Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Soggy Adventures

Low: 62°
High: 81°

Conditions: Humid with daily chance of thundershowers. Flooding in the western mountains.

Here we are, embarking upon the start of July, and nary an extended outdoor adventure for the caninaturalist to speak of. An embarrassing oversight, to say the least. And so, worried that Ari's naturalist education might be lagging, we humans spent the weekend trying to rectify this neglect with a trip up into the Great North Woods.
There, we camped at the base of Maine’s highest mountain, Katahdin, with our best little friend Olivia and her parents.
It was a dodgy camping weekend filled with thunderstorms and a surprising amount of bear scat around the campground. These are just two possible reasons why the caninaturalist chose to make herself scarce for most of the weekend, evidently preferring the cave she created under our picnic table to any adventure around our campsite.

In fact, we might not have recognized this dog at all, were it not for our daytime adventures in the woods.
This is Gulf Hagas, often called "The Grand Canyon of Maine." Part of the 100 mile wilderness known to all Appalachian Trail hikers, it's also a great place for a day trip, filled as it is with history as one of the country's oldest ironworks. This ore oven is a vestige of that mostly-forgotten history of the region.

Even a kiln of this stature would have had a hard time staying lit with all the rains this weekend. Still--and undaunted by the weather--we set out on Monday to explore this, one of our favorite northern haunts.

The streams were up considerably from the weekend rain, which means the three of us had a very wet stream crossing early in the hike. Ever the champion, though, the caninaturalist was not deterred by a mere flood-stage stream.

Maybe it's because she knew what kind of natural wonders were awaiting us, like this loaded boulder, a veritable ecosystem onto itself:
Or these loons, caught as a blurry image across the pond (but still noticed by our cunning, blue-eyed dog):
Or this garter snake, taking advantage of a dry moment or two (before being snouted by a equally-curious cunining blue-eyed dog).

All of this, I think, is proof positive that a true caninaturalist attitude can overcome any conditions--so long as there are new friends to meet and trails to explore.


Khyra The Siberian Husky said...

In the words of John Prine, my mom's khrazy as a loon -

And I'm sure Ari soooo relished the ursa skhat!

Again, Mom and I are sooo jealous of your lokhale!!


Kess & Her Mama said...

It's raining right here in KL. I'm having a nice lil' snooze whilst mum types this comment. What are you doing out in the rain??? You're so brave to cross that "raging" river.

Simba said...

Was that water as cold as it looks?

Simba x

Jan's Funny Farm said...

That was quite an adventure. We're glad you didn't come across any bears. We would pass on the snake.

(Jan says thanks for telling us to respect our elders. She certainly is THAT!)

JB's Big World said...

It is great to meet new friends on a hike, but be careful with snakes! That water looked a bit cold. Looks like a wonderful hike with lots to see for a blue-eyed dog!

Booker the Treeing Walker said...

We so love love love reading your blog! What a great camping trip. Bears? Bears! Booker would have loved it ... anything that will go up a tree, even a BIG bear, is in his job description. Although, from what we hear, he is retired. :)

Tracey and Huffle said...

I hope that snake wasn't dangerous! At my place, we consider them all to be potential killers because there are so many poisonous snakes in Australia.

I would like to go on an adventure with Ari some day.

Huffle Mawson, Honorary Husky and Explorer Cat

The Army of Four said...

Wow, what a great adventure!
Play bows,

Maverick the Pirate said...

Harrrr Ari
yer Cap'n posted about you sailing Harrrr.
Cap'n Maverick the Pirate

Lorenza said...

Sounds like a great adventure with lots of creatures there!
Kisses and hugs

powder-puff said...


You always get to go on such amazing adventures! You sure are one lucky pooch!!

Lots and lots of love

Eve said...

And a wonderful time had by all, thanks for the trip!!!

Gus and Louie said...

That looks like a wonderful place. We bet you just ate up all the attention from little Olivia....

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie, Callie

The Daily Echo said...

That kiln looks mighty interesting. Think of all the dog biscuits we could bake in there!

Amici said...

We have seemed to get a rainy summer so far but at least it has been in spurts and not 24/7.

The trip to Katahdin sounds very fun. My human went up there with her family when she was a kid. They loved it.

Steve, Kat, & Wilbur said...

We had to scroll past that snake picture really quick so Mom didn't freak out. So you went camping! Fun. Did you sleep on the cot with your mom? That's what I do.