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Host, make happy and help at least 25 other TVs in fulfilling their missions (the more the better)

Meet a real bald eagle

See the Yukon river

Cleaning Smaug's house while he's at work (Ehi!?!)

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Travelog for: sammino

Home, Calgary, Canada - 29th April 2009

By: smaug

Ciao, ciao, ciao everybody!

My name is sammino (that means little Sam, it was supposed to be Sam, but I am so little that it became little Sam...Smaugís not famous for his imagination with names  :rolleyes:) and I am a little Bald Eagle, wow I canít believe that I am actually becoming a toyvoyager. I have been asking Smaug to find a website like this for ages , but eventually here I am!
Oooh, where should I start from? Well, I spent the first 8 years of my life hanging from the car rearviewmirror: for a while it was good, I saw a lot of places that way, but I was also spending a lot of time alone in the car and that was boring, I love to be around people. So, when the car was sold I managed to hide myself in Smaugís backpack and since then it has been fun. I travelled a lot around Europe and even managed to see Greenland (my friend Sigfrido the moose joined me in the trip too!!). My only regret is that Smaug always takes pictures of me halfway in the backpack: he says itís because last time I was taking a picture outside of it I took off in the wind and he almost had to scramble down a cliff to rescue me, what an adventure was that!!!
Anyway, now that I heard about toyvoyagers I would like to become a TV myself, but Smaug says that I am too old to travel by myself (I think he just canít bear the idea of letting me go  ;)) so I will become a home toyvoyager. I will have to welcome all our TVs guest and make sure they feel home away from home while they are here (thatís a BIG responsibility!!).  I will also have to train his other TVs while they get ready for their big journey and every now and then I will let you know of my own trips in Smaugís backpack, oooh. I am so excited I canít wait to welcome our first guest and to send out my next update.

Ciao ciao ciao


* Posted Apr 30, 2009, 4:43 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Elbow Valley, Canada - 2nd May 2009

By: smaug

Ciao ciao ciaoooo

Oooh, what a boring few days I had! Smaug was so busy that I could barely see him in the evenings, but today heís taking me to a short hike on the foothills of Rockies, so he will stretch a bit his legs while Iíll stretch my wings! I am so excited. My friend Paula will come with us too...well, she always comes with us. She is a little duck and she is always hanging out of Smaugís rucksack, she could almost be a TV herself but (I canít say this aloud) she just quacks all the time so her travelog would never be as interesting as mine is  ;). Actually her real name is Paulina but I always call here Paula, she doesnít really mind anyway...QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK....or maybe she does  :o.
So, when we go hiking I always take care of the most important issue, supplies! I go to the kitchen and pack all...mmm, oh, maybe weíll just grab a few donuts on the way  :(.

Well, so, off we go without anything to eat: here I am in the car. I always love when we head West towards the mountains because, you never know, I might meet a real relative of mine, oooh!

I think that while Smaugís driving (hopefully he won't get lost if I don't navigate for a few minutes) Iíll have a quick look at the newspaper, maybe thereís been an eagle-sighting....doesnít seem so.

And here we are eventually at the parking lot ready to start the walk: here is the rucksack with Paula and me in my very comfortable pocket, very(cough) very comfortable.......can we please get the binoculars out of here? I feel like a sardine!!

Phew, somehow we are off on the trail. There is plenty of snow still, even if we are already in May, so there are a lot of wildlife footprint.  Sherlock-sammino has to investigate: mmm, this one could belong to an elk, maybe a moose, wow...a size 40 boot would actually fit in there quite nicely too.

That was steep, wow!

Eventually Smaug had to stop and get some rest, so I took the chance for flying on the highest peak that I could find close by and have a look at this new potential hunting territory....mmm barely wide enough for a bald eagle as mighty as I am.

Boy, what a day! After my short flight we went to the car and drove back home. Pity that I didnít see any other eagle, but hopefully it will be next time  :D.

