Friday, July 31, 2009

A botched camping trip

Hello everyone! Matthias, Pono the dog, and I have been away for a few days. We decided to escape the hot desert and head north on highway 395 towards Mammoth, California. Our original plan was to drive to Convict Lake and hike up with our tent and sleeping bags, where we could camp and flyfish some of the higher mountain lakes. We got a wilderness permit, fishing licenses, food, etc. Everything seemed to be lining up. However, when we got to Convict Lake, a thunderstorm was building right where we were planning to hike. Not that we weren't equipped for rain. No, the problem was Mr. Pono. Pono is terrified of thunder. I mean TERRIFIED. When we had our gear ready, we had to bribe the dog to get him out of the van. Once we started to hike, things seemed okay with Pono, especially when he saw that cool mountain lake. (Which he immediately had to wade into and cool off in.) The problem started when we were about a mile in. The thunder would roll, Pono's ears would go back, the tail would tuck itself in, and he would try to drag Matthias off to hide underneath the nearest tree. Pono weighs about 70 pounds, and when he decides he doesn't want to go somewhere, not even Matthias can out pull him. We thought we would wait and see if the storm would dissipate, but after half an hour, it seemed like a futile plan. Sadly, we turned around to hike back to the van. Pono had to be coerced out from under his tree, and once on the trail, he dragged me all the way back to the van.

We thought maybe we could get an early start the next day, and try again, but it rained on and off all night, and when we woke up, we could see that the day would be a repeat of the one before, in terms of scary thunder. We then decided to drive north a little more, where the sky was clear, and try a day hike. We thought with a shorter hike, we could get in and out with the dog before the thunder ruined any chances. Once again, the gear was packed, the sunscreen was applied, and we started off down the trail. This time we barely made it 200 feet, when Pono decided that the big, bad thunder was lurking behind the next bend. He stopped walking and would go no further. Our plans were once again stymied. We both felt sorry for the dog, but at the same time, we were beginning to feel a little angry with him. It is a long drive from Joshua Tree up to the Mammoth area, and we had been hoping for a high mountain adventure. Unfortunately, you can't sit a dog down and explain to him that thunder is not going to eat him up. Nor can you reason with him. We ended up driving to another close by lake (June Lake) where we proceeded to throw sticks into the water for Pono to retrieve. He didn't seem to mind being out of the van, as long as there was a lake right next to where the van was parked. Fun for the dog, but not fun for the humans, who were hoping to get away from crowds and road noise.

We did camp another two nights in the area. It was nice to get away from the desert heat for a while. Unfortunately, we have reached the conclusion that if we want to hike up to a high mountain lake in the summer, we will most likely have to leave our sweet, sensitive dog at home. It is a very sad discovery for us.

In other news, I have sold my first giclee reproduction on ebay! I have just listed this hand altered giclee for auction. I worked over this new giclee with pastel, changing the composition a little, so it is now one of a kind. Click here, if you want to see the listing. I am now including my last name, Swenson, in the title, so you should be able to search for the new listing that way. (or just use the link here.)

Have a great weekend, everyone!


ArtPropelled said...

How frustrating for you! It would have been such fun especially watching Pono hiking with his smart rucksack on his back. Aah well, better luck next time.

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bindu said...

Congrats on the sale! It's funny that Pono feels safer in the water where lightning can be more dangerous! But I know what you mean. One of my cats is terrified of rain, more so of thunder. He looks so miserable that I'd do anything to keep him feeling happy.