At the very beginning of the year, I declared that I was going to make it to 50% on the Colorado County Highpoint list this year. Because I’m moving to De Beque, the high points in Southwestern Colorado are about to be really far from me so I decided it was time to go on a bit of a mission to knock out a few, especially a group of three east of Pagosa Springs.
Sprocket, was more than happy to join me on this seemingly random adventure; the fact that he doesn’t judge my plans is one of the things that makes him the best road trip companion ever. Vermilion Peak was the point I was most worried about getting him to (but as it turned out, the weather intervened before we could find out) and the rest of the peaks I was sure he would love.
We loaded up in the FSJ and set out for a few days of wandering around gravel roads, sleeping at trailheads, summiting mountains, swimming in lakes, and exploring high alpine meadows—all Sprocket approved activities.
Throughout the week, I’ll be posting more about our specific adventures (an attempt on Vermilion Peak with an overnight backpack in Ice Lakes Basin, Summit Peak, Conejos Peak, and Bennett Peak) but the common denominator of each segment of our trip was being absolutely delighted to have my pup with me.
I was really worried last summer that Sprocket was reaching the end of his hiking days. He is only five but when we would go hiking, he seemed to just be in pain all the time. Happily, as fall approached, I realized that he was actually suffering in the heat and luckily, hiking at elevation in Colorado mostly avoids that issue. Not only has he bounced back from too many low elevation hikes last summer, he was game for two seven mile hikes on Saturday. I’m so glad that this is the case because there is nothing that can add to an already amazing alpine adventure like the sashaying of a happy laborador. (If you think I’m kidding, you have to come hike with us…sashaying happens.)
People always seem surprised that I travel so much with “such a big dog” but really, he couldn’t be easier. I pack him some food (Merrick Backcountry, lately), give him some water, and beyond that, I’m the lucky one. With Sprocket, I have a constant, patient, loving, cuddly companion. He’s game for hikes (and scrambles), relaxing in parks, sampling beer at breweries, and just driving backroads for hours.
Merrick Backcountry provided product and payment for this post. Merrick Backcountry meets my requirements for high quality dog food for my pup Sprocket and I adventure together always, with or without compensation, and all of my sentiments about him being the best dog ever are absolutely heartfelt.