John, Davy, Daryl, and the pups spent a week backpacking in the Sawtooth Mountains last week. When we left off after Day 4, Davy was exhausted after carrying Kiara all day, but they still had 14 miles to go before reaching the car. If you missed them, here are the entries from Day One, Day Two, and Day 3.
Davy: When we woke up this morning, the plan was to camp at a spring 9 miles away. Because we might have had to carry Kiara, which would slow us down, we got up early and didn’t have breakfast. Before we left, we taped a sock onto Kiara’s hurt paw to protect it. The first part of our hike was an uphill climb. On the way up, Kiara’s sock came off. At the top, we used up the rest of the tape to get it more secure. Then we started the walk down.
At the bottom, we reached a river. As we left the river, we lost the trail. After walking for a while, we checked the map and realized we were on the wrong side of the river. We decided to just hike cross-country and see if we could find the trail. As we were looking for it, Kiara’s sock came off again. Because didn’t have any more tape, we couldn’t put it back on. Luckily, she seemed fine and didn’t need it.
At about 1:30, we reached the springs. From there, we were about 7 miles from the car. Because it was so early, we decided to push on. We climbed up to a high ridge, then coasted down the other side. And just like that, our hiking trip was over.
John: We weren’t quite sure what to expect today. It was just too taxing on David to carry Kiara; yesterday wore him out to the point he couldn’t go on anymore. We taped a sock onto Kiara’s paw and hoped for the best. Our goal for the day was to hike to a spring about 9 miles away, camp there, then the next day hike 5 miles back to the car.
We made it about 3 miles before the sock came off. At this point we didn’t know what to do so we just let Kiara walk. To our amazement she did fine, I don’t think she even limped. After being in such dire straits two days ago then getting one day rest while David carried her, she made an awesome recovery.
Meanwhile the terrain was basically up and down with some major climbs and descents. We lost at least a half hour and lots of energy when we lost the trail and had to hike cross country for a long time skirting swamps, climbing over fallen trees, and circling around until we finally found the trail.
When we made it to the spring where we planned to camp, it was nonexistent, so we had two choices. Our first choice was to go back where there was water (there was no water between where we were and the car) and camp. Our second choice was to hike the remaining distance of about 7 miles to the car.
Kiara and Moe were doing great but we didn’t have much water left. We decided to forge ahead and make it to the car. After a long climb to a saddle, it was all downhill to the car but it was through a mountainside devastated by forest fire. It was hot and there was no shade. Toward the end we were all very thirsty and were only able to take small sips of water. There was an unexpected stream which didn’t help us, but it helped the dogs. I can’t believe how much Kiara drank, it must have been a liter. She just kept lapping water and lapping water for several minutes!
When we finally made it out to the road we had another 4 miles to walk to the car. Both David and Daryl’s feet hurt so I volunteered to walk to the car. I felt pretty good after today’s 14 mile hike, why not make it 17!