When mom got a very small duffle bag out, I wasn’t sure what it meant. I know what a big suitcase means – mom and dad are going someplace on an airplane without me. I know what the camper trailer means – a great adventure for me! I was confused until mom used the word motorcycle. That’s a machine with two wheels for two humans, and I don’t go.
What I didn’t know is that mom and dad were going to Colorado without me. Say what? They were going to my old stomping grounds to cool off, and I was left behind. I was totally bummed, and my neighbor, Dee, can attest to it. She came over to give me a treat, and I wasn’t interested. You know I am down and out when I don’t go crazy for jerky!
Nothing I could do about it, and from what I heard, the ride up and home was long and hot. What I could do is reminisce about my own Colorado adventure, and what came to mind was a backpacking trip on the Dunraven trail in Colorado when I was just a little pup.
Dunraven is on your way to Estes Park. We lived in Loveland at the time, so it was an easy drive. Travel on U.S. Highway 34 west of Loveland to Drake. Turn right on County Road 43, Glen Haven Road, and continue for 6 miles to Dunraven Glade Road. Turn right and travel 3 miles to the trailhead parking lot at the end of this gravel road. Parking is free, and they have some human restrooms.
Mom and dad had these big packs on their backs. I thought we were going for a hike, but we were actually going to camp. All I knew was the temperatures were nice and cool, and I had a stream to swim in. The trail is about 5.5 miles at elevation of 8,940 feet. At the time, I didn’t feel it. Now that I am a desert dog and older, I am sure I would. Any time you are at higher elevations, be sure you and your dog drink extra water.
The trail is moderate and is on the edge of the Rocky Mountain National Park. Dogs aren’t allowed in the park but are on this trail. The views are spectacular as you wind through the forest. Oh, how wonderful soft forest floor is compared to the rocky terrain of Phoenix. We took our time with plenty of stops and a picnic.
When we stopped hiking, dad set up a tent. I wasn’t quite sure what to think of it. I was young and inexperienced at the time. I’m now a camping pro, although we have a camper trailer now. Anyway, we enjoyed relaxing and listening to sounds of nature. Mom and dad had to go in nature just like me. Were they finally realizing how smart we dogs are?
That night, the temperatures dropped significantly. Again, another reminder of high-altitude activities. The weather can change quickly! You have to be prepared for anything. I’m a Shiba Inu aka stubborn. Mom kept trying to cuddle with me to keep me warm, but I wouldn’t have anything to do with it. I just laid there and shivered. Hey – don’t judge me! She finally had to cover me up with her down jacket. Ah, that was better. I slept okay but kept hearing weird sounds. I also smelled strange things I wasn’t familiar with yet.
After a nice breakfast, we packed up everything (I supervised), and hiked our way back to the car. We didn’t see many people even though this trail is marked as high usage. A rule of thumb when hiking: the further out you go, the less people you will see. The harder an adventure is, fewer people do it. All adventures require work, and some include frustrations and challenges. Regardless, you will never regret getting out in nature. Take some time to see new places and do new things. I’ll keep offering suggestions and wish you happy trails!
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, business consultant, executive coach, behavioral-wellness expert, and author of nine published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
and be sure to follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kumathedog/ and Instagram: kumaitothedog
Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!