Camp Dawgs

For my birthday last week, the dogs and R. and I reserved a site at White Birches for a couple of nights. I did some backpacking in and around college and have been itching to get back to it; there are so many interesting wilderness trails and some longer loops that I’d be comfortable dayhiking but wouldn’t ask the dogs to do in one go just yet! But most of us are rusty and Titus just plain isn’t ready. A little car camping trip on a couple of post-holiday weeknights seemed like a good way to ease into it.

The most important part of any trip is the food!

I’d requested a Topknot (“premium wooded”) site on the advice of a friend and could not have been happier with it. We were way down at the end of the park. The long walk to the bathroom was more than outweighed by having plenty of space between ourselves and our nearest neighbor. The site was small but pretty, well-wooded, bordered by (but uphill from!) a streambed that would probably have been running if we weren’t in the middle of a drought.

Are pit bulls afraid of the dark?

Lilo remembered her former camping experiences and settled right in. Titus got a little overstimulated on the first afternoon; I should have put him up for a nap (in his soft crate in the back of R.’s car, with of course the a/c on when the weather dictated) sooner than I did. But he’s consistently more comfortable in the outdoors than in any building and by the afternoon of day two, he was impressing the heck out of me with his ability to chill.

Not quite chill yet, but a few hours after this, I took a (short, but still) nap in a grassy field while holding his leash.

I’m not usually a fire-builder while camping but this trip’s food mostly required it. I took the job over on day two, initially just because I was up first and then because I wanted to see if I could build a better fire for dinner. I could!

Lilo enjoyed warming her belly in front of the fire. Titus, well…

Some cattle frogs just want to watch the world burn.

We didn’t do much hiking, but we did stroll up to the Basin (not the Franconia Notch one) one day for Titus’s first post-iliopsis strain wallow and down the powerlines the next. I’d had bigger plans before the trip. Once there, though, it was nice just relaxing. I don’t do that much!

Lilo is a big fan of relaxing, including on the way home.

We still have a long way to go before the crew will be ready to backpack anywhere. This was a good start, though, and a good adventure in its own right. Hoping to get out once or twice more before the weather turns prohibitively (for us, for now) cold.

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