Posts Tagged ‘Rags’

After dog agility class with Rags in the morning, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather on 10/10/10 and head to Split Rock Reservoir with Scraps and Rags.  I decided to DVR the Giant game, load the car up and head north to Split Rock where we could hopeful get in some colors from the changing foliage.  It was still premature but still very nice.

It was in the 70’s and sunny with a little breeze on the water.  Though it was picture perfect out there it wasn’t quite nice enough for Scraps so after a paddle across the narrow part of the reservoir we decided to head home.  The whole trip was about only one half hour but it was too bad because the photographic potential of the day was really good.  We even saw a few other dogs in boats on the reservoir.  Enjoy these pictures of Scraps on the kayak, it’s probably the last time you’ll see him out on it.

To view a slideshow of the photos taken or to purchase downloads ($0.99/download), prints or other items go to my SmugMug link below.  There are some great pictures of Rags on the water and the beauty of Split Rock on a sunny day in early fall.



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I had the day off from work and it was a sunny hot day so I decided to take Rags along with me a kayak trip.  I didn’t want to do much but get Rags on the water with me, get some bonding time in a hopeful take a few nice pictures and enjoy some peace and tranquility on the river.  I got all of that and no more.

With the summers lack of rain I was expecting the river to be low and it was as low and I have ever seen it.  Getting the through the railroad trestle just south of the Essex County Environmental Center’s launch area off of Eagle Rock Ave. was tricky due to the low water level.  Additionally there was also a fallen tree that was difficult to get through a bit further up the river.  Both of the these obstacles were much easier to deal with on the way back home.

This trip was virtually the same one we took with Scraps and Rags on April 26, 2009, which was Rags first tip on the kayak.   Since I was solo today and since it was hot and sunny outside, Rags was calm and well behaved.  She never did leave the comfortable bow of the boat I set up for her except for the one time she fell into the water.

To view the photos I took from this trip in my Picasa online album go to:

As far as wildlife, we chased a couple of blue heron but only got photos of them flying away from me.  Rags and I saw a few deer on the Morris County side of the river.  One of the deer was depressingly and obviously lame.  Thanks G-d Kathy wasn’t with me on the paddle cause she would have had me calling 911 to help the poor thing.  I also saw a lot of turtles sunning themselves on logs.  Like the blue heron, the turtles are tough to sneak up on and get a good photo of.  Fortunately, Rags the dog wasn’t going anywhere and I got some good shots of her.

In total, we were on the water for about 2 and one half hours.  It was easy and relaxing and we pulled over in the shade about an hour into the paddle and ate a roast beef sub I got from the new Fairchild Bakery and Deli on the way out.    That is about it for now.

Time line according to photos is:

  • 1:30:  First picture in the river
  • 1:43 Approach railroad trestle
  • 1:54 Catch blue heron taking off.
  • 2:10 See lame deer on Morris bank of the river.
  • 2:35 Cross power east-west easement
  • 2:47 Come to turn-around point
  • 3:30 See healthy white tailed deer on Morris riverside
  • 3:36 Approach railroad trestle
  • 3:48 Approaching Essex County Environmental Center
  • 3:49 Last photo on the water
  • 4:10 Pulling out of parking lot.

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DCC_1604It’s the Sunday of Labor Day and even though September 6 is as late as you get for Labor Day weekend, the weather was warm and beautiful. We haven’t been kayaking for about 2 months now but the weather and the timing of the day dictated we get back on the boats with the dogs.  I loaded up the car this morning and we arrive at Splitrock around 11:30am and were in the water right about noon.  Once I check the video tape it will give me a more accurate schedule of the paddle.  Though the parking lot was crowded we were able to squeeze into  a spot, unload, go to the bathroom, and head down hill to the reservoir.

There was a group of around six boats getting into the water with us which was good because this one lady with a lifeguard shirt on helped us enter the boats by holding them steady,  Getting in was no problem.  Within a few minutes Rags plopped in the water wanting to get to Kathy’s boat.  That was okay, it was nice out and the water is clean.  We headed toward the eastern side of the island proceeding counterclockwise.  This was opposite to the way we went the previous time we went to Splitrock.  The water was very calm with just the slightest of breezes and only a few wispy clouds in the sky.  Short of dragon flies we saw no wildlife.

