Wesley`s wanders

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Spring trip

June 13th 2014 5:14 am
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Woofs to all! It has been quite a while since I`ve last barked,the reasons being that Dad and I are on our spring trip. I tried to post an entry before we left but Dogster was having issues---something to do with denial of service attacks---and I could`t access my page. This is our first internet access since starting our trip. We are at dad`s sister`s place in FL. Anyway,we started our trip at the end of May and traveled down to Shenandoah National Park in VA for 9 days of backpacking. Dad had just purchased some new lightweight backpacking gear and this was an excellent opportunity to try it out. My dad hopes to thru hike the Appalachian Trail soon and really needed to shed backpacking weight! The new gear worked quite nicely and we had a nice time in Shenandoah.

Next we traveled down the Blue Ridge Parkway thru southern VA and NC doing some day hikes along the way. The parkway is a scenic 460 mile road along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mts,part of the Appalachian Mt chain. Numerous waterfalls and trails all along the way!

We then made our way over to I 95 and down to the Florida Everglades. Dad put me in a tandem Kayak here and we paddled thru a mangrove tunnel and down a river to Chocaloskee Bay. We also hiked part of the FL trail. It was flooded in spots---the Everglades is a swamp after all. We came around a bend in the trail and a large gator was cooling himself off in the water right on the trail! He curled his tail and hissed at us. Dad uttered some not so nice words and we carefully detoured around him! Scary!

We will be here at dad`s sister`s place for a bit and I will post pix as soon as possible. It depends on when we get access to a new laptop as the old one is broken and the computer that we are using now isn`t ours. Will bark more later!



Pink Coral Sand Dunes and a desert waterfall

May 16th 2014 9:49 am
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Continuing our travels in the awesome state of Utah,we visited Best Friends animal sanctuary in Kanab. There was a really interesting state park nearby---Pink Coral Sand Dunes. It was an expansive area of towering orange colored sand dunes. We spent a day hiking here. It was a thrill to climb to the top of a towering sand dune and walk along its narrow ridge! Climbing the tall dunes was WORK,but once atop them it was easy to walk the ridges. Conversely,it was a thrill to run down the sides of a towering dune! Leaving the Kanab area,we traveled scenic state route 12 thru the Escalante National Monument. This is a region of narrow slot canyons. One trail here led thru a winding narrow canyon to a towering waterfall which plunged into a deep emerald green pool! It was a spectacular sight! Some pix with descriptions follow.

Sand dunes and a desert waterfall


Bryce Canyon---Utah

May 6th 2014 9:19 am
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Continuing our explorations in Utah,we spent a few days hiking at Bryce Canyon National Park. This park in southern Utah is a wonderland of colorful rock spires known as hoodoos. Trails descend steeply from the rim and wind amongst the rock spires. It really is quite lovely here! There was some late October snow but the days were sunny so we had a fun time hiking here. Some pix with descriptions follow.

Bryce Canyon National Park


Utah---Transcontinental RR and Great Salt Lake

May 2nd 2014 9:40 am
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Journeying on into Utah from Idaho,we visited the small town of Promontory by the Great Salt Lake. It was here that the first transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869. The ornate restored locomotives of both the Union Pacific and Central Pacific were on display here. From Promontory,a long gravel road led to the shores of the Great Salt Lake itself where there was an interesting rock sculpture known as the spiral jetty. The whole area was stark in its beauty. Some pix with descriptions follow.

Utah---Transcontinental RR and Great Salt Lake


Spring Apalachian Backpacking Trip

April 18th 2014 2:24 pm
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Woofs to all!
Dad and I just got back from a 5 day backpacking trip on the Appalachian trail. We hiked an area near Harrisburg,PA known as the St Anthony wilderness(apparently the Jesuits had a retreat there in the 1800`s). This spot is one of the largest roadless areas in PA and also contains ruins of old coal mining towns that once thrived here. We were able to hike the Appalachian trail as well as some side trails here. At one point excellent views were had of the Susquehanna river from the Appalachian trail. The first 3 days of the hike were sunny and warm although by day 3 the winds were getting rather gusty in advance of an approaching cold front. The front came thru on day 4 with rain and falling temps. The rain actually ended as light snow on our 4th night and when we exited our tent on morning day 5,there was a light dusting of snow! Some pix with descriptions follow.

