Friday, January 11, 2013

Camp in the Desert

This week me, Ben, Copley, Kerrigan and some friends went camping at the Wee Thump Joshua Tree Wilderness.  To tell you the truth I almost lied about where we went.  I feel about Wee Thump the same way my Dad feels about his favorite fishing hole.  It is only really good because no one else knows about it.  We have been out there 5 or 6 times and have never ran into another hiker on a trail or had to pass a car on the road.  Every once in a while one of the campsites has an RV in it but that's it.  To me that is the best kind of camping.  BLM land with no one else around, no amenities, just the hundreds of pounds of gear we cram into our vehicles to make ourselves comfortable.  Since moving out to the desert where there are no bears or alligators I have really gotten to love this whole undeveloped dispersed camping thing.  BLM land is nice because unlike national parks the dogs have a lot more legal freedom and the likelihood of you seeing another human being in a BLM wilderness camping area is pretty much zero.

Here is a shot of our campsite.  The weather was really nice during the day, I was even in a t-shirt in the afternoon.  At night it got a little bit chilly but the dogs figured out the whole laying by the fire thing really quickly.  In fact Kerri only had to wear her little sweater because she was so toasty by the fire.  It was nice for her because her overcoat is a little bit bulky even though it is really warm.  Copley also got a new coat for the night and it worked out really well.  He didn't need it by the fire but once we went to bed I put it on him.  Kerri crawled into my sleeping bag and slept next to me with her little nose sticking out the top.  It was adorable and she was probably warmer than she normally is at my house!  Poor Copley didn't fit in a sleeping bag but he managed to bundle up in a fleece blanket in the tent.

So we put out this crate mat and unloaded the cooking stuff onto it because it was clean and we didn't want it to get dusty.  Of course Copley decided to rest on the tiny corner of bed that was still exposed.  Silly dog.

Copley was off leash during the day at the campsite but with birds of pray literally circling overhead we had to keep Kerri on a leash.  I have a lightweight 30 foot leash that I attach to a pet in place.  The pet in place is such a simple thing but it has totally revolutionized our camping experience.  Because it is just a sandbag there is nothing on it to get a leash wrapped around like attaching to a tree or a picnic table.  Believe me, they still get themselves wrapped around stuff, but it is much better.  

 Here is Copley showing off his new coat.

Whats going on there?  Well Copley of course immediately found some animal poop to roll in.  It was either burrow or horse so it didn't smell THAT bad but still.  He had to get a baby wipe bath because we didn't want to be cuddling with a dog who smelled like a barn.

There is some campfire before and after for you.  Don't worry we brought the palm leaves with us, we weren't burning any animals habitats by hacking off bits of native trees.

You may be wondering where Nova and foster dog George were while I was out on this trip.  Well George is really cool but I am not entirely sure I trust him not to go crazy in the tent and unzip it in the night and run off never to be found again.  Since I don't really want to loose a dog that belongs to someone else he got boarded for the night.  Nova had a kind friend come over to our house and hang out with her.  It is going to be a good long while before she can go camping.  Right now she is too scared to even leave the living room.  I will leave you all with one more good shot of Wee Thump.  Joshua Trees are so cool!

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