Camping on Mt St Helen’s

So most of you by now know that the Mr and I have a sizable hobby farm going on these days, one thing that happens when you have these kinds of animals is that you can’t just LEAVE them.  Well, I guess you kinda could if I just set everyone out to graze but that wouldn’t be responsible at all.  So the biggest thing is to find someone that can come twice a day (with out fail), who has experience with goats and sheep and chickens at the very least, and understands that if they lose any of my animals I will skin them alive.  (It’s perfectly acceptable for ME to loose my animals lol).

So I set out on a search looking for just such a person.  It got a little disheartening until I finally subscribed to and posted an ad.  I got back 20 (omg so many) emails in the first day with people who wanted to watch my goats!  GOATS!  I was skeptical but I scheduled interviews.  See, my long term problem is Christmas.  It’s coming up.  The inlaws want us down to Southern California for Christmas.  The Sister in law is coming and bringing the niece.  We can’t NOT go because we would get the guilt forever.  Plus, the Mr’s family really shines at Christmas for the most part.

So I set up interviews.  There were lots of people that are “pet sitters” apparently.  And when I posted a job for a “FARM sitter” I expected…maybe a little more?  The first lady came in sandals.  SANDALS.  S.A.N.D.A.L.S!!!! WTF?  I was unimpressed to say the least.  I mean seriously.  If you were interviewing at a bank would you wear your overalls and boots?  No you would not because it would not be appropriate.  So why on earth would you wear sandals to be interviewed to a farm sitting position?  Seriously.  I didn’t care how much she kissed on my goats (and they are very kissable) because I couldn’t help but wonder why she hadn’t thought this through.  Maybe she just wasn’t serious.  Maybe she didn’t have any forethought.  MAYBE she didn’t have any common sense!

So yeah.  It was a long process and let me just tell you, I only look nice.  I am a very serious interviewer.  I want seriously answered questions to “What would you do if you pulled up Saturday morning and the sheep were all standing around in the driveway?” I want specific answers of how you’d deal with this to show me you are smart and capable and can think this might actually happen.


I found someone I thought was capable and we set a weekend as a test.  The Mr and I took the dogs and went camping on Mount St Helen’s!  It was great!

I was apprehensive about a lot of things.  1. Both dogs are currently “farm” dogs.  They don’t see a lot of people, they don’t hear people outside our house, they have the run of the land and I worried about how they’d adapt to the campground. 2. last time I had Tank in a tent he wouldn’t settle down.  I think it was more that he could hear the coyotes yipping through the canyon than anything but I was worried we’d constantly be telling them to “LAY DOWN!” 3. the dogs would be on a constant leash which they never have to deal with.

The dogs did amazing though.  They didn’t mind the tie ups which was nice and they were mostly quiet.  There were a lot of people (this was a more populated campground than we usually stay at and it was packed but it was last minute) and there was some barking.  The worst of it was because people would think about cutting through our campsite, stare at Tank (Please don’t stare at a mastiff people, it’s an instant challenge and he will be upset), or let their dogs sniff too close to our boys.  People are just not dog smart, even if they have dogs they just don’t get it.  I try to pride myself on making the boys have good manners so it’s hard for me when other people cause their bad behavior.


It was a great time though.  It was nice to get away for a couple days and just relax.  I got some knitting done and we both got to chill.

We drove up the mountain so we could see the crater where some guy actually took a half decent picture of us (usually no one knows how to use a SLR, they’ve all gone to the huge digital view finder and can’t figure out this is like how cameras used to be like).

We were assured by a volunteer that was dust not smoke coming from the mountain.

Then since it was hot and the poor dogs had been in the car all morning we found them a place to cool off.

Now Kodiak is a natural water dog.  He loves it.  He’s all “Splashy splashy splash” while Tank is 😦 about it.  The Mr was convinced though that Tank would go in the water once he saw Kodiak doing it.  And he was absolutely correct.

That big moose of ours actually waded up to his chest.  Of course that means that Kodiak was actually swimming at this point because Tank is a long legged moose after all.

Afterward the boys were POOPED.  I mean more exhausted than I’ve ever seen them…ever!

We went back to the campsite and watched the Mr cook.  We brought our own wood with us (like I’m going to pay 5$ for 7 pieces of wood?!) and the Mr cut the most amazing kindling you’ve ever seen.  He light the fire behind the dogs with one flimsy match.  After he was done he had to help the people next to us get going because apparently if you are an Eagle Scout you must always do things like this.  Every time we camp he has to help someone out with some mundane camping thing.  It shows how he’s a much better person than I am.  (This one time we saw these crazy hippies trying to set up their tent but forgot their tent poles.  I watched in amazement while he offered them our spare tent.  He is a much better person than me.  In the end they brought us brownies and they were NOT that kind of brownies which also made me sad.)

It was a great trip.  We had a little relaxation, the farm sitter did great and I now know I can get away and not be a control freak about all the animals.

I even got a kick ass shirt out of it.


3 thoughts on “Camping on Mt St Helen’s

  1. That was a great and amusing story! I love the pictures as well. It looks like your Tank and Kodiak enjoyed their adventure as well. I am an animal lover too. I also feel anxious when I leave my pets at home when I go on a trip. Even if a sitter is present, I still feel bad that I have to leave them. I hope I could take my dogs in a camping adventure like you, I’m sure it will be a great experience for all of us.

  2. Yeah, that was a nice photo of you two. But, my fav. is the one of Moose head on the back of Dad’s seat. Smoozey Moosey…
    One of these days I’ll write you a long e-mail. Most of my time in front of a PC these days is spent erasing stuff… sigh

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