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Day 196-Sheep Dog Fight

CDT day 24-Miles Hiked today: 30

CDT total distance traveled: 825

Total trip miles: 5705

Avg temps: 70s

Injuries: none

Pain: Achilles

Exhaustion level: low

Favorite meal: Denver omelette from Lima diner It was one of those rare nice mornings where I did not need an alarm. I slept as late as my body needed too and was up with renewed vigor when it was time to rise and shine. I had a nice breakfast at the local diner in Lima and then got a ride from Mike the hotel owner back to the trail. I was hiking by 10 and was soon greeted by multiple northbound hikers. The first few miles were uphill on a rough road before the trail began once I was high above the surrounding landscape. To give you an idea of what it is like out here: the valleys and plains 3k feet below are considered the “high desert.” I am around 9,000 feet consistently so elevation truly is a factor. Late in the day as I walked through a long field I saw strange creatures in the distance. As I neared them I saw they were sheep and then I heard dogs barking. These dogs were watching over the sheep and they felt threatened by me. The two dogs charged at me and my demeanor changed from trying to be gentle and non threatening to showing them they better not mess with me. I was not willing to put up with these dogs. As they charged I made myself big and yelled some choice words at them and they slowed. They stopped 10 yards away and we had a standoff. With their constant barking and growling I wasn’t going to be able to approach them to stay on the route so I decided to walk away from them and swing wide to eventually catch my ridge again. I never turned my back and had my trekking poles ready for a dog fight but luckily they sent me away with some more vicious barking. A mile down the trail I saw a Spanish man on a horse with more dogs and he asked me in broken English if I spoke Spanish. When I said “very little” he nodded and then I asked, “are the sheep yours?” He nodded again but seeing as I don’t think he could understand me there was no point in voicing frustration so I just let it die and moved on. I closed out the day slipping down some steep scree that I couldn’t gain any traction on while going down hill. This as well as not feeling the desire to hike past dark spurred me to set up camp after just 30 miles. I’m almost to Wyoming! For the past week I have been following the Idaho-Montana border along the boot of Idaho.

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