I flew ahead at the beginning always liking to get some speed but I left Kathy in the dust, leaving Scraps to pace back and forth.  When we got to the skinny channel on the eastern side of the island the water turned to glass.  We stuck together for the most part through the channel and then for the next 20 minutes I towed Kathy and the dogs at a pretty good pace.  We went further north than we did in our initial paddle at Splitrock and then we zoomed back to the put-in/take out point just east of the dam.  It felt good to tow them all, ’twas a good work out.

Take-out was less busy than the last time we came here but there was still plenty of activity in the ramp area.  Kathy got out first, not worrying about getting your feet wet makes it a lot easier on these rocky shores.  I followed and then 20 minutes and we were packed and gone.  A nice day on the lake for two and a-half hours in perfect conditions.  Probably the last time we will be warm while paddling this year.  Hopefully we will have some beautiful autumn colors to photography on the colder days ahead.

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DCC_9690We tied the two kayaks and the two dogs to Kathy’s parent’s pontoon boat and headed out to enjoy a beautiful day in July on Lake Wallenpaupack, Poconos, PA.  Kathy’s parents and their friends Paul and Lois were on the boat with us and they were a great help in taking care of the dogs for us for a little bi

We left the dock at about 1:20pm on the Sunday of the 4th of July weekend and we got to the cove where we anchored the pontoon boat at about 1:45.  By about 2:15 I was in the water with Rags and Kathy was getting in the water with Scraps.  Getting in and out from the boat was really easy since you had something above you to hold on to as you lowered and raised yourself out of the kayak.


We headed to the tip of the cove and quickly found a dead end.  Rags fell in for the first and only time as she tried to leave the boat and go onto a rock.   She did a split between the two fo them and fell in.   No big deal.  I pulled her back into the boat and she shock herself dry.


We headed out of the cove, past the pontoon boat and headed into some choppier water.  There were a few wakes that were some fun, but for the most part kayaking on the lake is pretty dull.  I did manage to scare a gaggle of ducks out of the water and to fly 10 feet.  That was about it for wildlife.  Most of the wildlife was comprised of drunken Keystone Rednecks that filled the lake with their big boats.  We dropped the dogs off with the parents around 3:30 and paddled a little longer by ourselves until about 4:00.  It was cool that Kathy was able to get the dogs to stand on the boogie boards in the water.


That’s it.

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DCC_9520It was a beautiful Sunday in late June and we decided to violate our number 1 rule, not to take the dogs on a kayak trip that we have not take ourselves.  We have heard Split Rock Reservoir in Boonton Township was a beautiful place with a dedicated launch area, and the fact that it is a reservoir and not a river meant we could take the risk and break the number one rule.  We did fine and access was all very easy.

According to the sign the parking lot, Splitrock Reservoir is located in the Farny Highlands section of New Jersey.  It’s a 625- acre reservoir and is 1,500 acres of surrounding land owned by Jersey City through Green Acres Program. There is a 13.8-mile hiking trail that loops around the reservoir, so that gives you a perspective on how large the reservoir is.  We probably did about half of the reservoir on the paddle.  Loos like a great place to boat and swim and have fun for a whole day.  There were lots of fishermen but I didn’t get any sense they were catching anything.

Time Line in accordance with the photo log.

  • 11:30 – Arrived and parked at Split Rock Reservoir’s southern shore.
  • 11:50 – Kathy is in the water with Scraps and Rags.
  • 11:55 – I’m in the water taking pictures of Kathy and the dogs.  Kathy soon hands Rags off to me and we are off.
  • 12:15 – We reach the western shore of the reservoir. just north of the dam.
  • 12:32 – We see a cormorant basking in the sunshine.
  • 12:44 – We encounter two snakes basking in the sunshine on some rocks.
  • 1:00 – We reach the island in the middle of the reservoir and start looking for a place to pull out for lunch.
  • 1:28 – we land on the island and enjoy a lunch of honey dew and granola bars.
  • 1:53 – We are back in the boats after lunch.
  • 1:59 – We are heading south on the eastern shore of the reservoir in the narrow channel formed by the island.
  • 2:12 – We see a couple of turtles basking in the sunshine on a log at the southern tip of the island.
  • 3:09 – We tie the two boats together and slowly paddle back to the launch area.  We probably got out of the boats at 3:30
  • 3:56 – We are in the car traveling over the dam that forms the reservoir.
  • 4:30 – We are home and I unload the car, shower, download the photos and begin to
  • 5:15 – Blog of the trip begins.

