Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Oh So Close!

Usually when you post that something was "oh so close" it means you missed it but not at the agility trial we went to on 10 Sep. I entered Liam in two events and he got two qualifying scores, his first two Q's.  He was so close in both he never even got a jackpot of treats after his runs because I thought we were either over time or had faulted.

Our first run was a Gamblers, where you do what you want to collect points and then when the buzzer sounds you have to send your dog to do a set series of obstacles, in this case, a jump, a tunnel and another jump (marked 1, 2 and 3 on the course map below).

Starter Gamblers

I started with the jump at the bottom left of the course map. Liam didn't do it, he came around and I didn't bother to try and get him back over it. He did do the teeter and jump mini gamble with me behind the line. We then did the jump in the top left corner, I wanted him to come to me and do the jump just above the tunnel so we could do that mini gamble. Liam decided to do the tunnel instead. I put him over the jump and then sent him back through the tunnel so we did get that mini gamble after all.  I tried to get him out to do the three jumps in the top right corner, I think we did them all once, then the buzzer sounded.  Trying to get him up to do the main gamble was fun as he kept jumping and bouncing around in front of me. When I had him set up for the first jump, he hesitated for quite awhile before taking the jump, the rest of the gamble was easy peasy, Liam loves tunnels. I thought we were over time doing the gamble, you only had 26 seconds. But when the results were posted we had a Q with 0.10 seconds to spare. I thought that was close.

The next run was a Starter Jumpers. Liam has an issue called early take off syndrome, he has a hard time judging where to jump from; he does well at home but stutter steps at new venues. 

Starter Jumpers
In this run, I didn't lead out from jump 1 just in case he decided again not to do the jump. The first part of the course ran nicely for us but I thought we had a refusal at jump 9. I sent him to the tunnel and then did a cross to get in position for the jump. Liam should have been on my left side coming out of the tunnel but he decided when he came out and come over to my right hand side. I turned to get him over jump 9 so I thought we had faulted the jump. We finished the course with Liam doing some stutter stepping over the back line of jumps. He did the tire very nicely and read my cross to go in the tunnel and took the last jump fairly well. I thought we would be over time because of me having to get him set up again for jump nine and the time it took him to do a number of the jumps so again he didn't get a jackpot of treats. Then the results came out and he was the only one in his height class to get a qualifying score but could it have been closer; in this event he had only 0.06 seconds to spare.

Liam and his Q's
Don't worry he did get a jackpot of hot dogs but he had to share with Teddy. I hope with more exposure to different agility venues his jumping will improve, it has improved at home quite a lot.


Sunday, September 18, 2022

Silent Sunday - Celebration and Memorial


National Arts Centre

Parliament Hill Tribute

Eternal Flame

Platinum Jubilee Banners

Platinum Jubilee Retrospective 

Platinum Jubilee Retrospective 

Floral Tributes British High Commission

To Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth of our happy memory, rest in peace. You served us well. 

Friday, September 16, 2022

The Journey Home - the Last Leg

On 10 Aug, we crossed the Canadian border at Sarnia, On; as luck would have it, we were in the line with the most diligent customs agent in the world. I think in our line only one vehicle got through for about 3 to five vehicles in the other lanes. One UHaul truck behind me, pulled out and got into the next line over, he was long gone before I got through the border. There was a shift change just as I got there, the new agent didn't take much time letting me through. 

Our first stop was Point Farms Provincial Park on Lake Huron near Goderich, Ontario.  It was at one time, like the name says a farm, a popular Victorian resort, so more like a health farm or spa where people came to relax.  The camp sites were wide but not very deep, even with my small trailer I had to park the car across the site. They had a very nice dog beach. I just walked down the first evening but took the dogs back the next day to play in the water.

Point Farms Provincial Park

Lake Huron dog beach

The next day I drove into Goderich, which calls itself the most beautiful town in Ontario. But first I stopped to see the grave site of Tiger Dunlop. I had never heard of him before but he seems like he was quite the character.  Goderich was very pretty and the dogs and I walked around town and down by the lake before returning to the campsite to go to the dog beach.

