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The Adventures of Smiley

(Page 5 of 16: Viewing Diary Entry 41 to 50)  
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Alaska 2007 Days 3 and 4

October 24th 2007 7:30 am
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Tues Sept 11

It was partly sunny this morning as Dad and I left Sault St Marie and drove past Lake Superior. We spent over an hour hiking the shoreline of Lake Superior at a provincial park here. Being at Lake Superior is just like being at the ocean! Waves roll ashore and water extends all the way to the horizon. It`s truly an inland sea! Dad and I hiked the Superior shoreline back to a rocky bluff, then climbed the bluff for some exciting views of Lake Superior. We even waded in the water for a bit, but it was rather cloudy and too cool for any real swimming. On our last trip here in 2005, it was actually warm enough for some swimming! There were some small rocky islands not too far from the beach.

Rain soon began and lasted till mid afternoon. It was VERY windy after the rain ended and Dad had trouble just keeping his small Geo Metro steady on the road. We stopped for the night at a campground near Thunder Bay,Ontario.

Wed Sept 12

Nice trail system surrounding the Thunder Bay campground. Dad gave me a nice walk before we got started this morning.
We drove provincial Hwy 17 thru the lake country of western Ontario this morning, passing many small lakes some with small rocky islands in them.
We reached the Manitoba border in early afternoon. It was sunny and pleasantly warm and Dad gave me a walk and we both had our lunch here.
It was quite windy as we drove across the plains of Manitoba this afternoon and once again Dad had his work cut out for him as he fought to keep the small car steady on the highway.
Moderate to heavy rains returned late in the day as we neared the Saskatchewan border. The rains caused ponding on the road and our car would "fishtail" from time to time. This was especially scary as darkness was comming on and there were frequent large trucks approaching us on the road.
We were nearing the small town of Yorkton,Saskatchewan and Dad remembered a nice campsite here that he had used on our 2005 trip. Alas we couldn`t find it in the dark and rain and thus wound up pulling off Hwy 16 and driving down an old dirt farm road. We found an isolated spot in a field and parked there for the night. Dad used our car as a small RV and we slept in it for the night. It was surprisingly cozy inside the car. We were in the middle of dark farmland,rain was pelting down on the roof,and the lights of the highway were visible in the distance.


Alaska 2007 Days 1 and 2

October 19th 2007 7:50 pm
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Sat Sept 8--Sun Sept 9 Day 1

It was quite warm and muggy as we left Philadelphia around 10 pm tonite. Clouds rolled in as we were driving up the northeast extension of the Pennsylvania turnpike and soon thereafter vivid lightning flashes lit the night sky. The lightning continued periodically throughout the night, and whenever it occurred,night was briefly transformed into day and the entire highway was visible as well as the surrounding countryside!

There was light rain as we crossed the Peace bridge from New York into Ontario,Canada but Dad had his rain gear and we were able to enjoy a 5-6 mile hike along the Niagara Parkway. We hiked along the Niagara River on down towards the Falls, and the rapids along the way were quite impressive! As Dad and I hiked past Niagara Falls, there was a fine spray in the air from the Falls. Later in the afternoon, we hiked the lower Niagara gorge below the Falls,descending a steep muddy trail and hiking among rocks and boulders as the lower Niagara river flowed swiftly by.

We spent our first night at the Niagara Falls KOA campground.

Monday Sept 10 Day 2

Dad drove our little Geo Metro over 500 miles today from Niagara Falls,Ontario to Sault St Marie,Ontario. Dad recently obtained a GPS unit for his car and it accurately guided him through the maze of highways surrounding Toronto (where we`ve gotten lost on past trips). We were soon past the metropolis of Toronto and headed down provincal highway 69 into the scenic Great Lakes area. There are numerous small to medium sized lakes here and jagged rock outcroppings thru which the highway passes.

Dad and I discovered a very nice hiking trail just off of highway 69 near the small town of Falding. It was really intended as an ATV trail but it connected several provincial parks and we hiked a few miles of it at mid-day. We hiked past a few small lakes and if we had had more time, a really long hike would have been possible.

It was partly sunny today with just a few light showers from time to time. Much cooler at days end though.


Alaska 2007

October 17th 2007 8:29 pm
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Hi everybody,
Dad and I just got back from our Alaska trip a few days ago and I`m going to blog some of the details in my diary over the next few weeks. We hiked the Dewey Lakes trail system in Skagway,Alaska almost 2 weeks into our trip. This trail system took us to a campsite by the Taiya Inlet which is an offshoot of the Pacific Ocean and is part of the Inside Passage of Alaska. Cruise ships sail into Alaskan ports via this route. Anyway, we were camped here inside our tent on the 3rd day of the hike when 2 whales swam by our campsite! I`ve posted the videos on my page.


