Live, Laugh, Adventure

……and take lots of photos along the way!

Palisades Pack from Ruffware: A guest blog

Today’s post is from Guest Author, Chase Collicutt:


My Dad and I like to hike almost every weekend. However, our approaches to hiking are very different. Dad seems to require all manner of accessories to have a good time. When we head out he has to put boots on, several layers of clothing, camera, GPS, poles, water, lunch etc etc. The list seems to go on and on. The only thing in that list that interests me at all is lunch. My approach to hiking is considerably simpler. I just jump off the bed and I’m ready to go.

A few weeks ago Dad took me to the local outdoors store. I thought this was pretty cool until he started strapping on a Palisades Pack from Ruffware. Now I’m as open minded as the next dog but it seems to me that this was breaking some sort of fundamental rule in the cosmos: Human carries everything so dog is free to frolic through the woods and have fun. By my way of thinking, this is pretty well how nature intended things to be.

After I got the pack on, however, I started thinking that all those girl dogs on the trail might just dig a good looking accessorized hound like myself.

My first real test of the pack came when Dad planned a trip up Mt. Becher on a gorgeous sunny day. As we started up the hill I ran ahead and posed in front of some green hills and blue sky. Now Dad’s kind of camera crazy so I knew he would take some photos for my blog.

As we got further up the mountain we started to get some great views.

Entering the forest again the path began to get steeper.  This is not a problem for a fit dog like myself but I did have to slow down and wait for Dad here and there.

Breaking out of the trees things opened up and allowed some views of the local mountains.

It also provided a few of the photo opportunities I was looking for to show off my new pack.

While I’m not normally one to blow my own horn, I do think I look particularly handsome in that last shot.

As we neared the summit I was getting pretty hot so I took the opportunity to have a little dip.

Those of you who know me also know that I’m not much of a water dog.  However, this looked just too inviting.  Notice, however, that I don’t actually get my tummy wet.

The views at the top were pretty stunning.

The Comox Glacier was spectacular.

While Dad was taking photos I snuck away for a short nap but it wasn’t long before he caught me.

On the way back down we had some further opportunities for photos.

I thought I looked quite regal in this one.

He seemed to like this one but personally I thought I had a bit of goofy expression on my face.

Here are some other photos including a few action shots on the way down.

Happily, we did manage to meet up with some other girls with packs on.  I was happy to have mine on so I fit in well with them.

We took a short side trip to Boston Lake on the way down.  It is a very pretty place.

As we neared the end of the hike Dad insisted on running.  I have no idea what he was thinking since it kicked up all kinds of dust.

Other than that it was a pretty spectacular hike and I’m happy with my new Palisades Pack from Ruffware.  Check out their website if you want one of your own.

Man verses Elk

I live on Vancouver Island.  Most people who live here don’t realize it but if you drive inland off the main highways you pretty quickly get into some remote and undeveloped country.  Sightings of wildlife, especially our local Roosevelt Elk, are fairly common. If you’re not familiar with what an Elk is picture a cow built like a horse and you’ll be pretty close.  Here’s a short ‘tail’ of one such encounter.

I was driving out of the back country from hiking in the Nanaimo Lakes area when 3 big Elk bounded out in front of me from the bush. After I restarted my heart I gently stopped the truck at the side of the road.

I could see that the Elk hadn’t gone far into the bush and wanted to get some close up photos of them. Being a subscriber to Murphy’s Law, I knew without looking that I must have the wrong lens on my camera. A quick look down at my camera confirmed this.  I quickly changed lenses and set up my camera for wildlife shots.

Now Elk are very elusive and will run off at the slightest noise so I knew I had to stay quiet. I mentally prepared myself by thinking ‘I am smoke….I am the mist on the water… I am the wind in the trees…I am stealth itself’. Being as ready as possible I gently opened the door to begin the pursuit of my photographic prey. The loud reminder from my truck that the key was still in the ignition reverberated beautifully off the mountains surrounding me, leaving no doubt in minds of the Elk that they were being pursued by a moron.

Having lulled the witless beasts into a false sense of security, I set off into the bush. The 20 minutes I spent trying to work my way close to them produced nothing more than a profound understanding that whoever designed the Elk must have put that white patch on the back of their ass as the bovine equivalent of a one finger salute. I’m sure I could hear them laughing as they ran away.

Nature 1, Lorne 0.

The Elusive Elk.