Monday, December 20, 2010


The Marmot. I bought a tent while living in Maryland many years ago designed by the company "Marmot." Back then, it was just a company name. I didn't bother asking, or attempt to figure out what the name actually meant, or what it referred to. It was a nice tent, that's all.

That is until I hiked the John Muir Trail in August 2009. My first encounter with the Marmot, I can't recall. They quickly became a fixture on the JMT however, and I never tired of seeing them around. I think I was quickly drawn to their inquisitive nature. Whether it was walking through a meadow, or over a high rocky pass, I always got a blast at seeing them run up onto some rock to see who was trespassing on its property. Sometimes they would just watch, sometimes they would retreat into their homes, (a medium sized hole in the ground, usually under a rock,) and sometimes they would let out a high pitched whistle, voicing their displeasure.
I could never help whistling back to them, although my whistle was more of an acknowledgement.

Marmots along the PCT in the North Cascades, Washington. This one is keeping watch over his domain, while soaking in some of the last warm sun rays of the season.

Their homes are built in the most scenic places on the planet. They tend to stick to the high altitudes. They hibernate during the winter. Often, I will see them basking in the sun, warming themselves on a rock. If Reincarnation is an option in the next life, I'd like to return to earth as a Marmot.


  1. My dad told me years ago about feeding peanuts to squirrels somewhere in the Mammoth Lakes area, and being startled when one "the size of Happy" (our miniature Shetland Sheepdog at the time) came begging. I'm pretty sure it was a marmot he saw. Every time I think of that, it cracks me up.

  2. Lol, I think they actually are close relatives of the squirrel!