Welcoming a Wandering Mutt into My Sleeping Bag

my stray-dog saga at Mammoth Lakes . . .

Margie Willis


Image by Dan Fador from Pixabay

My wicked dad, among his minor abuses, was a rotten planner of family vacations. With nine kids, some planning might’ve been fun.

Spur of the moment back in 1962 (when I was six), dad drags a dozen of us to the bottom of the Grand Canyon for an overnighter. No canteens. No food. No packs. No sleeping bags. No reservations at the food canteen. No reservations for overnighting.

Nowadays, adventurers join a two-year waiting list for a permit to FART within the hallowed canyon walls.

Rangers combing the trails would’ve stopped dad and his sorry disciples, turning us back to the trailhead, less than a mile in. For our own safety.

So, with such a bomb as my familial imprint, is it any wonder I went off half-cocked on so many of my quickie adventures?

Gustave Deresse | Writer; AI Artist grants us a peek into his atypical adventuring style, way up yonder in Canada. His entertaining confessional silently begged me to spill my stray-dog saga:

One of my repeated errors in adventuring has been underestimating the onslaught of winter in the Sierras. That’s the main mountain range, the spine of California, boasting our highest peak, Mt. Whitney at 14,505 ft / 4,421 m.

My stray-dog saga happened a hundred miles from Mt. Whitney.

Mt. Whitney . . . Image by Tom Ferguson from Pixabay

Being a flatlander, we were enjoying a toasty Indian Summer down along the coast when icy winter storms were already battering the backcountry. I set off to go camping up at Mammoth Lakes on the weekend prior to the whole area getting closed down for the duration of winter.