Ciao ciao ciao

* Posted May 4, 2009, 2:00 am Last edited May 4, 2009, 2:22 am by smaug [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Calgary, Canada - 7th May 2009

By: smaug

Ciao ciao ciao,

oooh, this week our second TV came home for the first time (what a trip from the shop where Smaug rescued her!). Her name is Pepita and she was a bit shy at the very beginning but then we had quite a chat and became good friends.


Itís a pity that she arrived and left almost immediately. She is going to BC so we all wished her good luck, I'm sure she will have great fun there.


* Posted May 12, 2009, 5:09 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Lake Minnewanka, Canada - 10th May 2009

By: smaug

Ciao ciao ciao

oooh, today we had a lovely hike, too bad that Smaug forgot me in the backpack side-pocket for most of the day and remembered to take some pictures of me only halfway through the day, but what a place it was! Frozen lake, white mountains, wow  :)...still no wild bald eagles yet.


We have even been assaulted by a psycho-man-eating-grouse: when I realised the Smaugís was in trouble getting rid of her I decided to peep out f the backpack and scare her off and, would you believe it, she didnít care at all  :o...I mean, itís OK not being afraid of humans, but ignoring me!! a bird of prey at the top of the food chain, this is outrageous lack of respect  :stare:!!! I was tempted to make lunch out of her but Smaug didnít let me hurt her so I let him dealing with her. It was so complicated to fend her off and get away that he didnít even managed to take a picture. What a waste, nothing to document the attack of the crazy grouse  :(, oooh

* Posted May 12, 2009, 5:27 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Calgary, Canada - 13th May 2009

By: smaug

Ciao ciao ciao,

Wow, today when Smaug came back from work he found a notice from the post office, so after dinner he went out again without saying where he was going and when he came back he had a little parcel with himÖwe were all very escited as we were expecting Sully Monster, so we gathered to see if it was himÖ


Öand yes!! Here he was  :D


We immediately started chatting, he has so many stories about his travelling to tell us and I canít wait to show him around Calgary!


* Posted May 17, 2009, 8:46 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Lake Minnewanka, Canada - 16th May 2009

By: smaug

Ciao ciao ciao,

Oooh, today we have taken Sully Monster to his first trip out of Calgary. I was afraid that we were never going to leave, Smaug was so lazy today that I had to fly around him all morning urging him to get ready faster  :(. At one point I was fearing that we were going to have a night hike: I enjoy night hikes, but I am an eagle, not an owl! Anyway, in the end we managed to set off and Sully Monster and I enjoyed the trip from a vantage point in the car  :).


While he is our guest Iíll share my pocket with Sully Monster, itís nice to have someone to chat with during a long hike  ;).


Wow, lot of the ice on the lake had melted and there was plenty of open water areas, so exciting. I love to hike close to water bodies because I might meet some other bald eagle  B)Önot today though.


Unfortunately it was very windy, so after taking the pictures we were forced to go back in the pocket as Smaug wouldnít allow us to explore the lake shore by ourselves, he said we might take off and disappear in the water...as if an eagle couldn't deal with a bit of wind  ;).


* Posted May 17, 2009, 10:28 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Calgary, Canada - 21st May 2009

By: smaug

Ciao ciao ciao,
oooh, this week has been interesting because I heard a lot of stories from Sully Monster about his travellling, but also a bit boring as Smaug was coming back very late from work and always carrying lot of paper so he couldnít really take us anywhere.
So today we decided to organize ourselves and watch a movie in DVD. First we had to decide what to watch, very difficult decision. Someone was pushing for ďThe march of the penguinsĒ...


