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Monday, August 25, 2014

South Sister, Oregon

False Summit - Part 1

On Saturday I hiked the South Sister  located in Blue River Oregon with my best friend and wonderful boy Dante. It's a 12 mile round trip hike that we started at 7 o'clock in the morning (a bit later than we wanted to start, but not bad...we're slow morning people.

It's important before you begin a big hike to have a great breakfast and do a gear check!

Dante got to carry 2 water bottles for himself, poo bags, doggy jerky, and his collapsible water bowl. I was carrying 3 Liters of water in my Osprey water bladder, plus an extra water bottle for Dante, sandwich's, other snacks, first aid/bit sting kit, flashlight, space blanket, knife, and 9 mm pistol for good measure. My friend carried about the same gear as myself, her own food/water, and a pistol as well. Us girls were not going to be unarmed for this trip! We're mostly concerned about cougars, but their is always the chance of encountering two legged predators as well. You never know and we live by the motto, "better safe than sorry".

We started at Devil's Lake Trail Head which is the popular and best place to start on the adventure, the first 2 miles are painful and steep but the rest of the miles even out to a more gentle climb until you get to the mountain.

It Begins!
Cool rock!

After the first 2 miles of uphill climbing the thick forest opens up and you can begin to see the South Sister looming in the distance. Once we got out of the trees we took a mid-morning snack break and enjoyed the view.

Broken Top
Fun Fact! Broken Top is an extinct, glacially eroded stratovolcano! It hasn't been active for about 100,000 years!

My beautiful boy and the South Sister in the distance.

Such a beautiful day! Good thing we remembered our sunscreen! Dante was in heaven, I had him on his 6 foot leather leash and he was free to sniff for most of the day without having to be in our normal "heel" position. He did great! He hardly pulled, and all day we worked on "easy" meaning slow down/don't pull. He did awesome!

Their were lots of hikers out and about, if a faster group came up behind us we just stepped off of the trail and let them go past.

The beginning of the hike (most of the hiking) was gentle enough terrain Dante didn't need his boots, but every time we stopped I checked his feet for any signs of wear on his pads.

Lake Moraine
And now began the ascent.
As we began the ascent to the False Summit Dante began to gimp a little bit on one of his back feet, the rocks were getting coarse and was mostly pumice stone. So on went his socks and boots! And thankfully his gimp went right away!

Stopping to smell flowers
We took frequent brakes throughout the trip, wanting to take our time and hopefully avoid injury.

Our view going up!
What you are looking at is not the top! 
The trip up to the false summit was mostly pumice stone and shale, we passed a couple dogs that I felt sorry for - they had no boots and one was a fat old senior dog that really should never have been brought by his clueless/careless human idiots. Poor guy was struggling and the hard part had just begun.

Dante is a huge water drinker! As we worked our way up towards the false summit we stopped regularly and he'd find whatever shade he could and would lay down.

Tired Boy
Everyone we bumped into loved seeing Dante in his boots! He got tons of compliments and he got to meet and greet lots of people which of course he loved!!

You can see from this picture where we started.

False Summit Lunch Stop!
We made it to the False Summit in 5 hours....whew!! Which wasn't easy, we had a few spots where we were scaling our way over boulders. I had to help lift Dante a couple times.

We stopped for lunch at the False Summit for about 45 min, just enjoying the view. Poor Dante just wanted to drink water and lay down, but he enjoyed his jerky and I shared some yummy cheese with him too.

During this break I took off his shoes and shook out his socks while checking his feet - they looked great!

I should mention by this time Dante had drained his two water bottles and was helping me drink my water down - it was easy enough to take the mouth piece off of my Osprey water bladder and create suction to pour it out into his water dish. Even though we kept his pack on him he was just carrying garbage at this point no need to make him carry weight.

From the False Summit its about another 2 hours to get to the top of the South Sister.

Beautiful View
The True Summit

The False Summit and the True Summit...and yes that would be snow in August.  Although to be more accurate, its a glacier and mostly ice at this point.

Can you spy the man down by the water? He's really tiny!!

Check out Part 2 of our journey HERE

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  1. What a great hike! Those boots are a very smart (and caring!) idea.

    Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats

  2. Absolutely beautiful. I know people dream about living on the ocean but mine would be having that view of Lake Moraine. Wow someone bought a senior dog along for that much of a hike? Love the photo of him resting his tired head on your knee :)

  3. I love the mountains, that'd be my first choice too! I hope the old boy made it down ok, he wasn't looking too good when we passed them.

  4. Wow - what a great hike and so beautiful. Was Dante carrying his water in his pack? Bet that's why he drank it so fast ;)
    Thanks for joining the Hop!

    1. Yep! Dante was carrying his own water for the first part of the trip but I didn't want to overburden him so he just had a water bottle in each side plus some doggy jerky snacks.
      His pack was pretty much empty by the time we reached the False Summit and then he just carried garbage stuff. :-)

  5. Wow! That is incredible! I love these pictures! It sounds like Dante had a great time, too!

  6. Wow!! That looks like an amazing hiking trip!! I used to live in Beaverton, Or and we had to move to California.. I'm hoping to get back to Oregon soon!

    1. Fun! Oregon has lots of great hiking spots. :-)

  7. 2 legged predators, we have lots of those here too unfortunately! I've been meaning to purchase some pepper spray just as a safety precaution.

    What an awesome hike. I absolutely love the boots Dante has! Where did you get them? We took Bain to the river last weekend, normally we go on the sandy / gravel areas but that time we were at a place with a lot of large rocks he was running over and scraped his paws a little.

    1. We got our Ruffwear boots from REI, they have a sizing chart on the box. You can probably order them online too, I they have a sizing guide on their website. :-)


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