It was a perfect day, in the low 80’s with low humidity and fluffy clouds int he sky.  Being on an open reservoir a day like this proves to be a bit hot for the dogs.  It’s wasn’t easy finding shade pooped the puppies out during the 3 and one-half hour trip.  Rags, of course, was never too comfortable in my boat when Kathy was close so she eventually fell into the water off of the bow of my kayak early on.  It was cool that she swam for quite a while trying to reach Kathy kayak in front of her.  I let her swim, then she eventually turned back to me and I picker her up and placed her wet body in the boat.  A quick shake and a wet camcorder but we all had fun and I hopefully captured her swimming.  While in Kathy’s boat during the second half of the trip, Rags fell twice into the sink as she and Scraps wrestled for space on Kathy’s boat.  Scraps never fell in and seemed to have a relaxing experience.  Rags would often chill in the cockpit either looking over the edge at the other boat or sleeping on the floor.  I think she was okay with the whole experience.

Getting out of the boat was bedlam as the launch area was packed.  Right as we were getting out the two middle aged mean capsized in their new rowboat.  It happened really quick and the guy in front lost his glasses and looked dazed during the whole thing.  The big fat guy in the back of the boat who caused it to tip responded with the “my bad” as his friend looked as if he ‘d seen a ghost.

We packed up quickly and easily, explored the dam and went home.  There are lots of beautiful homes in this section of Boonton Township.  One house turned all thir rock on their property into cool rock sculpture.  Great stuff.   It was a great paddle and a great day.  Can’t wait till we kayak again.  I’m glad we discovered another great place to kayak with  30 minutes of our house.

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Day after a long kayak trip with the HRCKC we decided to spend Memorial Day Monday with the dogs on the Passaic River.  It was slated to be a beautiful hot day, the car was loaded from yesterday so today would be a breeze right?  In all actuality it was.

We just had a couple of stops to make on the way, but we were on our way, kayaking with a dog once again.  This time not just with Scraps the Dog, but also with Rags.  Was this going to be an adventure?  We have taken them out before with mixed results.  The first trip with the dogs was a bit un-nerving with all that would go on with the dogs going in the tank more often than not.  Our previous trip we brought Scraps alone worked well but it was cold outside.  Today is going to be hot outside and we have our hands full with Rags.

DCC_6095_edited-1It was 11:33 and Kathy was in the car ready to go to Terry’s Pet Depot for some treats for the dogs prior to the trip.  There we found a new good small PFD for Rags that fits her snugly.  In addition, I had been eyeing these $5 booggie boards at the 5-Below store  in that shopping center that I thought would work nicely as platforms for the dogs to hang out on while on the kayaks.  They turned out to be really good and we got two of them.  We were able to wedge these boards under the webbing on the bow of the kayaks and they really worked well.  They covered most of the bow.  In places that weren’t  covered at the very tip we placed bath mats with suction cups.  This also stayed in place with the help of the pressure from the boggie board pressing down upon them.  It’s actually amazing how well it all worked.  The only problem is the slippery surface of the boggie board is not too enticing and cozy for the dogs.  It think a towel on top of it next time will make it real nice for them.  The slippery surface was convenient for cleanup especially when Rags lost her breakfast on it during the trip.  I was able to easily rinse it off with a few splashes from my paddle.

DCC_6098_edited-1We got to the Essex County Environmental Center on Eagle Rock Ave. at 12:45.  This was after Kathy and I stopped in the nearby Dunkin Donuts for a bow-tie, 3 munchkins and a potty break.   Once parked, we took our time unloading.  Kathy was a bit paranoid about being stung by bees at this place like last time, so we tried to do most of the work far from the hives.  A couple with a canoe and a SUV pulled up besides us and brazenly took the boat right down to the water, past the designated driveway.  We got a kick out of that.




