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Echo Basin
posted by John : August 3, 2013

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It's all about me!

Remember the last time we dared to hike in the desert? It. Was. HOT.

Treen suffered the most. She cooked in the fierce sun and took every opportunity to lie down in whatever shade she could find. So I was excited when the chance to try Ruffwear's Swamp Cooler became available.

You get it wet and it's supposed to keep your dog cool when the water evaporates. It works. Well. Really well. So well I considered taking it away from Treen. I think it was about 15 degrees cooler under the coat.

And that was important because we were in Echo Basin, just east of the Columbia. It was really hot and really dry. The girls (and Amy) were at Girl Scout Camp so it was just me, Henry, and Treen.

After two hours in the car I figured letting Henry keep his lightsaber was better than risking a meltdown. Heck, I was about to melt myself. It was really hot. (Yeah, it's going to be a recurring theme.)

We followed an easy road past lizards and climbers through the scrub. We were heading to a sand dune about a mile away, but in the heat I was wondering if we were going to make it. Treen, however, seemed to be quite at ease. I kept her close since this was rattlesnake area, after all, but she had a great time running up and down the road.

Henry fought Sith and various other enemies. I'm hoping he doesn't follow Anakin's example and screw up a classic movie trilogy.

We made it to the dunes and found that by stepping on the crest we could cause little avalanches. Henry and I competed to see who could get our slide to the bottom of the dune. Treen took advantage of the cooler sand we opened up and settled in.

It was clear that the Swamp Cooler was working for Treen, but was it really as cool as it seemed? Only one way to find out that wouldn't embarrass me. Henry put the coat on and paraded around. He declared it was really nice and didn't want to give it back to Treen.

Once he relented we were able to make good time getting back to the car. Treen did lie down in the shade behind the car, but compared to the way she was overheated after the last desert trip it was clear the coat worked well.

Perhaps a bigger win than finding a way to keep Treen cool even in the desert, we discovered that Henry loves Taco Del Mar. Usually, someone poo poos the idea of stopping for a burrito, but since it was just us boys, Henry took a chance and savored the reward. Granted, he still calls it Taco de Mayo, but that's close enough for my purposes.

The only downer was that since Henry forgot his socks (he was wearing them while we were getting ready, but apparently took them off before we left home) so he got a little blister on his heel. Not good for our upcoming overnight in Mount Rainier, but that's a different story.

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