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The Adventures of Smiley

Another Backpacking Trip Jan 2--5 2005

January 7th 2005 1:58 pm
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I got really lucky as Dad got some unexpected time off from work and was able to take me for a 4 day trip to the Delaware Water Gap area. There was more rain than we would have liked but it came mostly at night when both of us were snug inside the tent.

On day 1 we were hiking back the Mt Tammany fire road when I heard a loud WOOSH. I thought "That`s mighty strange, is it a bird,a plane,or maybe superdog himself!" This large, silent winged object glided majestically past us just above the treetops. Dad informed me that it was a glider. It made a few low passes as we hiked back this trail.

As we continued along ,down in the valley fire sirens went off. I became very excited as I began to hear the melodic howls of wolves. A hiker on a previous trip had told my Dad that there was a wolf preserve in the area. Being a dignified Golden Retriever, I was able to restrain myself from howling back at the fire siren,unlike by wolfish brothers!

Dad put on his headlamp as it grew dark and I wore my flashing red doglight on my dogpack. I felt a bit like a dogteam mushing at night on the Iditarod Trail!

Hiking up a side trail to reach the Appalacian Trail,both of us saw 3 pairs of eyes in the brush at the side of the trail looking back at us . Dad`s headlamp made them shine in the dark. Both of us wondered if they were deer,coyotes,or what?

A light rain began to fall on our cozy North Face tent and it lulled me into a snug doggie sleep.

On day 2, Dad and I hiked thru rugged Van Campen`s Glen. Van Campen`s brook, swollen from all the recent rains, thundered thru this rocky gorge and in spots sheets of ice hung from the cliffs. Dad took a few pictures here and I took advantage of the photo stops to rest my tired paws.

Late in the afternoon, a heavier rain began. Dad put my warm velcro raincoat on as it grew dark and began to grow colder. I was sure glad when he got the tent up as it had become very foggy and the rain was really comming down. In my humble doggie opinion, there`s nothing like being inside a warm tent during a mountain rainstorm. It was SO cozy and I snuggled up to Dad as he read and had supper. Later, exiting the tent (both of us had to mark our territory after all),we again saw a solitary pair of eyes watching us from off in the woods. I barked and the owner of the eyes darted off. Let him find his own campsite!

Day 3 was partly sunny and warm. We had the woods all to ourselves and the warm sun brought out all the good smells.

Late in the day, Dad marked a few spots as waypoints with his GPS. Personally I think it`s more fun marking rocks and trees!

On this third night of our trip, a mix of rain,sleet and snow fell. I was glad that it was Dad and not me that had the nasty job of rolling up the wet tent in the morning!

We had some light snow this morning (day 4) as we hiked the Appalacian Trail back to the Delaware Water Gap. Both of us love being alone in the snowy woods!

Woofs, I can`t wait for our next trip!



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Smiley 1995-2009 Doggie Angel


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