It was at 1:20 Kathy was in the water safely with both dogs.  There was no mud thankfully at the bank of the river and I pushed Kathy and the two dogs into the water right into a rock.  That was a bit of an obstacle.  Nevertheless, I got them parallel to the shoreline and they were off floating.  Rags was a quite uneasy at first, wanting to get to me but Kathy held her in nicely while I figured out how to launch myself.  I don’t recall it being too hard to get in the water.  Within a few seconds I paddled up to Kathy and the two dogs and took hold of Rags like a 6-pack of beer and brought her into my boat.  We tuned left and started paddling upstream against the virtually non-existent current.




I have to say, while Rags seems to be the “I don’t care” dog, she never seemed too thrilled with the whole experience.  I didn’t sense that the life vest was bothering her, although she did eventually throw up and maybe the compression on her diaphram by the life vest had something to do with it.  I think not, but you don’t know.  Maybe picking her up like a 6-pack upset her stomach.



For the first 10 minutes or so she was OK, I was able to get her to sit on the boogie board but she wandered to the tip, always wanting to be where Scraps and Kathy were.  When I was behind them she would want to be on the tip of the bow, when I was ahead, she would work her way to the stern of the kayak and hang ot there.  At least the long red lead I have attached to her life vest never got tangled on this trip as she walked around like the first time she was with us.  Eventually she fell into the soup.  I quickly plucked her out of the water and she never went in again.  While she was in the water she was wimpering until I pulled her out, so she wasn’t swimming in glee.  After that experience she was much less active on the boat.


It was hot out there, probably 90 degrees and no clouds.  We tried to paddle under the shade of tree when possible but it was still hot.  Rags pooped out and calmed quite a bit for the second half of the trip.  She at one point vomitted on the bow of the boat.  Maybe it was fom the heat? On the homeward leg of the journey she would rest inside the boat either lying on the floor in the shade under the bow or sitting on the floor with her head resting on my thigh.  It was pretty comfortable for me.  Sometimes she would pop back on the top of the boat. Scraps usually just sat quietly and majestically on top of Kathy’s boat.



While I was comfortable with the concept of having the camcorder and tripod in my life vest to record the trip even if Rags got overly wet, I wasn’t as comfortable with my Nikon.   I video tapes for the most part from the beginning but it wasn’t until 2:10 that I was comfortable enough to unpack my Nikon and take pictures.  This is after Rags jumped in and calmed down considerably.  For the rest of the trip I had good access to get the Nikon out and take pictures.  With Rags sitting on the bow facing me, it gave me a great opportunity to get a few nice pictures.

At 2:33 I spotted some deer off in the woods in East Hanover.  They quickly ran off.  Kathy never saw them because she was ahead of me when I spotted them and they were there and gone in an instant.  Not so fast that I couldn’t capture them a bit on camera.


Rags looking North at the Old Mt. Pleasant Ave. Bridge with the Route 10 Bridge just beyond.

Rags looking North at the Old Mt. Pleasant Ave. Bridge with the Route 10 Bridge just beyond.

Rags looking north at the Route 10 Bridge

Rags looking north at the Route 10 Bridge

At 2:45 we spot the Route 10 bridge after being on the river for an one-hour and twenty-five minutes.  It was around this time we also spotted a bunch of small ducklings struggling to get away from us.  This stopped Kathy in her tracks but I managed to get by the blockade made of guilt and feathers and got under the Mount Pleasant set of Bridges (Route 10 and Old Mount Pleasant Road) at 3:00.  This really woke Rags up as she kept barking and barking at the ducks.  This was Rags last horah, as she for the most part concked out afterwards.  Kathy never made it past the bridges and I finally turned around and went back toward home at 3:17.  It wasn’t until 3:28 that I caught up with Kathy and Scraps again.  By 3:45 Rags was getting reaaly tired and was seaking shelter inside the bow of the kayak.