...but I wanted to show to Sully Monster my favourite movie ďWhere Eagles DareĒ, oooh, so I insisted until the others gave up  ;)


Then we divided the remaining tasks, so while Sully Monster and Paula prepared the DVD player I took care of the snacks....mmm, barely enough for a two hours movie and no crisps  :(


Sully Monster and I agreed that someone had to sacrifice himself for the well being of the others and check if the food was still good....hmmm, looks like he likes breadsticks and nutella as much as I do  :)


So here we are comfortably watching the movie....oooh, I love this movie,  hope Sully Monster likes it too  :)


Later on Smaug came home and let us update our travelogs, ehi! Thatís me in the screen, wow  B)


* Posted May 22, 2009, 3:07 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Calgary, Canada - 23rd May 2009

By: smaug

Ciao ciao ciao,
today I went out for another hike. We were supposed to leave early this morning, but Smaug had other things to take care of and so we changed our plans and went to a place a close to Calgary in the afternoon. The forest was so thick that there was hardly a place for a good picture. But when Smaug stopped to get some rest, Sully Monster and I explored a bit around...and we found out that a creek had been blocked with a dam, so I explained to Sully Monster that it must have be the work of some beaver...


...wow, look at that! A corrugated steel pipe, nowadays even beavers are embracing technology to survive  :stare:


The trail was very muddy and sometimes we had to ford a little creek...Iím sure that this one somehow ends up in the Yukon River  :)...Iím also sure that Smaug would disagree with that, but what does he know of where this creek goes?  ;)


We spent a few hours in the forest but when we eventually reached a clearing the view opened up on the landscape and what a view was that! The trees were going on forever!  :o


Smaug took the chance to give us some very exciting lesson, yaaawn, about the difference between foothills and proper mountains. I donít remember the details but Iím sure it was something very interesting.  :p
When we eventually made it back to the car Smaug gave us something to eat... :)


...just to keep us running until we made it home for a well deserved supper  ;)

* Posted May 25, 2009, 4:07 am Last edited May 25, 2009, 5:03 am by smaug [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Calgary, Canada - 24th May 2009

By: smaug

Ciao ciao ciao,
Last night we were so tired that we were asleep very early, so this morning we were up very early too, and to spend some time we decided to watch the Montecarlo F1 GP. It was the first time that Sully Monster saw a GP so he was quite excited. I politely whispered to him that it was all fine to cheer on the Aussie driver on the grid, but with Smaug around, should the Ferrari be as rubbish as they have been the rest of the season, it was advisable to keep some sort of low profile during the race  ;)


During the race I had some time to tell Sully Monster about my visit to Monaco last summer, I wish Smaug had taken some photos of me that day instead of leaving me in the Casino Square car park all day, but wow, what a glamorous car park was that  B)
As usual the GP was incredibly boring...well, apart for the occasional accident  :o


As the race went on it actually became a really, really boring, but I arranged to have some snacks out and that made the rest of the race more interesting  :)


In  the end neither the Ferrari nor the Aussie driver won, but Smaug didnít seem too disappointed.
During the rest of the morning Smaug was busy cleaning the house, so we decided to keep watching television, English football this time, and of course we kept the cookies nearby  ;)


In the afternoon the weather was so nice that Smaug took us out for a walk so we went to take a look at the Saddedome, the main Ice Hockey arena in Calgary. The roof is really shaped as a saddle  :stare:


Smaug started again with his lessons and explained us that here in Calgary people are quite crazy about all things related to cowboys and that every year in July the city hosts the biggest rodeo in the world.

Walking around the dome we met some Canadian geese...but most of them hid when we tried to take a picture of them.


On the way back we also got a glimpse of the Calgary Tower


It was very hot today (well, not that hot, but, considering that a few days ago it was below freezing point, 20-23 degrees seemed very hot) so when we came back home Smaug gave us some ice-cream to help us recovering, yuumm... ;)


* Posted May 25, 2009, 5:14 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Calgary, Canada - 26th May 2009

By: smaug

Ciao ciao ciao,

This week Smaug told us that soon we might see some new guest arriving, with Mr Bananas likely to be the first, so when tonight we saw him coming back home with a padded envelope in his hands we got really excited: was that going to be Mr Bananas  :)?


