A Rainy Day Hike, Courtesy of 5 Coyotes

There was more camping in the PUP that occurred before and after the hike this post describes but in early July Abby had a coyote incident. That is on a predawn walk with Tom while I was working out at the construction site, Abby got into a tussle with 5 coyotes. As I understand it she chased a single coyote and was lured back to the pack which was having some fun with her before Tom charged in yelling his head off and scattering the bunch. Abbs loves a challenge but she was far outgunned in this scenario not only just in numbers but because she is an old lady at this point and her speed isn’t what it used to be. Thanks to Tom she suffered only 5 bites and a nasty, deep scratch, but her open wounds (even after being attended to by the vet and given antibiotics) meant that laying in the dirt for 2 days while camping was out of the picture. She’s a tough old broad though and her energy level stayed high as the half dollar- and quarter-sized bites slowly scabbed over, so as soon as it was reasonable to remove her cone for a time I took her with me to hike one of our favorite trails.

Unfortunately that day’s forecast for 30% chance of precipitation for a single hour in the afternoon was completely inaccurate and by the time we were approaching the trailhead the clouds had thickened and taken on a decidedly dark hue. I had not driven 2 hours to be turned back by some rain however so we started up the ATV track optimistically despite the distant booms of thunder that were growing in frequency and volume. Optimism failed us however because within 10 minutes the rain started and the storm cells moved within a few miles, a situation that continued for most of the next 3 hours.

Abby is actually terrified of thunder but she seemed to know this hike was the alternative to a day laying in the sweltering hot desert below. As such she showed no hesitation in accompanying me up the rocky path, though she did flash me “The Look” whenever we took a pause — presumably just to remind me of her displeasure with the circumstances.

I for one enjoyed the rain as it brought out vibrant colors of the meadows and flowers as well as summoning an ethereal mist that settled into the canyon. I will admit that the thunder reverberating across the peaks and the flashes of lightning were a bit disconcerting at a few points, but the storms mostly kept a reasonable distance. As we hiked further however I came to the conclusion that we wouldn’t be covering the full 10 miles due to the amount of mud Abby was kicking up into the open wounds on her undercarriage and legs. This grew to be more of a problem as the rain decreased in intensity and there was less water running down her body and washing out the bites. So out of an abundance of caution we turned back at only 7 miles, satisfied that we’d at least had a nice few hours walk in the mountains. Luckily the dirt and grit I rinsed out a few hours later didn’t affect her recovery and allowed us to return to camping the next weekend.