Adventure Journal

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

A Trip to the Adirondacks 200810-29

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our plan is to leave Canada around 16:00hrs on Wednesday, October 29th and head South towards Rochester, NY and spend the night at the service station in Scottsdale, NY. We got held up and inspected at customs mostly because of the large quantity of supplies, food, and equipment we were bringing over. After a brief search of our gear, we were let go without any problems. We arrived in Scottsdale, NY at 19:28 and relaxed and went to bed early to be prepared for the next day.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

We awoke early and did a quick circle check of the truck and hit the road to get to our first destination, Mount Hope Cemetery, in Rochester, NY.
Arriving around 09:40, we stopped at the florist across from Mt. Hope Cemetery and purchased a rose which I will lay at the gravesite of one of the slave girls, owned by the Rochester Family in the 1800's. She was so loved by the family that she was allowed the "privilege" of being laid to rest in the family plot with a tombstone errily inscribed "We called her Anna".
After driving around the cemeteries large 5km area, meandering through Lords, Lady's, Dames, and soldiers of the Civil war, Spanish American War, and of course 1st and Second World Wars, we arrived at Anna's grave to see someone had previously adorned it with a beautiful purple and yellow lei. We spent some time in the older section of the cemetery and came across a lost Leatherman Wave tool, which had been there for quite some time as it had some rust spots on it. I retrieved it and put it in our pack as it may be a valuable tool for the future.
Before leaving the cemetery, Tori wanted to visit the graves of Captain Thomas BOYD and Sergeant Michael PARKER, two soldiers who were captured, tortured and killed by the Indians in 1779. When doing so, we came across a lady in a gold Impala who said that she was here to remember her daughter who was murdered in 1995 and buried closeby. We felt really bad for the lady as her daughter was murdered.

12:30 We left Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester and hit the I-90 to the I-81 towards Lake Placid, NY. A nice, 6hr drive. Sadly, the temperature dropped from +8C to -5C during the drive towards Lake Placid. Snow soon appeared along the roadways and in the forests that lined the highway.

18:00 After a relaxing and beautiful drive through some breathtaking snow covered vistas, we ended up just outside Lake Placid, at the Adirondack Loj. We took some time to admire the stars, listen to the total silence of the hills and talk to some of the people staying at the lodge (spelled loj). We returned to our truck, unrolled our sleeping bags and prepared for a 2nd night of sleeping in the truck. The outside Temperature was -10C. Thankfully we have cold weather down-filled sleeping bags. I spent some time with my red-lens LED lamp and completed my journal before heading to bed early again, to get an early start on the summit of Mount Marcy on Halloween.

Friday, October 31, 2008
We awoke relatively early at 09:00hrs and checked our gear, suited up and made our way to the base camp of Mt. Marcy.

We made our way to the trailhead and signed the logbook and made our way into the beautiful pine forests covered in snow. It was so quiet here. The backdrop of the towering mountains poking through the trees at every turn was quite an amasing sight.
Sadly an hour or so into the trip, Tori's pack began to trouble her as it was very heavy with all the extra winter gear and somewhat ill fitting. She started to require several rest breaks per 1/2hr and we decided it was best to abort the hike, and try for Mount Marcy during summer with a better fitting, lighter pack.
We returned to the Adirondack Mountain Club Lodge to relax, warm up and decided since the area was very snow covered and we were hardly prepared for continuing in this manner to head back to Canada and cross at Kingston. There were several sights of interest in the Peterborough area we could check out.

Around 13:30 we decided to Head out from the Adirondack Loj and return to Canada

13:40 We observed a moment of silence and reflection as it was exactly 7 days since Lupis died.

17:00 Kingston, Canada. We got a thorough inspection from Canada Customs. Before the inspection the customs agent asked me "Any hunting knives, folding knives or needles in your gear?" I responded "yes" she said "which one?" I responded "all of the above" which led to a few more questions and about ½ of Customs Canada rummaging through our personal items invading our privacy.

18:43 We passed 1,000 driven km on our trip.

19:30 Arrivng at Ferris Provincial Park, we entered through the gates and the park was completely empty. We slipped into Campsite number 2 located at 44 17.20N by 77 47.42W for the evening, set-up camp and relaxed to spend Samhain in a deserted provincial park. It was a beautiful setting, lots of stars and a surprising amount of desolation. We could hear some traffic off in the distance, but in this modern world, it's sadly too common. Tori and I relaxed after setting up the tent for the evening and paid homage to the creator for allowing us to be so desolate and warm this Samhain eve. We were supposed to be at the base of Mt. Marcy tonight, but were still happy as at least we were warm.