The next day it was quite windy so the waves were a little high. The dogs did enjoy chasing and snapping at the waves. I found it was easier to hold Teddy's leash and let him go out deeper while Liam on the long line stayed in shallower water.

I also caught a beautiful sunset on this second night at Point Farms. Actually I think I missed the best of it; the sun had just dipped below the horizon when I arrived at the lookout but the sound of the waves is also beautiful.

The next day we were off to Sibbald Point Provinical Park. Sibbbald Point is on Lake Simcoe and is only 70 kilometres from Toronto so the park and its facilities were quite crowded. We were camped on a small loop with only 6 or 7 campsites so it didn't seem bad but once you went down to the washrooms, the camp store or beach you noticed how crowded it was. In the afternoon, the parking lots were full and they stopped letting day users in, even the parking lot to the camp store was full as it was also the parking lot for a day use area.  There's a museum onsite called Eildon Hall which was once the home of the family the park is named after. Admission is free so that was nice but you're not allowed to take pictures inside. 

Sibbald Provincial Park

Eildon Hall
Also just outside the park is a church with a nice cemetery on the shores of Lake Simcoe. Stephen Leacock and some other notables are buried here including many of the Sibbald family.

St Georges Church

Lake Simcoe view from the cemetery

Stephen Leacock's grave

Sibbald family plot

Sibbald Point also has a dog beach so Teddy and Liam got to play in the water again.  I waited until the afternoon hoping that it would be a little less crowded; it probably was but I still had to maneuver between crowds of people picnicking to get to the dog beach.  The water was much calmer here so Teddy was easier to handle, with waves he is just so frantic to chase them.

Lake Simcoe

Teddy wading in Lake Simcoe
The next day we would be off to our last stop, Bon Echo Provincial Park. This is a very popular park and we were only able to get one night in the same campsites, staying even two nights would have meant moving campsites so the last stop on the journey would only be for one night. Bon Echo is a great place to canoe or kayak. There is a large rock face called Mazinaw Rock that has pictographs on it. Bon Eco also has a very nice dog beach. It's a small sandy crescent with a large grassy area. Dogs are even allowed to be off leash.

Bon Echo Provincial Park

Bridge to dog beach

Teddy wading at the bridge

Mazinaw Rock

Kayakers coming back.
When we started out the trip seemed like it would last forever but like everything else it had to come to an end. We had bad weather and little mishaps but in ten weeks we never set up or tore down in the rain, we got home in one piece and have many wonderful memories.  I'd call that a great trip! Am I ready to do it again? Well, maybe next year.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

The Journey Home - UP in Michigan

After Lake Gogebic, we travelled to Munising where we stayed at the Pictured Rocks KOA.  We treated Michigan like a destination for our trip so we were in Munising for three nights and would camp at three other locations before crossing the border back into Canada.

The Pictured Rocks National Seashore have been on my Bucket List and I was happy that some parts of it were dog friendly; not as much as I would have liked but certainly enough to fill our time there.  We had sites up near the camp store and which backed onto the playing field. The first night a whole bunch of kids were playing with a volleyball that kept rolling into our campsites. That, of course, got the dogs barking a lot! I took care of that ball after the kids left and there was no more volleyball or soccer while we were there. Don't worry, I just hid the ball behind the fence at the back of the camp store.

Pictured Rocks KOA

Rockett at the KOA

The first night there it looked like it was going to rain so we had dinner at the Dogpatch restaurant and did a little wandering around town. 

The next day I headed off on my own, you need a vehicle pass for the National Seashore so I stopped at the local tourist bureau on my way into town. While there are many places that you can take your dogs there are quite a few trails and beaches where dogs are not allowed. I chose a couple places that weren't too far and we headed off, first to Miners Castle and then to Miners Falls where I lost my car keys on the trail, luckily someone found them. Disaster averted!

