I wanted to wait until the last minute to do our year-end review of 2021.  For some reason, I had this feeling that we were being lulled into a false sense of security.  Hopefully the universe doesn't take this as a challenge.  We didn't get as much travelling in as I would have liked, however, there were no tragedies to befall us.  I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane.

Along Came Lilly

This has got to be the biggest news of the year for my little house of misfits.  I was worried that King's reactivity and aggression would be a problem when I brought her home.  I had a feeling that they would get along eventually, but I had no right to dream that they would bond as quickly as they did.  I have never been so happy to be so wrong before.

Lilly has taken a lot of work as she came to me as a wild eight month-old puppy.  Not aggressive wild but no rules and a TON of pent up energy wild.  Luckily she took to hiking like a pro. This photo was from her first short road trip to Algonquin Provincial Park. 

Finally got a group pic.

Lilly's First Camping Trip

Continuing with the trend of camping everywhere from the year before, all of our trips were spent in the tent.  I had been worried that Lilly would have trouble adjusting to sleeping in the tent.  She is very alert and kind of high-strung.  Every noise gets her attention.  I guess that all the excitement of being in a new place and all the exciting new smells wore out her brain.  She does have some reactivity but it's more out of excitement as opposed to fear like King.  To be honest, my biggest fear was that she was going to try and claw her way out of the tent.  I didn't need to worry.  Of course having King and Leo really helped. 

Our trip took us to Lake Superior Provincial Park for a few days, then another few nights in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.  We were supposed to spend two nights in Killbear Provincial Park on the way home but left early because of torrential rain.

Hiking Pinguisbi Trail in Lake Superior Provincial Park.

A stop on the dog beach at Agawa Bay campground in Lake Superior Provincial Park.

I have mixed feelings about our time at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.  On one hand, I stepped out of my comfort zone and went on a hike with a random stranger who stopped to ask if I'd join her.  Normally I avoid people so I was kind of proud of myself for not letting the stranger danger get in the way of a hike.  On the other hand, I had a woman in the campsite across from us trash talk the dogs to some people that she had just met; while I was in my tent.  I heard it with my own ears.  Rather than let it slide or hurling an expletive-laced rant at her (which was my first instinct), Lilly and I went out and explained a few things to her.  Without curse words.  I know that I shouldn't have let it bother me but I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't extremely hurt.  It bothered me for days.

But I wasn't so hurt that we stopped travelling of course.

Overlooking the Sea Lion in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. They look like they're having a meeting.

What are big brothers for?   

Leo looks so fed up with posing.

Road Trip West 

We didn't get as many trips in as we usually do.  A combination of pandemic lockdowns and restrictions and lousy weather on my days off meant that we spent more time at home instead of roaming the open roads.  We still managed our trip out west.  The fact that we left on King's fourth birthday made it even more special.  

We stopped at some Canadian attractions that I had never visited before, including The Crooked Bush in Saskatchewan and the UFO Landing Pad and Pysanka (Ukrainian Easter egg) in Alberta.  We then spent six whole days in Jasper National Park!  We've never stayed in one place for so long and it was a lot of fun really exploring the park.

This photo makes me laugh: King and Lilly playing while Leo rolls in the sand behind them.

Cuteness overload.

It was an almost perfect picture Lilly (The Crooked Bush).

I love this photo so much.

Not a bad backdrop (Horseshoe Lake).

It wouldn't be one of our trips without something weird happening and getting dragged off a bench by King because he saw a dog he didn't like certainly takes the cake.  Although I think he reset my shoulder in the process so it can't all be bad.  Of course the damage to my pride took longer to sort out.

We Branched Out a Bit

With travelling being restricted, I took the opportunity to produce some slightly different content.  I've been putting more work into our YouTube channel including some instructional videos, such as preparing a first aid kit and what I pack in our camping kitchen kit.  This is still a work in progress and I have some ideas about what we will be doing in the new year.

Have you checked out our YouTube channel?  Click this link to see what we've been up to.

Thank you for joining us on our adventures and I hope that you will accompany us for many more.  Thank you for every kind word, every like, every share, every moment that we share together.  I know that your time is valuable and that you choose to spend it with us means a lot.

While I'm not a religious person, I'd like to share this Irish blessing with you to end the post:  

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

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