Abby vs. The Porcupine. Or, Wellesley Island State Park

After a relaxing boat tour the previous afternoon we decided to get outside and explore a bit so we drove over the first segment of the Thousand Islands Bridge to Wellesley Island for some hiking along the shore. We had a bit of trouble finding the trailhead in the state park, but soon enough we were on our way through deciduous forest along the St. Lawrence river coast on our way to a overlooks of The Narrows.

The short Eel Bay Trail is extremely pretty in sections as it crosses the exposed granite of the Canadian Shield and winds through broad forest, but the nicest parts definitely came as we approached The Narrows. Here we were able to get more views of the emerald water and Eel Bay as well as Murray Isle directly across the channel. Ascending the short but steep Narrows Spur Trail offered us vistas across the St. Lawrence River to Canada and farther down the channel toward the US mainland.

The return walk was fairly unremarkable… until Abby came running back to us with a mouth full of porcupine quills, complete with bloody foam dripping from her lips. Trying desperately to get the quills out, she was continually pawing at her face and attempting to dislodge them by sneezing and snorting as we made our way back to the car. Luckily(?) Tom has witnessed 3 previous porcupine incidents and was fairly confident that we’d be able to extract the 50 or so quills. Acquiring two pair of needle-nosed pliers from the nearest hardware store, we went to work on the easiest offender lodged in her outer gums and lips but poor Abbs was uncharacteristically resistant and was putting up a good fight.

Unfortunately most of the quills were stuck in the roof of her mouth which after a few trials and errors required Tom to bear hug her upside down while I jammed a stick in her jaws and tried to sneak the pliers in to grasp the quills without getting her tongue or gums. All the while Abby was thrashing and scratching like she was possessed; she may only weigh 50 pounds but that dog is pure muscle and unbelievably strong. It took us quite some time but eventually we removed all the quills so that the only evidence of the incident were the multiple scratches running the length of Tom’s arms. I emerged unscathed. Two hours later Abbs was eating supper like nothing happened and Tom’s arms had been doused in hydrogen peroxide but all turned out okay.

Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley Island State Park, New York

Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley Island State Park, New York

Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley Island State Park, New York

Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley Island State Park, New York

Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley Island State Park, New York

Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley Island State Park, New York

Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley Island State Park, New York

Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley Island State Park, New York

Tom and Abby, Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley Island State Park, New York

Tom and Abby, Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley Island State Park, New York

Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley Island State Park, New York

Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley Island State Park, New York

Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley State Park, New York

Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley State Park, New York

The Narrows, Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley Island State Park, New York

The Narrows, Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley Island State Park, New York

Me at The Narrows, Wellesley Island State Park, New York

Me at The Narrows, Wellesley Island State Park, New York

Emerald water in The Narrows, Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley State Park, New York

Emerald water in The Narrows, Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley State Park, New York

The Narrows, Narrows Trail, Wellesley Island State Park, New York

The Narrows, Narrows Trail, Wellesley Island State Park, New York

Me overlooking The Narrows, Wellesley Island State Park, New York

Me overlooking The Narrows, Wellesley Island State Park, New York

The Narrows, Narrows Trail, Wellesley Island State Park, New York

The Narrows, Narrows Trail, Wellesley Island State Park, New York

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