Josh and I used to take annual camping trips up to the Rim every monsoon season. We have not been able to make it up to the Rim the past few years because I was using all my PTO time to photograph weddings and other business related ventures. Since I left my other job in December, I had a list of things I had been missing out on that I wanted to do. One of them, was camping on the rim.
Our Border Collie, Fawkes, is not a fan of thunder. And during monsoons season, that thunder is craaaazy on the rim. So, we opted for a Spring trip, before the fire restrictions started. My goal for the trip was to cook veggie hot dogs over the campfire, read, and go hiking. We checked the weather, it was going to be 70s during the day and 40s in the evening. Perfect camping weather! We loaded up the truck and went up to our traditional camping spot.
Once we got out of the truck, we were freezing. It was not a nice 70 degrees with a breeze. It was 46 degrees with heavy winds. Like, can we even start a campfire winds? We decided to hang out and see if the winds died down at all. After all, we did already make the trip up there. We built a tall fire ring and started a fire for lunch. I got to cook my veggie dogs over the fire! Check.
The wind was still there. So, I decided to read while we waited it out a bit longer. Maybe another chapter… Nope. The wind was still there, and it was starting to get colder. This was a problem because I had only brought leggings, t-shirts, and a jacket. Which was fine at 40 degrees, but would not have been at 10 or 20. We were also concerned for the pups because we had brought our mummy bags and no extra blankets for them. After we waited as long as we could, we decided that we would head home after a nice hike.
We walked down our normal trail astonished at how much everything has changed. Since we had been there last, the area had been ‘thinned’. It was so thin that you could see all around you. This area used to be so thick that you could not see much off the trail except for the occasional clearing. I understand they need to do this for the health of the area, but it is really sad when you see it. Josh was telling me how the animals will use these areas more after it has been thinned when it happened: we saw elk.
Two. Three. Five. Luckily we saw them before our herding dogs did. Josh held onto Stormy while he tried to take pictures of the elk. She saw them pretty quickly, but just sat alert looking at them. Fawkes on the other hand still had not seen them. She was just hanging out, none the wiser. When she did see them, it was like a flip switched! She was on! And then Stormy was all about it. I had to try and hold them while the herd of 15 elk crossed the path. And then, they still were acting like maniacs most of the way back to the truck because they could still smell the elk!
We finally made it back to the truck and started driving back home. Where we proceeded to see even more elk! At this point, Stormy would bark at each one that she saw. We resorted to covering her eyes (like horse blinders) until we got back to the main road. In the end, I got to do everything I wanted to do but actually spend the night! Oh well. It made for an adventure and a more interesting story. I am sure we will try again soon.