At 4:00 we spot the abandoned railroad bridge that we had so much troubled getting through on the way out with its three constricted channels.  Kathy gets through them at 4:05.  We spot the major electrical substation located off Eisenhower Parkway in Livingston at 4:19 and we know we are close to home.  At 4:15 we spot the Eagle Rock Avenue Bridge and it’s time to put the river shoes back on, pack up and prepared for grounding.  I put my Nikon camera away at 4:19 but I wanted to keep the video rolling to capture my landing.  As I was getting out of my boat the video camera slipped out of my life  vest and into the mud at the bank of the river.  I quickly scooped it up and apprently got lucky this time.  Not damage.  I was on the shore by 4:22.




I think we were home by 5:10 or so, just in time to feed a couple of tired dogs dinner.  I unloaded the kayaks in the basement in no time and another double header of kayaking is in the book (blog).  Time to eat a little Carmel Haifa, chicken kabob and kibbet and think about the next adventure.




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dcc_3759It’s been a great weekend. We kayaked the Passaic yesterday, went to the The Dead show at the Garden on Saturday night and we planned to attempt taking to dogs with us today, Sunday, back at the same peaceful segment of the Passaic we departed from yesterday.  This was going to be a challenge and a mystery, how will the dogs like and handle the boats and the water?  How will we enter the water?  There were lots of questions to be answered but water fun with the dogs was the reason we got the kayaks so it was time to try.


We had the boats mounted on Kathy’s Matrix from yesterday’s paddle so getting to this excursion with the dogs should be easy.  We were taking one car so that also made it easier.  We stopped at Walmart on the way out and I picked up two bath mats and one spongy kitchen floor mat that we cut in half and put under the elastic on the front of each of the two kayaks.  This gave the dogs something they could grip on.  I also found a 3 pack of dry-sacks for $10.  I used these for the the cameras and the phones in lieu of the zip-locks I had previously been using.  I still put these into the blue soft ice-cooler.  I was leery about bring the cameras with the dogs not knowing what to expect.  On the other hand, I didn’t wan to to miss the first trip.  I decided to take the chance.  In any case, I was psyched to have these additional dry-sacks.


We got to the Essex County Environemental Center probably at 1:15pm and Kathy finally got pushed in with Scraps at 1:45.  It was like 90 outside and sunny so it was getting hot doing all this kayak prep.  Having the dogs with us didn’t make things easier.  What did make things easier was the fact that no one was at the place.  We had the who center to ourselves.

With Rags on the 30 foot red lead I pushed Kathy and Scraps off into the Passaic.  Our plan was to paddle up stream, take it easy and see what it is like.  I snapped a few pictures of Kathy and Scraps in the river and dry-sacked all the cameras and prepared my boat for launch.  

Rags had already been playing around in the water and mud.  As I moved my kayak up to the water she jumped into it.  I then got in and she jumped on my lap and I was immediately wet and muddy.  I was nervous about the safety of the cameras but with a wet Rags in my lap I easily scooted out into the river.  

Check out the short video I took during this trip for the few seconds I was confident rnought to grab something electronics

Rags was immediately apprehensive as she wanted to be with scraps and Kathy.  She got to the bow of the boat and slipped in pretty quickly.  Fortunately I was easily able to fish her out with the lean and pick her out of the water lie a six pack.  Nevertheless, when I did fish her out she was accompanied by a lot of water.

She fell in once or twice more, took a little swim and I was getting better at fishing her out and placing her on the bow instead of inside the boat.  This saved me a bit more water being stuck in my boat.  At one point early on Kathy and I got close and Rags jumped into Kathy’s boat and Scraps tried to come into mine.  At that point I tried to separate the two boats but it was a bad time.  It was while Scraps was straddling the two boats, so he took the lunge into the Passaic.  After that he seemed to cool down and relax a bit.

Rags never relaxed and always seemed like she wanted to be somewhere else. She went around me and would hang out on the stern, inside outside, I got her to sit for a few seconds on the bow, she would balance herself on the tip of the bow, fall in often and alway being a wet mess.  Some how I got the nerve to break out the video camera a few times to capture some moments.  


We went up the river up to the old railroad trestle and turned around and came back. We were out for about and hour and I have to say for the most part it was a success.  More so for Scraps than Rags.  If we had only one Dog things would be much, much easier.  Live and learn.  We have a whole summer ahead of us.

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