Miners Castle

Tour Boat

Miners Falls

Rockett on the trail to Miners Falls
Next it was off to Miners Beach, a dog friendly beach. I expected a rocky beach but no, it was miles of sandy beach. If I hadn't lost so much time with the lost car keys and if I had been better prepared, I might have stayed here longer as both Teddy and Liam loved chasing waves. I tried to go down the beach where it wasn't so packed but you had to cross a channel and Liam was having none of that. He slipped his collar twice when I tried getting him to cross the channel so I didn't push things. I didn't need a lost dog.

Miners Beach

Kayak tour coming into the beach
Next up was Munising Falls, this was an easy trail if you just wanted to see the falls from the base with two overlooks that required you to do stairs which were a bit more challenging especially with two dogs.

Munising Falls

Liam on the trail to the overlook

The walls near the falls trail, all carved by water.
The next day we spent exploring Munising, some art displays, the harbour, a brewery and, on the way back to the KOA, Wagners Falls.

Veterans Memorial

Big Foot

The next time I go to the "U" "P", I'd like to have more time so I can see more of the waterfalls and lighthouses as well as have a day on the beach. I'd also to take a boat tour as many of the rock formations are really only visible from Lake Superior; one of the tour boat companies has kennels where you can leave your dogs. 

Next it was off to Cheboygan State Park, so it was a day of three Great Lakes, we left Lake Superior, drove by Lake Michigan and ended up on Lake Huron. We also crossed the Mackinaw Bridge, I was a bit worried about this but it actually was a pretty easy crossing.

Lake Michigan shores

Mackinaw Bridge from Lake Michigan
We stopped after crossing the bridge and walked around for a little while before heading to the state park.

Mackinaw Bridge from Lake Huron

Cheboygan State Park
Cheboygan State Park is on Duncan Bay on Lake Huron. My camp site backed onto the bay, there wasn't much of a beach there but just down the way was a path to a small beach. Dogs aren't allowed on the actual beach but I took them over there one evening anyway but not into the swimming area.

Cheboygan was a nice little town. We went in to see the lighthouse. It had been moved from it's original location and refurbished. The volunteer lighthouse keepers were from Ohio, they were pretty impressed we were veterans and insisted on taking our picture. We also went to a small park near by because it was named Ottawa Park, to the city beach and range light, toured the county jail, to the Cheboygan Brewing Company and to Hive North, a mead and cider hall. The dogs loved the brewery, not because the patio was fenced and back off of the sidewalk but because there was free popcorn.

Cheboygan Crib Light

Sculpture in Ottawa Park

Ottawa Park bench

Glass mosaic on pavilion pillars

County Jail

Hive North Mead Hall
Next it was on to Hartwick Pines State Park. This was a really nice campground, had we known, we would have stayed  here more than one night and used it as base to see other things in the area. However rather than just heading straight down the highway through central Michigan, we took a longer coastal route, heading inland just at Alpena. This way we were able to stop at another lighthouse and see more of the Lake Huron shoreline. The volunteer lighthouse keepers at 40 Mile Point Lighthouse were also from Ohio. The folks in Ohio must love lighthouses.

Lake Huron

Forty Mile Point Lighthouse

Joseph S Fay shipwreck

Hartwick Pines State Park has a logging museum and wooden chapel so after checking in we headed there before going to our campsites for the evening.

Hartwick Pines State Park, site 41
The last stop in Michigan was Metamora-Hadley State Recreation Area. We were disappointed with our campsites, sloped, all dirt and really no privacy but we did have a good view. We had three nights here and were able to meet up with a fellow blogger from Change Is Hard. Meeting up was so cool as we had been nearby to each other a couple times before and hadn't been able to get together, but you know what we didn't even take our picture together. 

Dawn's cookies

That ends the international portion of the journey. This post has been a long one. I'll finish up with a post of our crossing back into Canada and the return through Ontario.