This year, we took a more laid back approach to our annual Memorial Day Trip in the Eastern Sierra. In past years we’ve bagged peaks and escaped snow storms, but this year we decided to take it easy. Why? Well, first of all, David was recovering from minor surgery and couldn’t lift or do any strenuous activity. But also? It was Mighty Thor‘s first camping trip! We didn’t want to overwhelm the guy, so we just tooled around the Eastern Sierra and let him have a lot of new experiences.
David removed the whole back seat of the pickup truck so that Thor has a big space to enjoy on the long drives. He was a champ and had no issues on the 6+ hour drive to Lone Pine on the first night!
We arrived at our campsite in the Alabama Hills after dark and met friends. Thor had fun going bonkers, and slept soundly in his crate just below us at the end of the truck. In the morning, I poked my head out of my sleeping bag and was greeted with one of my favorite views on the planet.
On Saturday morning we decided to head north and check out some of the creeks flowing out of the mountains. Our goal was to find a good little swimming hole to get Thor in water. We didn’t have much luck up along Goodale Creek, so we headed south, stopping by the Whitney Fish Hatchery for a picnic lunch.
From here we decided to drive in towards the Baxter Pass trailhead. It’s one of the few east side approaches I have not been on before, so the drive was new to me. It was along this road that we found a perfect little swimming hole for Thor to comfortably splash around in. I say it was a success for his first swimming lesson!
We got back to camp mid afternoon and while the boys lounged around in the shade I decided to head off on a short hike to explore. The Alabama Hills are famous for many reasons, one of them being the crazy arch formations that can be found all over the place. I visited eight within a ~3 mile loop hike from camp.
Arch 1: Behind-the-Heart arch (camp also shown)
Arch 2: Heart Arch
Arch 3: Lathe Arch
Arch 4: Mobius Arch – the only famous (and crowded) one of the bunch
Arch 5: Space Arch
Arch 6: Baseball Bat Arch
Arch 7: Eye of Alabama Arch
Arch 8: Shark Tooth Arch
The next morning we headed north and explored Casa Diablo Road. The views of the sierra were fantastic, especially with a fresh dusting of snow.
Next, Thor went fishing with David. Neither caught anything.
For our last night, we ended up at one of our favorite dispersed campsites way out in the middle of nowhere. A big open space meant lots of fun for Thor who got to run around with the zoomies, play fetch, and act as stoic camp guard dog.
Even puppies get new camp gear, and this time he was enjoying his new Ruffwear bed. Look at that space! He loved having a soft spot to get out of the dirt, and I loved how packable it is, rolling up into a nice compact roll with built in handle and velcro straps.
One of the reasons this is a favorite campsite is this morning view. A holiday weekend but not a soul in sight.
For his final first camping trip adventure, we stopped at Tioga Pass on the way home and let him walk on the snow. He didn’t care one bit.
Overall, Thor did great on his first trip! He got to play a bunch, swim in a creek, experience snow, meet new people, and sleep with us instead of in his crate. I think he’s already excited for his next trip!