I was all in, but the problem was: I had moved from Seattle to Helena, Mont., during the previous year, and I had a girlfriend. With a dog, named Ruby. And I recklessly agreed to take care of Ruby while my girlfriend was away on a work trip. I didn’t know Ruby well enough to take her on a backpacking trip, so I arranged with friends in Helena to care for her, but I agreed to come back early from my hike to take over dogsitting duties. I took my own dog, Baisha, to Washington, and explained to Mike and Jeff that I’d have to leave early from the hike.