This past weekend my husband and I took our 11-month-old lab on his first camping/canoeing trip. He’s been both camping and in the canoe once before, but never in one trip and never with the both of us.

We left Friday evening after I got off work and made the short trip downriver to an island that we frequently camp on and set up camp.

These are some of our views from camp Saturday morning as the sun was coming over the hill on the opposite side of the river:

Our campfire area and some super-comfy beach chairs borrowed from my in-laws

The fire ring has managed to get very close to the steep bank going down to the river. Well, actually the ring hasn’t moved, the unusually high water we had this spring took quite a bit out of the bank and even washed a large tree down.

Our tent, complete with air mattress, sheets and REAL pillows, because when we travel by canoe we have space to take all the comforts (We even brought our very large and very heavy cast iron skillet to cook breakfast in.)

The sun on the water

Looking down the bank to the river

I think Ajay was loving the fact that he could jump in the river first-thing in the morning and again whenever he felt like it.

This was what I saw upon emerging from the tent earlier in the morning:

The photo quality is pretty bad, but I was more focused on capturing it before they saw me – or Ajay – and took off, which they did shortly after snapping the photo. This was looking the opposite way on the island as the rest of the pictures to the river bank on the other side.

We saw quite a bit of wildlife on this trip. With these two deer there were three or four more and we saw a few on the river banks as we headed downstream to Emlenton. There were lots of ducks and even more geese with goslings. I saw a black snake while packing up camp, actually I almost stepped on it. Lots of fish, of course, though we never got our lines in the water. We saw a heron, a bird often seen along the Allegheny, and another bird that Matt believes was an osprey. I’ve never seen one before, so I’ll have to take his word for it.

The verdict on Ajays trip: I’d say he has the camping thing down, but he needs some more practice sitting still in the boat!