#backpacking #dog #dirtbagbaby
Family Backpacking on Killarney Park’s La Cloche Silhouette Trail with our dirtbag baby and Dog! My wife Tori and I headed out on this legendary trail the second week of September. We brought our 14-month old baby Wesley along for the journey, and as always, our Husky Malamute dog Buck was at our side. We didn’t get the best sleep at the car camping site before our trip started with the wild animal fight outside our tent! Camping in heavy rain and wind on Day 2 was miserable, but the weather calmed a little when we got on the trail. (Fortunately, Day-1 was a lot nicer). Trekking was tough with the added weight of bringing another human along for the trip. Tori carried the baby and all his stuff and I carried all the camping gear and food in my 95-litre backpack that weighed about 65 to 70 lbs or more.
We had about 13kms to go on day 2 and, other than some steep sections of trail, the trekking was fairly level through mature deciduous forest. We compleated “The Pig” where the La Cloche Silhouette Trail ascends a huge hill and follows what’s the steepest portage trail in all of Killarney Park. Our Dog Buck was keeping up with us fine and carrying a doggy backpack with his own dog food. Buck has been on other trips with his, including a 160km trek in the Canadian Rockies. A little dog training helped him learn to stay close and navigate obstacles with his doggy backpack on.
It was taking a long time to make distance and that, mixed with our late departure from camp in the rain saw us concerned that we wouldn’t make it to camp. What was making things particularly concerning was that our dog Buck was falling far behind. We kept waiting up for him and he was walking very slowly. He seemed to be overheating and it seemed like he’d injured himself somehow. He was limping pretty badly.
As it got darker, we had to make the decision to leave Buck behind on the trail. I knew he knew the way and would continue to follow the trail and our scent to where we were camping but it was a little concerning to leave him behind none the less. We got to camp and I helped get a few things set up and then I went back for Buck. He was a ways behind but was making his way along. It was painful to watch him finally hobble into camp.
At this point, Tori and I didn’t know what to do. Would Buck be okay to continue on the trail? We were worried because we had many more days to go and much more rugged terrain to traverse. Would Buck be okay if we let him rest up a day? It didn’t seem like it. Could he even make it back the way we came? These were the thoughts going through our head but even worse was the terrible feeling that we would not be able to complete our goal of traversing the La Cloche Silhouette Trail with our baby and that the family vacation that we’d been looking so forward to may be ruined.
Make sure you tune in to episode 2, and the remaining episodes from this series to find out what happens.
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