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Wesley`s wanders

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Grand Canyon trip 2009

September 19th 2009 12:53 pm
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Woofs to all my Dogster Pals,
Dad and I are off to the Grand Canyon starting tonight. We are going to drive thruought the night so as to reach FL by tommorrow afternoon. Dad wants to visit his sister there and retrieve brother Smiley`s ashes. Then we are headed west thru AL,MS,OK,TX until we reach the Grand Canyon. Dad plans on hiking down in the Canyon for a week and I will have to stay at the Grand Canyon kennels until he finishes his hike. I`m not too thrilled about this,but dogs are not allowed below the rim of the Canyon. Dad will still be hiking with me on the rest of the trip,though. We plan to hike the rim trail together as well as Humphries peak,the highest mountain in AZ. Then it`s on to San Francisco for some beach hiking and even a visit to Dogster HQ! We plan to explore the Nevada desert on the way back as well as some hiking in Colorado. Dad is taking his laptop along,so hopefully we will have some internet access from the road. I`ll bark more about our trip soon!


Grand Canyon Days 1-2

September 21st 2009 6:30 pm
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Sat Sept 19 Sun Sept 20 Day 1

We left Philadelphia around 9:30 and drove south on I-95 throughout the night. Dad stopped for gas in Richmond,VA around 2:30 sun morning and we took a nap here for about an hour. Dawn on Sunday morning found us in Fayetville,NC. Dad stopped at Lake Marion State Park in SC to hike a trail here on which was located a geocache. He used his GPS to find the cache,then we enjoyed a swim in the warm refreshing water of Lake Marion. We arrived in FL late in the afternoon and spent the night on the farm where dad`s sister lives. The weather was sunny and warm for most of the day,except for some brief heavy rainstorms in FL.

Mon Sept 21 Day 2

I went to Fernandina Beach today with my german shepherd cousin,Julie. We hiked for about 4 miles along the beach and waded out into the surf,being careful not to venture out too far as the surf was really rough. Dad was a bit more adventurous and waded out into the crashing breakers,but he finally paid the price for his hubris when a large wave swept him off his feet and into the frothy surf. He reemerged seconds later but his glasses were GONE! Dad is nearsighted and desperately needs his glasses to read road signs,not to mention safe night driving. Fortunately he packed his computer glasses along for the trip and can still see reasonably well with those. Tommorrow morning we begin our journey west using I-10 to LA then up I-49 thru LA, to I-20 in TX. We will take I-35 up thru OK and eventually link up with I -40 which will take us all the way to AZ and the Grand Canyon.


Grand Canyon Day 3

September 22nd 2009 6:55 pm
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Tues Sept 22

Today we drove as far as Moss Point,MS stopping enroute at Navarre Beach near Pensacola,FL to swim in the Gulf of Mexico. The surf in the Gulf was a bit choppy but Dad had fun body surfing there as the breakers were few and the rolling waves were really high! The Gulf water is a bright green which contrasted quite nicely with the white sand beach.

Last night while we were still on dad`s sister`s farm in FL,we were able to see a great many stars at night,even the Milky Way galaxy was visible! Then after leaving the farm,Dad found another geocache located nearby.

Just before arriving in Mississippi,we had to cross a long bridge over Mobile bay and then travel under the bay thru a long lighted tunnel,quite a neat experience !


Grand Canyon Day 4

September 23rd 2009 7:34 pm
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Wed Sept 23

Today we drove thru Lousiana and Texas,stopping for the night in Dallas---home of the Cowboys "America`s team" :) (well at least they didn`t sign Michael Vick).

Lousiana was a rather neat state as there was a large stretch of Interstate 10 just before Lafayette where we passed thru an extensive swampy area. The interstate was elevated on cement pilings for a stretch of 20 miles or so thru this swamp and trees and water stretched to the horizon on both sides of the highway. In a few spots,large channels of open water were present and some barges were seen navigating them. The area had the look of true wilderness! In a rest area where Dad stopped to give me a walk,there was a sign which said that children were transported to a 1 room schoolhouse in this swamp area by boat. The school closed in 1965.

We drove Interstate 49 from I-10 thru central Lousiana. This has to be one of the lesser used interstates in the country as traffic was quite sparse. Dad and I enjoyed a peaceful ride thru a flat forested landscape devoid for the most part of any signs of human habitation.

I-49 led us to I-20 and we drove thru Texas to our stopover in Dallas tonight.


