted to get up in the morning. But who would want to when snuggled under your Coalatree blanket.

Heliotrope ridge was another stunning hike. However, my camera battery died so I don’t have any photos to share. But it did make for a nice hike where I just enjoyed being, rather then capturing. If you make it to the end you can see the glacier, and potentially people hiking in the glacier. Once again my post surgery pain flared and I missed the last bit of the trail. But I had so much fun camping here that I already have plans to meet up with some of my Instagram friends and group camp here next July.