Moo. A Cottonwood Pass Trail Report

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A cow butt. #BCLM

Well, that was a new one. Today my dog almost caused a stampede. It’s just a normal Monday in the life of an outdoor adventure guide. Wait, a minute, wasn’t I on vacation? Yes, even while on vacation I simply can not stay away from the great outdoors and all the creatures that graze along her trails and meadows.

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Woke up with a stinky blonde in my bed. I was not thrilled.

For the pup and I, the month of July meant a break from leading tourists on treks and nature walks into the wilderness near our hometown of Big Bear Lake, California. Instead, my coworker, the pup, our family and I took our thirty-four-foot motorhome on a camping, hiking fishing-filled holiday to our favorite recreation destination (Close to home anyways) the eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range. Yes on vacation our usual asshole dog (No seriously check out her Instagram; She is My Asshole Dog)morphs into Vacation Dog and crazy shit like this happens.

Carly the vacation dog is ten years old now and some days she can act her age. Other days she chases squirrels, plays wrestling with Leo our Norwegian Forest Cat and or brings us dead squirrels she finds while hiking secluded mountain trails. (Ew. And true story)

Our month-long treks through the Eastern Sierra have caused my ten-year-old rescue dog to drink at the fountain of youth. Now she thinks she’s a pup again. She has spent her days staring at marmots. Or she has been chasing chipmunks. Then today she tried to kiss a baby to calf on the lips. Carly is one fearless bitch these days! She is living her best life on this vacation from her job as being the cohost to my outdoor adventure guide business.

Lone Pine here we come!

It was our last hike in July in the Eastern Sierra’s so obviously we have to go out with the bang. Or I moo I guess. We had driven south not on Highway 395 the day before  (Thank you crazy California wildfires) and after a detour through southern Nevada, we finally arrived in Lone Pine California. Yes, that Lone Pine known for Mt Whitney and the area where Bonanza was filmed in the Alabama Hills. After a week of evading the Tamarack Fire and wondering how smoky the days would be in south Lake Tahoe and if we would be evacuated each and every night, we were ready to head two hundred miles away from this 60,000-acre wildfire.

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Not pictured, All the litter at Diaz Lake Campground

Our plan was to spend one last day adventuring the alpine slopes above Lone Pine. Diaz Lake is normally our favorite hidden campground in Diaz Lake but this place has been a pigsty on our trip this summer through Lone Pine! Literally, every campsite is full of human garbage and dog poo. I’ve never stayed at such a filthy campground in my life. Obviously, our stay at Diaz Lake this July was not perfect as so many Snow Pigs had left so much trash behind and the campground staff does not clean the campsites between guests.

Is cow chasing an Olympic Sport?

I’ve hiked at the Cottonwood Pass many times by myself with the pup and also friends. When we were here last fall I did notice quite a few cow patties near the marmot meadows. Last fall, we were just trying to take a group photo of all of us Big Bear Hiker Babes, when in slow motion my dog decided to try to roll in one of the cow patties. I’m pretty sure that photo had my mouth wide open screaming “No!” at her in terror.

She almost had the cow poop time of her life. Nothing could beat a roll in a fresh stinky cow poop. Until today that is.

We were trekking up the Cottonwood Pass on this early July morning when I saw a big black butt ahead of me. Now no one prattle that I’m not woke; The hefty rear end had a big ass tail attracted to it. It definitely was some kind of wildlife.


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Just a Vacation Dog loving life on top of a mountain peak

Yes, that is correct. Black cow lives matter too. Especially when your dog wants to chase them. If there can be an Olympic sport for skateboarding, there should be an Olympic sport for cow chasing and my dog deserved the gold today as she chased that big black butt up Cottonwood Pass.

When on vacation, Vacation Dog does what she wants. And yes that might mean chasing cows and almost causing a stampede. I can try to control her but sometimes that kooky terrier part of her brain kicks in and she is a pure maniac who can not be stopped. Luckily the cows and their calves knew the terrain better than Vacation Dog (And they had a head start)

This outdoor adventure guide and her coworker are very tired from a fourteen-mile trek to Chicken Spring Lake up the Cottonwood Pass and beyond. We are ready for some homemade Sweet Potato Dog Treats or maybe some leftover Butter Chicken.outdoor adventure guide

Cottonwood Pass Trail report

  • No bugs.
  • Many cows.
  • Watch out for those cow patties!
  • And Chicken Spring Lake is very low.
  • Hike at least a mile north past Chicken Spring Lake on the PCT. The views are fantastic!