Grand Canyon Day 5

September 24th 2009 8:09 pm
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Thurs Sept 24

Today we drove a bit over 600 miles from Dallas TX to Santa Rosa,New Mexico. Dad was grateful for his GPS as it helped us thread our way thru the maze of freeways surrounding Dallas!
We thought of our friend Flicka as we passed thru Norman OK then we recrossed Texas again passing thru Amarillo. In western Texas,the landscape was an interesting mix of rolling hills split by little canyons. The weather turned cooler this afternoon as well after the heat of the south,tonite in Santa Rosa it is in the mid 50`s. Dad walked me for about 2 miles along historic route 66 in Santa Rosa tonight and we passed a lot with a Model T and some 50`s vintage cars parked there. On to Flagstaff,AZ tommorrow and Dad`s Grand Canyon hike starts on Sun morning.


Grand Canyon Day 6

September 25th 2009 9:26 pm
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Friday Sept 25

We explored the area around Santa Rosa this morning and came upon the Blue Hole. This is a deep (80 ft) artesian well located in of all places the desert of New Mexico! The waters are crystal clear and you can see the dive platforms suspended 15 and 25 ft below the surface. There were no divers here early in the morning and the temp was only 45 degrees. Nevertheless the water was fairly warm (61 degrees) so dad did take a SHORT swim.
We are in Flagstaff tonight and Dad will start his Grand Canyon hike on Sun morning. We are going to hike to the top of 12,000 ft Humphries Peak tommorrow that way I`ll get in a good hike before having to be boarded in the kennel while Dad hikes in Grand Canyon.


Grand Canyon Day 7

September 26th 2009 9:04 pm
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Sat Sept 26

Today we summitted Humphries Peak,the highest mountain in Arizona at 12,600 ft. It was a thrilling hike with spectacular views! The Grand Canyon could be seen in the distance as well as several lower peaks rising from the sunlit valley around us. Dad had my sledding harness on and I pulled him nicely along the trail which was a good thing for him as the thin air was making his heart race along and he was a bit short of breath due to the high altitude! We had lunch at the summit and just relaxed up there for about an hour taking in all the spectacular views! Dad didn`t bring his camera cable along so we can`t post any pix till we return home but we did get some nice shots from up here! Tommorrow it is on to the Grand Canyon and I will have to stay in the kennels there while Dad hikes in the canyon. I look forward to a nice 12 mile hike along the rim trail when Dad picks me up after his inner canyon hike!


Grand Canyon Days 8- 12

October 1st 2009 10:25 pm
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Dad sprung me from "jail" today as he just finished up 5 days of hiking in Grand Canyon and picked me up at the kennel where I was boarded for the past 5 days. I was sure glad to see him again and tommorrow we will do a 12 mile rim hike at Grand Canyon as dogs are allowed on the rim trail.

Sun Sept 27

Dad started his Canyon hike at the Hermit trailhead. The hermit trail was hard to follow in spots as it had washed out in spots and he had to pay close attention to the rock cairns to see just where the trail went. He reached the tonto plateau in the inner canyon in late afternoon and set up camp just as evening was coming on. The temp was in the mid 90`s and dad was really tired and a bit dehydrated so he was glad to arrive at Hermit creek and set up camp. The stars were visible in the clear dark sky of the Canyon and we had a wonderful first night!

Mon Sept 28

Dad hiked down to Hermit Rapids today. The trail was a bit hard to follow in spots and he had to search carefully for the rock cairns marking the trail. Just as he arrived at Hermit rapids,a rafting party went by and it was thrilling to watch the rafts shoot the rapids! Dad spent about 2 hours here enjoying the warm sunny beach then he began the hike back up the trail to Hermit creek. At first all went well,the trail was hard to follow in spots,but careful searching would always reveal the rock cairns marking the trail. However at one point,dad took the wrong way and found himself high up above the floor of hermit creek on a narrow trail. A rock shifted under his foot and the next thing he new,his pack was pulling him on a somersault to the valley below. His head hit 2 rocks on the way down and he came to rest on his back with a sharp pain in his left leg. He stayed still for a few minutes but the pain seemed to subside and he freed himself from his pack. He was able to walk,so the leg was only bruised,not broken and now the problem became finding his glasses and hiking poles which had parted company as he logged his "airtime". After much searching,1 pole and the glasses were found. As luck would have it,there was a natural rock pool located nearby and dad enjoyed a swim in its cool water. He then hiked the rest of the trail back up to the tonto trail and onto Monument Creek where he camped for night 2. The moon was out and it lit the canyon walls above his tent. Dad had the campsite all to himself save for 1 other hiker who was all the way on the other end of the campsite and out of view.

Tues Sept 29

Dad hiked about 12 miles today on the tonto trail under a hot sun,the temp was about 95,but the views of the Canyon`s buttes and the colorado river far below were awesome! Dad once again lost the trail near Horn Creek,but the preloaded maps in his GPS soon allowed him to relocate the trail and we hiked past the Indian Gardens campsite and camped out on the east tonto trail under moonlit skies.