YES, itís him! Oooh, we all gathered around to welcome him, he must be so tired after such a long trip


We immediately started chatting asking him about his travel and about England (me and most of the other "resident" toys have been in England for many years, so we are always curious about whatís going on there) and got to know each other better....he is very nice, he even brought us some chocolate  ;)


Wow, we went on chatting for a while but then Smaug came around telling us that Mr Bananas needs some rest after his trip to help him getting past the jet-lag and sp he sent us all to bed, oooh

* Posted May 27, 2009, 3:26 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Calgary, Canada - 29th May 2009

By: smaug

Ciao ciao ciao,

What a week! A new TV has arrived today, Purple Haze:D We knew she was going to be here soon so we were very excited. That makes two arrivals in 3 days, and, what a coincidence, she is from UK and she is having her first trip, just like Mr Bananas :). Now she is very tired, so, after a bit of chatting Smaug sent us all to bed...I guess we will keep going with the chatting after he falls asleep  ;)


* Posted May 31, 2009, 6:03 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Moraine Lake, Canada - 30th May 2009

By: smaug

Ciao ciao ciao,

Today we went for a trip into Banff National Park, oooh. We all took a place on the back seat and spent most of the driving time chatting and reading the newspaper.


Our destination was a place called Moraine Lake  :). Smaug explained us that the lake (as many others in this area) is fed by glaciers up in the mountains. These glaciers scrap from the mountain rock a fine mineral silt and damp it into the lake. This silt is called ďrock flourĒ and gives to the water a strange opaque and milky colour. A catch of this glacier activity is that this particular lake is usually fairly dry until the thaw starts up at the higher elevations and today it was still partly frozen and almost empty: its area was less than half of what it usually is in summer so we could not really appreciate its typical colour, oooh. As it was very windy Smaug tried to take some pictures of us while we were ďanchoredĒ inside the backpack.


After exploring a bit the lake shore we tried to follow a trail that was still quite covered with snow. After some time we got a bit uncomfortable as we could hear a lot of thunders but the forest was too thick to see the sky. Feeling a certain unrest in the backpack (no one among us really fancied experiencing a thunderstorm while stuck on an uncomfortable trail 1 hour from the car) Smaug stopped and helped us looking through a gap in the tree branches: the thunders were not actual thunders, but just the noise made by avalanches falling from high up on the surrounding mountains  :o, wow, how exciting  ;). Of course, I can fly away in case of danger but the others are not mighty fathered creatures like me, so the news did not exactly improve the already general extreme lack of comfort until Smaug told us that the trail was very safe, mah.
On the way back we managed to take some pictures of the valley downstream of the lake.


* Posted Jun 4, 2009, 4:44 am Last edited Jun 4, 2009, 4:47 am by smaug [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Calgary, Canada - 6th June 2009

By: smaug

Ciao ciao ciao,

brrr, who said summer is near? We are almost halfway in June and this morning it was snowing here  :stare: It soon became rain, but the rest of the day went on very cold and very rainy. So, since the day was not really good for any outdoor activity, Smaug decided to go to the office to do some work and brought us along  :)
First we had a look out of the window...rain, rain and more rain  :(


So we decided to play a bit on the computer screens...


...but since Smaug actually wanted to do some work he kindly moved us away from the computer and left us exploring the bookshelves.


Letís have a look at this one, the front page looks colourful...


...so, yaaawn, interesting...zzzzz


When we woke up we had another look out of the window, ehi, a bit of sun  :) And you can see downtown Calgary in the background, oooh...of course, rain and clouds were back very quickly.


Wow, Smaug has some nice poster of my homeland  :)


Next week Smaug is going to work from somewhere on Vancouver Island and guess what? We TVs are all going with him. He told us that he is not sure that heíll have much time to take photos but we have hope  ;) I heard there might bald eagles there  :D  I am so excited!