Home from Alaska!

October 15th 2007 3:52 pm
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Dad and I just arrived home yesterday. We have a ton of chores to catch up on and I will soon be updating my page and dairy.



October 1st 2007 11:41 pm
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Dad was really worried when I ran off. I was exploring in a strange place and caught the scent of a spruce hen and just took off after that bird. He promptly flew away but I had no idea where I was. I understand that Dad was calling me but I`m hard of hearing as I am a senior dog and thus I couldn`t hear him calling me. I am a smart dog however and I decided to stay put in the area. It was getting dark and the Alaskan chill was getting to my old bones so I decided to seek shelter. I found a house just across the road from the campground and crawled into an open woodshed there. I basically holed up here for 2 nights, emerging only to take a drink from the nearby lake. The morning after my 2nd night being lost, the owner of the house returned and found me in his shed. He was very kind and gave me some food and fresh water,then called the number on my tag. He got Dad`s voice mail which had a message on it telling him to call the number of his friend in Alaska. This he did and Dad soon showed up to reclaim me! WOOFS, was I ever so happy. I`m sticking close to Dad for the rest of this trip no matter how interesting any scents are!

P.S. Dad and I will still be on the road for 2 more weeks as we wind up our Alaska trip. We still have to journey back down thru Canada to reach the lower 48. We`re using our friend`s computer in Sterling, Alaska but this may be our last computer access for a while. I`ll update as soon as possible.



September 29th 2007 11:43 pm
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I`m writing here as Smiley`s Dad. This seems to be the year of the Alaska trip that was destined not to be. First were the car problems,then yesterday, Smiley became lost as he took off in pursuit of some animal or other. This happened at a campground at Johnson Lake on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. I had stopped here for lunch on our way to visit the scenic town of Homer in Cook Inlet. Smiley caught the scent of some animal and took off along a lakeside trail. He soon disappeaared into the bushes and was ought of sight. I searched for several hours for him repeatedly calling his name and even spent the night at the campground hoping that he would follow his scent trail back there. He was still missing as of this morning, and today`s searching produced only one individual on a nearby homestead who had briefly seen him yesterday. He is an older dog with arthritus and is not getting his meds while he is lost. Also there are moose in the area. Please keep him in your prayers as I desprately hope for his safe return. Tonite will be his second night lost in the wilds of Alaska. He does have tags on,so there is still some hope for his return.
John (Smiley`s Dad)


Alaska trip update

September 22nd 2007 8:46 am
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Dad is currently having our car serviced in Whitehorse, Yukon,Canada. Hopefully the bearings will be replaced today and all will be ok. We`ve already been to Skagway,Alaska and Dad and I did a 3 day hike there. We hiked up into the mountains above Skagway and camped by an alpine lake. On day 2 of the hike, we camped by the inside passage of Alaska and watched cruise ships sail by at night. Their lights were all ablaze sort of like the Titanic! Yesterday morning 2 whales swam by our campsite and they were spouting water thru their blowholes! Dad will post the video when we return home. Will bark more when we have another opportunity at computer access.


Waiting for repairs

September 17th 2007 3:13 pm
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Hi everybody,
Yesterday, while approaching the town of Watson Lake in Canada`s Yukon, Dad suddenly heard grinding noises comming from the left rear wheel. He new that meant that the bearings were shot and so decided to stay in the town of Watson Lake for the nite. Upon visiting a mechanic this morning, he was told that he would have to wait a day for the new bearings to arrive. Hopefully, we`ll be on our way tommorrow and will arrive in Skagway, Alaska on Wed. To continue driving without the repair would have meant the loss of a wheel and being stranded in the wilderness with help many hours away. We`re hoping for the best at this point.


One week into our trip

September 16th 2007 7:34 pm
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Woofs to all,
We found a computer access terminal in Watson Lake in the Yukon Territory of Canada. We`ve been on the road for a week now and have already seen Niagara Falls,Hiked the shoreline of Lake Superior,and backpacked overnite in Stone Mountain Provincial Park in northern British Columbia. We expect to reach Alaska on Tuesday. Will bark more in a bit.

P.S. There are wierd noises comming from the rear left wheel of Dad`s car. We fear that a wheel may fall off on the road as happened back in 2002. Hoping for the best or we may be stranded in the middle of vast wilderness or WORSE!


Off to Alaska!

September 8th 2007 3:27 pm
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Woofs! Dad has our car all packed and ready for our trip to Alaska starting tonight. We`re driving up to Niagara Falls and will spend tommorrow {Sun} hiking at the Falls. This is Dad`s 10th Alaska trip and my 4th. We`ll be driving the Trans-Canada highway across Canada starting Mon morning. Wish us well! I`ll bark more details about the trip when we get back.

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