Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I hiked up the Dome and along the ridge towards Knoya last night. It was the first night of a busy week of after work play I have planned. I orignally was going to go out for a run in the woods, but when it looks like this out as I'm leaving the office I know it's time to get above treeline.

I thought I'd still be able to run a bit on the winding set of trails that leads up to the ridge, but the trail was impossible to run on. It was an off camber ridge of snow in the middle of the trail about a foot wide. If I slipped in the downhill direction I ended up in prickly bushes. If I stepped off the other side, I post-holed up to my knee.

But it was a beautiful day out regardless and Niko and I had fun playing on the tundra.

Niko had a bit too much fun. At one point as I was nearing the top of "Ice Cream Cone" I heard this horrible barking and growling coming from down below. My initial thought was that he was fighting a bear, and I whipped out the bear spray and got it ready. But as he came into view, I realized it was much smaller than that.

My next thought was a wolverine, which for some reason was less scary to me, but not good for Niko at all. Still I got closer and Niko kept barking this strange wild bark that I have never heard before. He was stomping around on the ground and tossing this thing in the air, until it stopped making noise.

Then he paced around it panting with his tail low and would not come to me or even look at me. I was honestly afraid to go near him because he seemed to be guarding it. I did not want to see what it was, because I felt bad that he killed something just for fun. I got this video at the very end of it after he calmed down.

I also blamed myself somewhat because I had run out of dog food earlier that day and tried to feed him cat food. What's that saying about never going to the grocery store hungry? I guess that applies to dogs and the tundra as well.

Finally I got him to come to me, but he kept looking back at the dog and hikers behind us, so I put him on the leash.

Other than that we had a gorgeous night out, with lots of great light for taking photos. I ate my dinner of a peanut butter, banana and honey sandwich on top of the Dome, watched some hikers glissade down the front of the mountain and then headed down a few hours later.

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