1,289 forum posts
On this trip I was dropped off at Bald River Falls and went into the Bald River wilderness in Tennessee. Later my 15 year old dog Shunka had a stroke and I spent several days at one campsite 10 miles in nursing him thru his struggle. These photos are about the trip. (Trip 110--May 7-15 2010).
On the first day I enter the wilderness and pose above the mighty Bald River. My load is for a long trip and so it's big. Here I'm wearing a Cabelas sheer silk baselayer under a nice Icebreaker merino t-shirt.
After several miles we get on the Brookshire trail and cross the mighty Upper Bald and tie into the trail junction with the Benton MacKaye trail. Here the trail either goes left across Brookshire Creek(behind me)and north, or right up a sidetrail and south. We decide to head south.
FERN CAMP: This is a campsite I found on the Brookshire trail and is in a big shady field of green ferns. It's here that old Shunka dog gets real sick and so we have to sit put for 4 days while I try to nurse him back to health. He can't eat or drink or walk and so we wait.
CARRYING SHUNKA OUT: I didn't know how far I could do this(since he weighs 50lbs)but I wanted to cover half of the 10 miles out so we'd be closer to the trailhead when our ride came. We made it back to a closer camp and called it a day.
Shunka improves enough to eat grass at the Brookshire trailhead reststop. His sense of balance is gone but he improves enough so I can get him to walk very slowly with a guiding hand on the fur behind his head.
We make it back into the Bald River wilderness and I set up a much needed camp(by the Cascades) after a rough 5 mile day. Shunka is slowly starting to eat pieces of bread and drinks water, a dang good sign.
We leave the Cascade camp and go downriver on the Bald River trail and run right into this pretty banded water snake. A copperhead-wannabe, it sobered me up for a minute or two. Shunka weaves and wobbles around it and we're on our way.
We leave the rock ledge and make it to our last camp of the trip, a place I call the Black Cave. We stay put for two days and wait for our evac ride, about a mile from camp. You can see the river in the back.
POST REPORT: After I got back from this trip I took old Shunki dog to the veterinarian and during a check-up it was determined he had a misfire with his cranial vestibular nerve. It caused stroke-like symptoms and temporary collapse. He's improved considerably since Day 5 and now he's a little lopsided but eats and drinks and gets around okay.