Wesley`s wanders

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Pocono Hiking

November 4th 2009 1:48 pm
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Woofs to all!
Dad took me hiking for the day yesterday in Big Pocono State Park near Tannersville,PA. Although the peak fall foliage season is past,there were still lots of colorful leaves to see and for me lots of rich fall smells along the trails. The day was sunny and cool for the most part although some cloudiness at mid day did produce a very small amount of wet snow. It was just a few flakes,nothing to really bark about. Dad had his GPS along and used it to locate a hidden geocache. It was a brisk fall hike and we both had a fun day!


Trip`s end Grand Canyon 2009

October 17th 2009 8:00 am
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Thurs Oct 15

Dad and I travelled thru Missouri today stopping to hike at Katy Trail State Park which was near Booneville. This is an old abandoned stretch of railroad that has been converted into a hiking trail and it parallels the Missouri River. Dad and I hiked 4 miles of the trail and enjoyed views of high rocky cliffs close to 100 ft high on one side and the Missouri River on the other. In one spot,there was a cabin or more correctly cliff dwelling carved into the cliff wall. It was only 1 room in all but it was neat to see! In another place,there was a small spring gushing directly out of a rock. That reminded Dad of a Bible story! We travelled as far as mid-Ohio tonight. The weather had turned rather cloudy and cool. We slept in our car at a rest area so as to get an early start for the final day of the trip.

Fri Oct 16

We arrived home today. The weather in Pennsylvania was cold and rainy. The temp was in the upper 30`s and there was a touch of snow in spots as we traveled the PA Turnpike. What a change after all that glorious sunshine out West! The trip was 8641 miles in all. We had lots of fun. Dad will work on his pictures and post them as he runs them thru his photo program.


Grand Canyon Days 23-25

October 14th 2009 5:50 pm
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Mon Oct 12

Dad walked me early this morning in Kanab,Utah and he found another geocache in the early morning darkness by the light of his headlamp. We went back to the motel for breakfast and after checking out,we drove 5 miles to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. After "bagging" another geocache nearby,Dad and I visited Best Friends and the memorial that he has for his dog angel,Butch,there. Dad placed Smiley`s urn by Butch`s memorial and said a few prayers there. He plans to put another memorial for Smiley next to Butch`s stone.

We traveled thru Utah this afternoon,headed east towards Colorado. A few short hikes in this area revealed an amazing landscape of colored rock spires and narrow canyons. If one were not careful,it would be easy to get lost in the maze of canyons here!

Local Indian Tribes were selling beads and pottery at some overlooks along Interstate 70. Dad purchased a nice cedramic urn and will place it next to Smiley`s urn when we return home. We reached western Colorado late in the afternoon and camped for the night.

Tues Oct 13

Dad and I were awakened in the predawn darkness by the sound of light rain. After leaving camp,the rain intensified as we were driving along Interstate 70. The highway was climbing in altitude as it crossed the Rocky Mts and light snow began at the higher altitudes. It dusted the nearby ground and road for a bit,but the driving was not too dicey at all. Amazingly,sun broke thru the clouds later in the morning and dad and I explored the old silver mining town of Georgetown,CO. There were old buildings here from the 1800`s and even a church with stained glass windows. Dad got some nice pix here. A narrow gauge railroad winds thru the mountains here and dad got some nice shots of the trestle and old railway depot. We would have taken a ride on it,but it was only running on weekends after Labor Day. We did some hiking in the Rocky Mts near Pine,Colorado. There was a scenic mountain lake here with nice trails. The sun was out and it was nearly 70 degrees,quite a change from the morning snow!
Later in the afternoon,Dad and I drove thru the high plains of eastern Colorado. The land is totally flat here with gentle ridges and is covered with grasses. There is nothing to block the wind and it was quite gusty as we did a short hike here near Limon,CO. We camped for the night by sleeping in our car along desolate US 40 right at the Colorado/Kansas border. A dark and peaceful campsite in the wilds of eastern Co/western Kansas. There was a dense fog tonite and the temp hovered around 37 degrees.

Wed Oct 14

Not too eventful a day today as it was mainly a travel day thru Kansas and Missouri. Very foggy in the morning as we traversed western Kansas so no views were had of the dramatic folded landscape here. The fog lifted by afternoon but it remained cloudy and quite cool. We are staying at a motel in Booneville,MO tonite as Dad needed a warm shower after the camping out. We will probably sleep in our car at a rest area tomorrow night so as to make it home on Friday night. Dad likes to have a little bit of rest time before having to return to work. It has been a very nice trip and dad will post final notes upon our return home. We may have some snow in central PA on the way home,amazing for October!


Grand Canyon Days 19-22

October 11th 2009 8:45 pm
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Thurs Oct 8

Dad and I drove thru the fertile farmlands of central California today thanks to our GPS which allowed us to leave the boring interstate and travel the backroads. This was actually a shorter route anyway!Dad gave me a walk thru one of these orchards and we walked past row upon row of small fruit trees,a rather neat experience! We stopped tonite at Donner Lake and dad gave me a walk around the lake on the trail. We found a really huge pine cone here which dad plans to keep as a memorial to my brother,Smiley. We camped tonite on the wooden porch of a cabin belonging to our Dogster friend,Wesley. Thanks to Wesley`s mom for this privalige!

Friday Oct 9

Today was an exciting day exploring the remote Nevada desert. We left Interstate 80 at Fernley,NV and travelled US routes 50,95,and 6. Dad and I love the quiet stillness of the desert and we drove off the road to a spot behind a tall rock formation to have our lunch in the silence of this immense landscape. Later in the afternoon we explored two craters,Lunar Crater and Easy Chair Crater. These are actually 2 craters in the Nevada desert,perhaps caused by ancient meteor impacts. The sun set over the desert landscape as we were hiking back from Easy Chair Crater. We camped tonite in the Nevada desert with brilliant stars overhead. A totally peaceful experience!

Sat Oct 10

Today,Dad and I entered Utah just as the sun was rising over the desert. We stopped at a small cafe on the NV/UT border for a cup of coffee and breakfast for me and dad. As we drove thru Utah this morning, Dad pulled off highway 21 at a historical marker which indicated that an old silver mine had once operated at this site. We drove back a road into the desert and came upon a sign which said NO TRESSPASSING POISON GAS UNSTABLE MINE SHAFTS. Dad decided to explore the area anyway and we actually discovered an open mine shaft and hiked a short way back into it. There were old wooden buildings of the town which once existed here! We then drove on to Kanab,UT where Dad got us a motel room and we visited the North Rim of Grand Canyon in the afternoon and hiked the Uncle Jim trail which gave us some nice views into the depths of the Canyon.

Sun Oct 11

Back to the North Rim of Grand Canyon today where we hiked the Widforss trail out to Widforss Point. Here ,alone on this backcountry trail we could enjoy the immense Canyon views. It was a 10 mile hike out and back and I carried my food and water in my dogpack. We also hiked out to Bright Angel Point for more stunning views. A picture is worth 1000 words as they say and Dad will post pix when he returns home. We will probably camp out again in Colorado tommorrow nite and will post further entries when next we have internet access.


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!


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 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 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 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 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.

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