A hike in the Idaho Sawtooth Mountains: Day 5

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.

backpacking in the Sawtooths

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.

The boys put a sock on Kiara's injured paw.

The boys put a sock on Kiara’s injured paw.

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.

Davy and John found a way around the swamp, but Daryl went through it.

Davy and John found a way around the swamp, but Daryl went through it.

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!

Hiking in the Sawtooths

Moe was jealous that Davy had carried Kiara all day yesterday, and was begging to be carried. Davy gave in.

Moe was jealous that Davy had carried Kiara all day yesterday, and was begging to be carried. Davy gave in.


Sawtooth Mountains


Waiting for the car - much better to wait for a ride than to walk it!

Waiting for the car – much better to wait for a ride than to walk it!

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

About Nancy Sathre-Vogel

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.

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4 Responses to A hike in the Idaho Sawtooth Mountains: Day 5

  1. Carson and Hope Green August 25, 2015 at 8:39 pm #

    Congrats to all the “boys” and dogs for finishing the hike. Thank you for blogging about it We certainly enjoyed it. :).

    Carson & Hope

  2. Suzanne Fluhr August 25, 2015 at 10:20 pm #

    A great “remember the time. …” story that the boys will reminisce about for the rest of their lives. The photos of the boys caring for Kiara are wonderful. It’s just too cute that Moe insisted on having his turn being carried too and that Davy was willing to indulge him.

  3. Adam November 29, 2015 at 5:15 pm #

    Looked like a fun hike … I need to get back out west sometime in the near future!

  4. Izy Berry December 1, 2015 at 11:07 am #

    This is a great experience in the nature!! i love doing activities outside it refresh your mind

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