It was a hiking, buskwhacking, creek crossing kind of weekend

If you don’t enjoy a good tale of a weekend of outdoor adventure to include bushwhacking, creek crossings, and countless miles of uphill hiking with two adorable dogs and a stupendous partner, then stop reading right now.  If you are still reading, you are pretty rad 😉

This past weekend my handsome and equally adventurous boyfriend and I decided to head for the hills.  We needed a break from our cell phones and technology in general, so we decided to head into the Shoshone National Forest and specifically into the Washakie Wilderness.

After a Friday evening of walleye fishing (by him; I get my resident license next week!!!), Deer Creek Trail was our destination Saturday morning.  After a leisurely morning of prepping and packing, we hit the trail with two rambunctious doggies and a yearning to simply be with nature.

Getting ready to start the trip

Getting ready to start the trip

We trekked uphill for about 4-5 miles the first day before deciding we didn’t have the energy to make the first big creek crossing that same day.  This was going to be my first time sleeping outside of a tent, so I was anxious and excited as we started creating out lean-to shelter out of the two tarps and cord we packed in.  Oh, and did I mention we had already seen a crap load of bear sign (tracks and scat) throughout the day?

Sydney examining a waterfall we would cross over

Sydney examining a waterfall we would cross over

After a simple meal of soup, crackers, and trail mix over a perfect fire, all four of us hit the hay.  Well, to be fair, I am pretty sure both dogs were up most of the night patrolling the perimeter of the camp 🙂

The next day brought my biggest creek crossing to date.  Ok, let’s get real here, this dang thing was not your average creek; it was a snowpack melt fueled raging river! There was absolutely no way any of us but Brian was going to make it through the crossing where the trail normally goes, so we had to bushwhack through downed trees, raspberry bushes, and crazy poking shrubbery to get to a better spot to attempt our first of four crossings for the day (2 up the valley & the same 2 to get back to our campsite).

We got down to the water’s edge and it become very apparent that the water would easily come up to mid-thigh for me.  Having packed light with only one pair of pants each, we both decided to shed our pants.  Yep, you read that right; I crossed streams and then hiked several miles in my underwear (nope, no pictures)!  Now, mind you we saw zero other people this weekend and there’s really only one way in or out of the area right now due to snow (as we would discover later in the day).

I was beyond nervous as we began the crossing because my beloved Sydney has NEVER done such a thing.  In my mind, I kept seeing him pulled downstream away from me, but as he got deeper and deeper into the rushing waters, instinct took over.  He took every crossing like a natural; it was as if my little boy was made to be a mountain running, creek crossing, hiking dog 🙂

I survived our first "creek" crossing

I survived our first “creek” crossing

As we traversed mountain sides, we saw obvious signs of past avalanches to include a large snowpack with tons of debris.  After our second creek crossing, which was much easier and mellower than the first, we finally got a view of our destination, Deer Creek Pass.  At this point, it became very clear that our attempt to cross the pass and peak into the infamous Thorofare would be thwarted by massive amounts of snow.

We decided that since there would be no summit and we would have to hike back the 6+ miles we had just hiked with only slightly lightened packs, there would be no going further.  As we headed back for our campsite, we took our time to completely take in our surroundings while enjoying the peace and quiet of the outdoors.

Amazing views were everywhere we turned

Amazing views were everywhere we turned

Our final creek crossing of the day had me feeling comfortable enough to stand in the water long enough to ensure both dogs got to the other side (Pup started to float down river a bit before I grabbed her collar).

Both Sydney and Pup were so tired that they didn’t want to move while we were building our fire and cooking supper.  Poor Syd was so exhausted he was shaking and limping on one of his paws.

Who says dogs can't wear raincoats?

Who says dogs can’t wear raincoats?

While I was starting to freak out aand figure out how we would pack him out the next day, Brian remained calm and reassured me that Syd is a strong dog and would be ok.  However, he did say that if Sydney wasn’t better in the morning, he would simply carrying Sydney out on his back.  How can you not love a man who would do that for the dog that has been your life for years?!

Our campsite for the weekend

Our campsite for the weekend

During out hike out, which was thankfully almost all downhill, I reflected on the great days we had spent in this gorgeous place that we call home.  Trips like this one help bring about a sense of calm within me while reassuring me that this is truly where I belong!

The Shoshone National Forest is where I belong!!

The Shoshone National Forest is where I belong!!

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Ha, your weekend sounds almost identical to ours, save for the underwear 🙂 We had similar problems with river crossings!

    Reply

  2. Wyoming river crossings are the best. We had a similar experience a few years ago in the Big Horns. It was July 6th and the weather was beautiful at the homestead. By the time we reached the trailhead at 10k feet it was clear that weather was not going to be on our side.

    The first crossing was frigid but just knee deep. We planned for it though by taking shoes and shorts for it and left them hanging on a tree on the other side. The crossing was just a mile in so the extra weight was really a non-factor.

    But by the time we hit the 3 mile mark it was snowing, and snowing hard…on July 6th!

    Things like this make the trip if you ask me. Here’s a short video of that trip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qajcz7WK97A

    Great pics Kristie! Looks like it was a great adventure.

    Reply

  3. Killer post! Looks like the trip was an all around success. Have you ever though of using your tie lines from your tarp to just give you some added security with the pups… it allows them to swim free but makes you not as nervous because you have them secure in case they tire out.

    Reply

  4. Sounds like a great weekend. I think the Snoshone Forest is where I belong too!

    Reply

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