Wed Sept 30

Dad hiked down to the Colorado river again today,and saw another rafting party which had pulled ashore at pipe creek beach. He spent some time at this wonderful sunlit beach on the Colorado river then hiked on to Phantom Ranch. Mule "trains" deliver supplies to this collection of cabins located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and a diesel generator supplies electricity. Dad was able to enjoy a cold lemonade here! He then hiked up the Clear Creek trail for about a mile and emerged on a rocky precipice which afforded views of the Colorado river far below. The foot bridges spanning the Colorado river were visible far below as was a rafting party on the beach. Dad camped on the sandy beach right by the C0lorado river for night 4.

Thurs Oct 1

Dad arose about 5 am and got an early start on the 7 mile uphill hike out of Grand Canyon. He arrived at the rim about 12 noon and then proceeded to take the shuttle bus back to his car at the hermit trailhead and then retrieve me at the kennel. I was sure glad to se my dad again! On to that rim hike tommorrow!


Grand Canyon Day 13

October 2nd 2009 9:13 pm
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Today dad gave me a 12 mile hike along the rim trail out to Hermit`s Rest and back. You get a different perspective on the Canyon`s buttes and valleys from high above them on the rim. Dad and I gazed down upon many secluded valleys surrounded by sheer rock walls. Areas such as these are not accessable by trails and landing a chopper in them would probably be too risky. It`s possible that some of these places have never been trodden by man (or dog) now that`s a thought! I posed nicely on the rim for photos whenever Dad asked me to so we should have some nice pix to post when we return home in a few weeks. We`re going on to Lake Havasu AZ tomorrow and it is usually (according to Dad) always sunny and hot there. Dad brought along our raft and tube that we use on the Delaware river in summer and we plan to use them on Lake Havasu. Then on to California.


Grand Canyon Days 14--18

October 7th 2009 7:10 pm
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Sat Oct 3
Sorry that we have had no updates for the past 5 days,but Dad and I were camping out and had no internet access.
On Saturday we left Flagstaff,AZ and drove to Lake Havasu where Dad inflated his raft and tube and we spent a few hours rafting on the lake. Passing jet skis and power boats would stir up waves and we had a thrilling time! We then drove on to California and Dad travelled a stretch of old rt 66 thru the Mojave desert. We took a hike back from rt 66 into the desert and dad spotted the rusted remains of an old car,perhaps from the 40`s or 50`s. Dad noticed an ammo box sitting beneath the car and thought to himself,could that be a geocache? Sure enough it was and thus we found a cache without even intending to search for one! Dad and I camped overnite in the Mojave desert tonite. The moon was out and it was incredibly quiet and peaceful.

Sun Oct 4

We travelled the remaining distance thru the desert this morning,then entered the central valley of California. In the afternoon,we left Interstate 5 and travelled some winding backroads thru rolling green and yellow-brown hills. This was California ranch country and horse and cattle farms abounded. This "California" was the antithesis of LA! Jack London`s California! We were traversing this route to get to the Pinnacles National monument. Dad and I spent a few hours hiking here amidst tall rock spires. It was a beautiful area with trails that went up into the mountains to reach the rock spires. It was similar to the Tors trail near Fairbanks,AK that dad and I hiked last year. We camped at the Pinnacles campground tonite.

Mon Oct 5

Today we drove on to San Francisco and paid a visit to Dogster HQ! Dad and I met Ted,the founder of this WONDERFUL website and I had my photo taken with him and his dog,Moxie. We said hello for our Dogster pals,Flicka and Saphira as well. Dad then walked me across the Golden Gate Bridge and around the Bay area for a bit. We ended the day by driving Ca SR 1 along the pacific coast and dad and I walked along Stinson beach for about 4 miles enjoying the ocean. We camped by the Pacific Ocean at Bodega Bay tonite.

Tues Oct 6

Another sunny and warm day driving SR 1 and enjoying various beaches and overlooks along the way. At one spot near Anchor Bay,we stood atop sheer cliffs that dropped down to what appeared to be a deep green sea far below. Large formations of kelp were drifting in the ocean here! Manchester beach was another wonderful hike and we could see Point Arena lighthouse from the beach. Late in the day,we hiked a beach near Westport where wierdly sculpted rock formations rose from the beach! This was also the case earlier in the day at Goat Rock state beach. We camped near Westport tonite on a high cliff overlooking the Pacific. From our tent door,we could see lights of ships far out at sea! The crashing of waves on the shore far below could be heard throughout the night. It was a super neat campsite! just before arriving at tonight`s camp,we watched a glorious sunset over the ocean.

Wed Oct 7

We left the coast today and drove "Avenue of the Giants" thru Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Dad and I spent a few hours hiking amongst these huge trees the lowest limbs being easily 100 ft in the air! Staying at a much needed motel in Arcata tonite so that Dad can get a shower and update my diary!

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