There were too many stories of Emme and our hikes together to include in one book—this is one such story.
One fine day, Emme and I were itching to do a new hike, one we hadn’t explored before. I flipped through the pages of the USDA Forest Service trail notices and discovered a trailhead about 35 or 40 miles from our home. The Forest Service page said it would be about 1160 feet up, some of it steep, starting at elevation 6720’. It sounded like a nice outing.
As I laced up my hiking boots, Emme took the cue, ran to the garage door and stood rigid at attention ensuring she was up for wherever those boots were going to take us. Emme’s younger buddy, Ringo, not wanting to get left behind AGAIN, looked back and forth between her and me with a pleading expression. Ringo was not much of a rock scrambler but as most Australian terriers, he was always up for a hike, which is all I thought this was going to be.
My friend and climbing buddy Rick Peckham and his wife Dianna were accompanying me on the hike, so I figured the three of us could handle two dogs. Ringo joined us in the car. Two dogs are the most I would recommend ever taking on a hike. Three dogs are a crowd and could be an unruly crowd depending on what kinds of triggers they encounter out in the wild that could set them off.
At first there is an easy trail heading up into the pinion pines and then the junipers.
As often described in the book, Emme was only really satisfied when she was climbing. She always had a way of telling us that.
Ringo was just along for the hike so I’m sure he was fine with a modest trail.
Pretty soon the terrain changed dramatically, and we were into what climbers call “scrambling” – using hands and feet to get up a steeper incline.
Emme at age ten, was happy to go up anything, Ringo at age five, eh, not so much.
At that point, the top of this climb was not very far away, and we saw a few ways to get there. I picked a fun way that Emme clearly couldn’t do; however, that never stopped her from finding an alternate way, and so she did.
Both dogs and all three people successfully made it to the summit. Even though Ringo was hesitant and needed some help, he made it up safely. And all five of us were able to enjoy the view!
It would be the very next year that Emme and I climbed Mt. Sopris with our friends and son Brett and his dog Amos. We backpacked to a lake, set camp and did the actual climb starting early the next morning.
That climb story is in the book.