We've lived here long enough that we have substantial history wrapped up in these mountains. Each trail that I ride in the morning holds memories of the two generations of dogs before Shyla who rode those trails with me. Angel K rode this trail with me in Crested Butte many times, back before CB became so popular with bikers that I decided that it wasn't safe for a dog on the trails.
Each campsite that we visit in the mountains holds memories of idyllic summer days wiled away lying in the sun and watching the clouds. And, each site also holds memories of the worst storms we weathered in those high altitude and exposed sites!
Part of why we call our camping van the "LabMobile" is that our yellow Lab, S, used to complain with sighs and eye rolls about the cold when we camped high in the mountains. We always joked that we were buying the LabMobile for him so that he could have a warm den for camping. Indeed, he got to take a couple of his last mountain trips in the warm luxury of the LabMobile. He's in the sidebar - he's the only yellow Lab we've had in our family yet. What a lovable soul he was.
I love the LabMobile. At one campsite in Crested Butte, I'd ride my heart out, with a 3,000' climb at the end of most rides due to our very high campsite. Then I'd smile when I saw this sight. Home, sweet home.
Perhaps most of all, I remember the campsites that we went to in K's last months. As she was succumbing to bone cancer, we took her on one last trip to the mountains. Her energy and enthusiasm skyrocketed as soon as we arrived there. She literally dragged me up a scree slope on a mountainside. Alas, it must have been pure joy and a sweet farewell because she didn't live long after that trip. I'm so glad that we took the time to visit the mountains with her one last time.
I'll always associate the campsite of K's last trip with her. We visited it for two nights at the end of our last trip. Here is Shyla standing on a boulder that I feel sure that K stood on for photos years ago.
It's just amazing to me how dogs teach us to seize each day. Their joy for life is infectious and their short lives teach us that we never know how many tomorrows we have. That knowledge has buoyed me out of many funks in my lifetime.
For Thankful Thursday, I thank all our generations of dogs for their love and their teachings. I see them in the wonder of the stars every time I gaze at the night sky.