Can you believe it’s been three weeks since my last post!? I have to say, it’s not because there’s been nothing to write about. Storm has a whole summer to report, Hank became a house cat for a stretch before petitioning the committee to send him back to the barn, and I have been a travelling pooch. Since the original name and intent of this blog was Chico’s and Logan’s Great Adventures, I get to go first.
When I last wrote, I was fresh from a boys’ week at the ranch. By the following Fur-iday, I was on the road with T and Nollind with trailer in tow, bound for the Blueberry Bluegrass
Festival Jam at Stony Plain. It’s typically a weekend of trailer time for me with the peeps off listening to music, but this year, because of Covid, it was different. It wasn’t a festival, but what they call a jam (not the kind you put on your toast). T and Nollind went off to workshops and stuff, but they played music right in camp and even took me along to hear a concert one evening. Usually they don’t allow dogs in the concert area, so I have to say, it was my favourite Blueberry event to date.
After two days of music, we were westbound to the Rockies, overnighting in Hinton before reaching our destination, a favourite of T’s and the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies, Mount Robson. With all the forest fire smoke, it wasn’t very impressive when we arrived, but after a whopper of a thunderstorm overnight, the mountain appeared in all its glory. The highlight of my stay there was a swim in the Robson River after three hot days and no swimming holes.
After just one night, we continued west through Prince George where we did some laundry and I had a bath. I won’t get into the details of what inspired this dog wash and laundry trip, but let’s just say some new holistic supplements were more potent than T anticipated.
With me and the bedding smelling fresh as a daisy, we headed north on the Hart Highway to a provincial park called Crooked River. Wow … what a place. Forested trails, sandy beaches, and the warm, shallow waters of Bear Lake. This is another T favourite, a place she spent many happy camping trips as a child. I wasn’t the only one to go swimming.
We stayed two nights at Bear Lake before venturing yet further north via another childhood favourite spot for T, Bijoux Falls. A quick lunch stop, a dip in the creek, and we were off again, landing near Hudson’s Hope at Dinosaur Lake Campground. Much to my surprise (but apparently not T’s), there was family camped there, two of T’s brothers and a sister-in-law.
The next morning, we explored the trail to the beach that ran right past our camp, and came across these odd droppings. Looked a little like coyote but much too big. I had a sniff. Not horse—wrong contents. Definitely not another dog. Hmm. And then the peeps started talking loudly and whistling. Turns out the mysterious piles were made by a bear, one of them recently. And it wasn’t the last we’d see of the resident Ursus Americanus.
It also wasn’t the last we’d see of T’s family. They just kept coming. Some with trailers, some with tents, and all setting up camp next to us. What fun! In the end, there were four of T’s siblings and her sister-in-law, plus three cousins and their significant others, as well as some friends of T’s oldest brother. Sadly, I was the only dog, but it garnered me quite a lot of attention and all the treats.
Just when the tents were set up and everyone settled, the bear showed up. He didn’t seem too concerned with us, just eating berries right behind our trailer, but it chased the tent dwellers to their vehicles for the two nights and put a damper on our wanderings. You know that saying about bears being more afraid of us than we are of them? Well, this guy hadn’t heard it. There were more than a dozen people in camp when he wandered by.
Around suppertime on Friday, all seventeen people piled into cars and roared off to the Peace Valley Folk Festival to watch two of T’s brothers perform. I so wanted to go along, but the event was not dog friendly and I had to stay back in the trailer. :o( If they’d left me outside I could have visited with the bear. I’m guessing he wasn’t welcome at the festival either.
The next morning dawned cool, windy, and rainy. To this fur-covered hound, I have to say, it felt awesome. After nearly two months of hot weather, I was finally comfortable. The humans, being a generally more delicate species than we dogs, were less so. But I had to hand it to them that day. They adapted to the situation and probably had more fun than if they’d spent the day at the folk festival. The gathering of family turned into its own miniature music festival under tarps and awnings with propane firepits in the middle. Even T’s mom was in attendance, singing songs around the campfire. I didn’t spend the whole day with the group (I’m an old dog and I like my comforts), but I could hear the singing and laughter from our trailer next door.
When we left Dinosaur Lake, after ten days on the road, I assumed we were headed home. But we weren’t finished with the family visit just yet, parking at G-Ma’s house overnight where there was more food, fun, and music to be had. I didn’t want to leave. They had to coax me to the truck. And I think T must have felt the same because she had tears in her eyes as we hit the Alaska Highway.
Our last stop, after an overnight at Nakota Crossing at Glenevis, was one long overdue. You might remember that my friend David, and Nollind’s dad, died in November of 2019. Well, with all the pandemic restrictions and fuss, the family hadn’t been able to say a final goodbye. So that’s how we wrapped up our road trip, with the spreading of David’s ashes near Devon. I think T is still recovering from those last two emotional days of the trip.
Me, well, I’m relishing the multiple beds of home and resting up for the next adventure. I’ll be passing the keyboard to Hank or Storm next week, and likely the one following, so enjoy some tales from the farm!