I started out late Sunday morning with the idea of just stretching the legs and hiking up to Baldy Notch (7,800ft) and grab a Gatorade and stroll back down. I had not taken my dog on any long trips lately and was not sure she was up to a trip all the way to the top. A buckle broke on her pack so I ended up carrying her water and food as well as mine.
We started out about 10:00 and headed up to San Antonio Falls and took some photos of the falls. Then headed up the fire road to the Notch. My dog Motzie really enjoyed being out. Grabbed a hot dog and water at the ski lodge and just enjoyed the sun. Motzie seemed eager to walk a little more so we headed up to Devils backbone trail. She downed almost a half quart of water at this stop. Things were great and the dog was moving along just fine.
As we drew closer to the top she started slowing down and looking back at me. I imagine she was saying “why are you doing this to me!” and I took a few short stops where she just laid down. We finally made the top (10,064ft) and she just found a spot behind a wind break and just lay down. After a 30 minutes nap Motzie seemed eager to go again and we headed down the ski hut trail.
By the time we had made the ski hut she seemed worn out again. I found a spot under a tree by the hut and broke out the power bars and the dog food. She seemed to have no interest in the food or water at this point and she just took a nap. I was getting a little worried about her and me since I was not sure how to carry a 50 pound dog another 3 miles if she crapped out on me. She slept almost an hour. After she woke she did drink but no interest in food at all.
As we headed down she seemed to feel better. I think the altitude had gotten to her and not the distance of the trip. We stopped again at the falls and she rolled around in the water for a few minutes and was all charged up. When we made it back to the truck she had two cups of her dog food and drank a half a quart of water. Motzie was her usual wound up self for the ride home.
I called our vet on Monday also a close friend and had my assed chewed out for not realizing dogs need to acclimatize just like us.
I guess we try something a little lower in a couple of weeks like the Thunder and Telegraph