My nephew, Josh Griffith, who became my nephew when he married my niece, Susan Cook Griffith. That was 17 years ago, but recently, Josh had the idea to take Susan on their first “pack” trip. That is where the horses pack your gear into the camp site. The trip was just an overnight trip in the Beartooth Mountains, but it was just the two of them…no kids. Susan said, “It was just him and me, so it kind of felt like it was a date.” It was early in the season so the waters were running pretty high so they tried to find a spot to go to that didn’t involve crossing the creek because they were thinking that it would be pretty high. Probably a good plan. The area that they camped in was also rather deep in grizzly bear country…one of the reasons I wouldn’t like tent camping, but that’s just me. Anyway, they found a spot to set up camp that was about four or five miles from where they had parked the truck. When we finally decided where we were going to pitch the tent, they noticed that about 10 to 15 feet away was a pile of fresh bear scat. That made Susan…just a little nervous, considering the fact that “we were in their territory.” I think I would be nervous too. Nevertheless, they stayed.

Now that the trip is over, Susan says. “It was a pretty cool experience. Once we got the camp all set up, we were sitting around the fire and getting ready to cook dinner, our dogs were kind of like ‘what is going on here’ – like what are you guys doing? They could tell that there were predators out there, and they were keeping watch pretty close on our surroundings. It was kind of a spooky feeling. I kept making lots of noise, so no bears or wolves ever came up on us thankfully.” I agree. I’m thankful their trip went well, and they’re home safe.

Susan says that the trip made her really “appreciate the modern conveniences that we have – like running water, toilets, microwaves, stoves, fridges- just like the basic necessities are so nice. Haha! I didn’t realize how much I liked those things until you go a couple days without them and you’re like, OK I can’t wait to get home where there’s running water. We can just turn the faucet on and have an unlimited supply of water. Thank God for running water. Haha!” I’m sure that Josh hardly gave any of those things any thought, because…well, he’s a guy, and they don’t think about those things when they are camping. For Susan that trip was probably the most unusual “date” she has ever had, and if it weren’t for the fact that she trusts her husband implicitly, she might have backed out.

They have gone out almost every weekend this summer camping, riding horses, or doing something, so it’s been a pretty fun summer for them. Josh is always willing to go do things with the family, so there’s never a dull moment. Susan tells me that “Josh is such a great dad and husband. I’m the luckiest lady alive! I’m sure if it.” What a sweet tribute!! Today is Josh’s birthday. Happy birthday Josh!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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