Spring Appalachian Trail Hike


Early spring in the Pine Barrens

April 5th 2014 4:11 pm
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After a LONG winter,spring is finally here! We were blessed with some nice weather the first few days of April,so dad decided to take me for a 3 day backpacking trip in the NJ Pine Barrens. The land here is mostly flat which made for rather easy hiking. We explored some old jeep roads,hiked an abandoned rail line thru remote parts of the pines,swam in chilly rivers and found 2 more geocaches. It was a fun trip! Some pix with descriptions follow.

April backpacking in the Pine Barrens


Craters of the Moon

March 27th 2014 3:19 pm
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We entered the lower 48 crossing into Washington state from British Columbia. The end of the day found us in southern Montana. It was fiercely windy and cold as night descended. We found a spot to camp in our car overnite at a ranch gate near the interstate. Some snow overnite made the early morning driving a bit scary as we entered Idaho but the snow soon ended. We were headed for Craters of the Moon national monument near Idaho Falls. This area is a vast lava field with rugged terrain and volcanic craters. We hiked some trails here and even hiked thru an underground lava tube. Some pix with descriptions follow.

Craters of the Moon


Exploring British Columbia

March 19th 2014 9:25 am
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We left the Alaska Highway at Fort St John and traveled the Hudson`s Hope route thru the scenic Peace River country of northern British Columbia. This area has a few interesting dams along the river which we stopped to investigate. Then it was down BC route 97 thru winding mountainous terrain. Pinnacles Provincial Park near Quesnel,BC had a trail that wound up into the mountains to an overlook. The erosion created rock "pinnacles" were visible here and Baker creek thundered thru a deep gorge below. In southern British Columbia,we discovered a scenic ranch with log buildings,hiked down into the Fraser River canyon at Hell`s Gate,and visited with 2 geocaching friends in Vernon. This concluded our travels thru Canada. Next it was on to the lower 48! Some pix with descriptions follow.

Exploring British Columbia


Final activities on the Alaska Highway

March 18th 2014 12:41 pm
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First of all,I want to thank Dogster for our diary pick today! That is always an honor! THANK YOU!

Continuing on with the narrative of our recent Alaska trip,upon leaving Skagway,we crossed back into Canada and drove up the south Klondike highway to Whitehorse. Whitehorse is the capital of Canada`s Yukon Territory and it has an extensive system of hiking trails along the Yukon river. We spent some time exploring these trails. Then we headed on down the Alaska Highway passing thru the small towns of Teslin and Watson Lake. At Teslin,we were the only campers in the campground,it being mid-October. The town of Watson Lake afforded us a nice walk around pretty Wye lake and the always interesting Watson Lake Signpost Forest. People from all over the world erect signs here,my dad has a few of his own here as well! The tradition was started by a homesick soldier in WW 2 who erected a sign indicating the distance to his hometown in Danville,Illinois. There was thick fog on the Alaska Highway as we drove towards the Liard River Hotsprings and we had to be watchful of buffalo on the highway,difficult to spot in the fog! Liard River Hotsprings Provincial Park in northern British Columbia is one of dad`s favourite spots on the Alaska Highway and he spent a few hours soaking in the warm pools here. These were our final moments on the Alaska Highway for this trip as soon after leaving the hotsprings,we exited the road near Ft St John and began our travels along other roads in British Columbia. Some pix with descriptions follow.

Final activities on the Alaska Highway


Haines,Alaska and Skagway

March 16th 2014 10:05 am
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Leaving mainland Alaska,we journeyed down the Alaska Highway to Haines Junction,stopping to do some mountain hiking in Kluane National Park. The views here of the St Elias Mts and Kathleen Lake were superb! We then traveled down the Haines highway to Haines in Alaska`s panhandle. Haines is not connected by road to the Alaska mainland,thus we had to travel thru Canada to reach the small town. In Haines,we saw dolphins in Portage cove,climbed to the summit of Mt Riley for stunning views of the Lynn Canal,and hiked out to Battery point where we saw some crab fishermen hauling in their catch. We took the state ferry from Haines to Skagway. This scenic voyage up the Lynn canal is 13 miles and takes about 1 hour. By road,the same trip would be about 250 miles since there is no direct road connection between the 2 towns. Arriving in Skagway,we walked the deserted streets(tourist season had ended a few weeks before and most shops were closed)and discovered that Skagway has a Sarah Palin shop as well as a pet cemetery! We then left Skagway,driving up the Klondike highway back into Canada`s Yukon Territory. This was our last time in Alaska on this trip. Some pix with descriptions follow.
Haines and Skagway,Alaska

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