Saturday, November 01, 2008
We woke fairly early to the sound of several chipmunks inspecting our campsite, hooting, chirping, and clicking. We had some freeze-dried eggs and bacon at the campsite, packed the camp and decided to head out of Ferris Provincial Park towards Peterborough to visit a place we have read about called Petroglyph Provincial Park. Unfortunately the park was closed in the 2nd week of October for the year when we arrived around 11:45.
We decided at this point to enjoy the sights of the Trent Severn Waterway and the head for home. We ended up picking up a hitchhiker who we took all the way to Oshawa with us as we were headed that way in our big Suburban anyway.
Arriving home around 15:00hrs we had clocked almost 2,000km on our truck and had a great time doing a big loop around Lake Ontario and visited some places we really want to go back to.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

The Life and Times of Lupis

The Life and Times of Lupis.

January 04 – 1995 to October 24 – 2008

It was a fateful day in summer 2004, I was married to a wonderful lady by the name of Charlene, living on York Street in St. Catharines. I took a trip to the local SPCA, and decided to view the dogs which were available for adoption.

Amongst all the dogs, a young dog, about 6 or 7 months old with a beautiful upturned tail, and wolf-life appearance stood out amongst the crowd. He barked and barked his head off. I decided to take a look at him and requested that he be brought to a private room where both my wife and I could have a closer look. With a glint in his brown eyes, he did not stop barking. The agents there advised us that he will be a "barker" if we decide to take him. Already having one brown shephard mix at home, we decided to adopt him, and call him Lupis as he looked like a wolf.

Lupis was very well behaved, although very loud and barkey. Upon examination by a vet, we were informed he was indeed part Wolf. He spent several years with us in our home on York street until 1997 when Charlene and I split up, and I moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Sadly due to some medical complications, Max had to be put down in late 1997.

Lupis enjoyed the farm and spent many hours outside, as well as travelling around with me in my 1986 Jeep CJ-7 camping, hiking, and canoeing in places like Algonquin Park, and Frontenac park.

Once Lupis managed to escape his leather harness when my Jeep was parked outside a store, and got loose in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It was a hot summer day in 1997 and through his exploits managed to burn his feet badly and had to be treated by the vets, wearing socks with ointment for several weeks after the incident.

Being outdoors, even in the cold, harsh winters in Northern Ontario where temperatures routinely reached -40C, was where Lupis was happiest. He had is own backpack fitted just for him as well as special boots called "muttlucks" which kept his feet from freezing and icing. Instead of a collar, Lupis had a "halti" which was similar to a horse halter to protect his neck.

Whether it was in deep winters, or climbing the peaks of Killarney Park Lupis was happiest outside as a trail dog. He spent many, many nights under the stars in his natural environment with me camping in remote wilderness areas in Ontario.

In the year 2000 my wife Tori and I decided to get our transport truck drivers license and start driving long distance for a living. As a love of travel, Lupis was in his prime. He got to do the things he enjoyed the most. Sit in the passenger seat and watch the world go by. He has travelled from east to west, and North to south. Lupis set foot in the Gulf of Mexico, and the deserts of Texas, travelling to almost every state and province in North America. He spent many nights sitting in the front seats of our truck watching the other trucks and dogs at truckstops all around North America.

His last big trip was through Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia in summer 2007 where we managed to go and climb some of the mountains in the Bridgetown Nova Scotia area where we own some land.

As time went on, he was plagued by the ravages of time and had several operations for various things, including removal of large lumps, etc. In early 2008 his hips started troubling him and he started to have difficulty walking. He still participated in gentle hikes and lots of canoe trips around Ontario as it was easy, low-impact work.

On Thursday, October 23rd Lupis was going for a hike in WoodEnd conservation area and had difficulty breathing, and started throwing up, and could not walk. We aborted the hike and he had difficulty breathing throughout the night.

On Friday, October 24th, 2008 we took him to the Martindale Animal Clinic at 08:30hrs where they weighed him in and again he vomited on the scale. They rushed him into the back room to find that part of his throat muscles had spasmed and collapsed. He was unable to survive without a breathing tube, and had fluid on his lungs.

The university of Guelph could have performed an operation on him which would have repaired the muscles in his throat, however he would have to have a tracheotomy and be transported from St. Catharines to Guelph unconscious. The doctors at the university felt that with his age, he may not have survived the operation, and it would simply "buy some time" before other complications caused the inevitable. No amount of money or operations could save him at this point.

On Friday, October 24th, 2008 at 13:40est it was with a heavy heart we decided to have the throat tube removed, and Lupis passed from this life peacefully while being held by myself and Tori.

It happened so fast. One day our happy-go-lucky and long-time companion was as healthy as ever, and within 24hrs he had succumbed to his affliction and passed away in our arms.

Lupis was my friend, loyal companion and confidant for almost 15 years. His memories will be treasured and he will be deeply missed by everyone whose life he touched. He will be cremated and his ashes returned in an urn, to stay with us for the years to come.