* Posted Jun 8, 2009, 1:37 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Campbell River, Canada - 12th June 2009

By: smaug

Ciao ciao ciao,

as anticipated in the last update, this week we all went with Smaug to Campbell River on Vancouver Island  :), where he was working for a few days. Unfortunately his carry on baggage was filled by the laptop and other work stuff, so we were forced to fly in the checked baggage, how uncomfortable, oooh


After a couple of boring days at the hotel we had a chance to explore the place. First we walked north of the town along the narrow bit of land (called the Tyee Spit) that separates the actual river called Campbell River from the Discovery Passage. The Passage divides Vancouver Island from Quadra Island and is the main route for cruise ships sailing to and from Alaska.

Here we are resting on some driftwood with the Discovery Passage and Quadra Island behind us.


Here I am at the very end of the Spit with the Discovery Passage on my left and Campbell Riverís mouth on my right.


And here are another couple of pictures looking upstream along Campbell River.


Going north a few km, the Passage becomes very narrow and near its narrowest point there used to be an underwater island (called Ripple Rock) that in low tides claimed lot of ships and lives in the past. This navigation hazard was removed in 1958: putting there some warning signs might have been a simple and effective idea, but an even more effective solution was chosen and the whole top of the underwater island was blasted off in one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions in history  :o
On our last evening here we explored the southern bit of the town. As you can see the 50th parallel passes here, how cool  B)


And just south of the 50th parallel there is this big painted rock on the beach just within the high tide line.  It is actually called (you would never think of that!): Big Rock  :stare: It is supposed to be some remnants of the ice age, but one legend has it that it is a boastful grizzly bear turned to stone after not heeding the Great Spirits advice and just failing to complete his attempt to jump from the mainland to Vancouver Island. The tide was high and his back paw touched the water and, as the Great Spirit warned, the bear turned to stone.  By the way, grizzly bears are plentiful along the mainland coastal inlets but none are found on Vancouver Island.


Here we are taking a photo with the southern tip of Quadra Island behind us, while on our way back to the hotel.


And now back to Calgary....again in the checked baggage...where we spent a long long time since the flight was more than 4 hours late, what an adventure  B)

* Posted Jun 13, 2009, 9:34 pm Last edited Jun 13, 2009, 10:05 pm by smaug [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Aylmer Lookout, Canada - 14th June 2009

By: smaug

Ciao ciao ciao,

today we went for a long hike to a place called Aylmer Lookout. This used to be one of the fire lookouts within Banff National Park and , as all the other ones, it has been abandoned a long time ago. But the lookout  location is still one of the best viewpoints in the area, and can be reached via a 12km trail, so we were quite excited, oooh
Most of the trail was in the forest and nothing exciting happened along it, so we didnít take any picture, but once we reached the lookout, wow, it was worth the wait  :)

Here we are enjoying the view over Lake Minnewanka (almost 600m below us).

The lookout is usually visited by many mountain sheep, not today though.
This is us again looking up the valley leading to Aylmer Pass.

While driving back, just after leaving the car park, we spotted a black bear on a tree a few meters from the road side. How exciting, my first bear ďmeetingĒ in Canada, it was huge  :o Unfortunately Smaug didnít stop to take a picture of each of us with the bear in the background, but just slowed down enough to let us enjoy the encounter and to take a picture of the bear (picture that actually came out dark and out of focus  :(, I canít believe it! We urgently need either a new camera or a new photographer.....ehi! what do you mean not coming to the next trip?? I am just worried about the quality of our guestsí travelogs...such a touchy man, always taking constructive criticism as a personal offence). He explained us that stopping so close to a bear might help him in getting used to humans (and that is bad for both bears and humans) or might make him nervous and scared (and that is very bad for humans as you donít really want to be close to a nervous bear  :stare:).

* Posted Jun 17, 2009, 4:03 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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