The dog? The dog was a Samoyed named Telluride.
We got him in 1975 after a particularly wonderful trip 4 wheeling in the Rockie
in our 1967 Nisson Pathfinder, ending in Telluride just as the skiers
had taken over the town from the miners, according to the new mayor
who was playing bridge in the general store.
The night we got to town was the night of the Chautauqua, sponsored by Colorado Endowment for the Arts,
Where we saw a saw player, middle European puppateers, and a patriotic choir.
We also ate lobster.
We saw signs all over town about the lobster feed, so we went.
We had been eating freezdried backpacking food for a week.
We entered the garden level restaraunt across from the general store.
“Are you here for lobster?” Why yes we were.
“Well they’re driving from Montrose where the lobster was flown into,
So have some corn chowder while you wait.”
All of a sudden the crowd yelled, “Hoorah!”
The manager came to our tables and announced that we were in luck,
They had orderes pound and a half lobsters,
But had received two pound lobsters!
Shortly thereafter there was a hubbub at the door,
“But we have reservations; we’ve had them for weeks!”
Oops, we didn’t have reservations. Could we have taken someone elses?
We gorged on the lobster. I ate the huge tail of mine,
but my wife ate her tail and the rest of hers and the rest of mine.
We returned to the motel only to find the bathroom full of brown water
due to a landslide in the watershed.
She threw up in the brown water in the toilet;
I took a brown shower.
When we left the state a few days later we stopped in Northglen,
Where there was a pet shop,
With a baby Samoyed. We named him Telluride.
Now back to the bear.
I had decided to hike up Eagle Creek in the Columbia Gorge to Wahtum Lake,
With my now grown up dog, Telluride, Tell for short.
I had gotten most of my gear from REI, the sleeping bag, the tent, multiple stuff sacks, and assorted bottles and other containerrs as well as freeze dried food.
THe Kelty pack, boots and raingear came from the Alpine Shop on Broadway and fifteenth.
And I took my dog, or did I already say that?
The trip is 26 miles round trip, though I wasn’t taking the loop, but going on to Zigzag.
We stayed the first night at seven and a half mile camp and then hiked into Wahtum lake the next day.
Now we get to the bear.
We put up our tent on the South side of the lake, and took a nap.
Outside the tent, as we slept inside the tent, the bear was calmy going through my backpack and eating everything.
All of my power bars my wife had made me, all my logan bread (the mainstay of my hiking menu), and anything else that was solid, filled with sugar, and tasty.
I grabbed the dog and staked his leash and then went after the bear.
Telluride pulled his leash free and joined in the chase.
The bear went up a tree.
The dog danced at the bottom of the tree entangling the stake still attached to the leash.
I came shouting (I have a very large voice) and throwing stomes at the bear.
The bear looked at me. The bear looked at Telluride.
The bear shinnied back down the tree, on the opposite side of the tree from the dog,
and ran up hill.
Just then a couple more hikers came by with a dog.
I said, “Hold your dog, there’s a bear!”
They said, “Oh that bear; he’s just a youngster. Go get him Jake!” and off went their dog chasing the young black bear up this side of the mountain.
So I gathered up the rest of my pack and prepared for bed.
The guy in the next campsite slept in my tent with me that night so the dog would protect us both.
In the middle of the night we heard “woofling”, the dog barked and the bear ran off.
I still had a two day hike to get to the road to Lost Lake where my wife would be waiting.
But I had no food.
So I drank “mud.”
“Mud” was what I called the concoction I made for each meal from the various powders I still had:
Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate mix, coffee, tea, Tang, powdered milk, and Ovaltine.
Not bad, huh? When I needed water I collected it from the rain with a rain tarp.
With Telluride I got back safely to the waiting wife.
When I talked to the Forest Ranger she said that more bears were coming into the campgrounds because people left food behind.
She also said that I should leash my dog because when the dog runs up the trail and runs into a bear, it turns around and brings the bear to you!