Monday, September 15, 2014

Hudson's Cancer Is Back

Hudson's cancer has returned. Two-fold it seems.  Last week two tumors were taken off him; on the base of his tail the other on his ear.  Path lab report indicates that the former is a neurofibrosarcoma, the latter a grade 2 mast cell.  

And while it's preliminary pending further testing and consultation with a few oncologists contingencies must be made.  What has made it even more difficult for me, other than being thousands of miles away from him, the lack of cell service on both my AT&T & verizon phone.  The path results were texted to me and I had to use the landline of a grocer in elk CA to learn its scope.  

The walk may be postponed once we reach San Francisco.  As we're within 130 miles of the Bay Area and planning a few events there, we're committed to them.  After that, what we learn this week will make a determination.  

What's particularly disconcerting to me is that there was a 95% probability of no recurrence or metastasis within two years.  It's been less than one.  

We've been tried and tested the entire time on this journey in ways I didn't foresee, perhaps even unforeseeable.  But what matters now is Hudson.  Indy and I are back on the road tomorrow unsure & uncertain what comes next. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Half-time

Just like the Super Bowl half time is all about the sponsors so I wanted to take a few to thank all of ours who have help make this journey possible.

TAGG the GPS Pet Tracker

TAGG has saved our fuzzybutts on more than one occasion.  The best example of this was when I walked highway 20 from Corvallis to Newport OR solo.  I took one of the trackers in case of an emergency and on the very first day I ran into a bit of a crisis. We had made water drops along the 50 mile stretch and my supply was down to less than half a liter.  As I neared the first drop I saw a man in a John Deere mower cutting the grass on the highway shoulder.

I sprinted up to him and asked if he found 2 jugs of water in the area he recently cut and he said he had and that one of them may have escaped the blade of the mower.  It didn't.  The temp in wilamette valley was already soaring up to the 90s and the next drop was down the road another 10 miles so i was in a bit of a pickle.



Ginger was able to tag me and then find a nearby store using Yelp.  TAGG - not only great for your dog but Yer Big Dog too!  I've gotten to know the trackers intimately and the folks behind them and I can't say enough about them. The fuzzybutts will be wearing them even after this walk.  

 When you purchase the trackers at their website and sign up for the service, enter the promo code 2Dogs they're generously offering a 10% discount and donate $25 to the Puppy Up Foundation. Also you can track Indy and me as we walk the west coast at www.2dogsagainstcancer.com It's been a little confusing because we're staying with more host families and sometimes we're tagged after we've been picked up and off the road.

We'd also like to thank our other walk sponsors: Hollywood Feed for providing the dog food for the walk.   P2 Collars and Toki Poki for the awesome corded collars and leashes.  Everlasting Memories for the beautiful infinity ring that holds Murphy's ashes. Orijen for providing the 6 Fish food for Hudson.


Rudy Green's

Karla, proprietor of Rudy Greens and chef extraordinaire to the dogs, just sent this hilarious video a few weeks back and it stars Teh-De a pit bull we met on our first walk and cancer survivor.  Check it out!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Cffel7ly3Gg

Also, Karla has been nominated for Martha Stewarts American Made awards - please share on Facebook and Twitter http://www.marthastewart.com/americanmade/nominee/88599/food/rudy-green-incrudy-greens

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Scenes from the roadside 3 or 4?




Monterey Cypress grove. Westport CA. 


The 3rd and last time we cross the coastal mountain range


Pitching a tent on a promontory.  Westport CA



One of the great mysteries of this walk. Why poop on the white stripe?  Kid you not - all of the scat on hwy 1 is on or near it



Chipalope... Unsurprisingly Found only in the pot country of Humbolt



On the road there is no clean. Only degrees of dirty. Washing my shirt in a hotel sink



Meet Dave. He lost his Indy to cancer & every year takes Indy's favorite toy - a gorilla - on hikes in the redwood forest. Meeting ppl like him makes it all worthwhile



Josie's a beautie. She has cushings from a tumor on her pituitary gland



Autumn in August?  Never seen the leaves change so early in all our travels. Ferndale CA



Indy getting a little ass in Fortuna CA


Now that's irony


Etched in the sands of time


That's right Ella - you tell em


The glorious Trinidad beach... Breathtaking


Miss my Hudson but we must walk on!


Scenic route. Trinidad CA


Hey it gets lonely on the road... Indy's all about the girls from Cali 


An elk bull.  I was just 20 feet away when I took this pic. Powerful 


The south slope of the 101 mountain from crescent city was so dangerous that we walked on this narrow retaining wall. Frikkin crazy


Curious sea creatures that wash ashore on the west coast.  Like a mini Portuguese man o war found on the Gulf of Mexico 


Hudson's last days with us on the west coast


Chef big dog, tho otherwise occupied, is still in the house! Tex mex cuban sammich w chorizo spicy pickle roasted peppers bacon marinated pork chops and a chipotle mustard sauce



We enjoys having our friend and nutmegger Valerie join us on the road for a few days.  


The drive... Err... walk thru tree



Klamath river



Jimmy at the log house.  He walked from garberville to fort Bragg with me

Halfway Home

Yesterday I completed a 145 mile 13 consecutive day stretch from mckinleyville to fort bragg and man I'm beat and taking the day off to rest and relax on the beach. And catch up on the story telling part of this adventure.  So so much has happened and we've met lots of cool coastal kind of folks that this post won't even come close to recounting them all.  

NoCal

As I posted in a previous blog I had a tough couple of weeks after Hudson got off the road.  Unsurprisingly I took it hard and a dark, deep vein of sadness set in.  But he made it to Memphis safely and is now with ginger courtesy of our good friend Hope - thank you ma'am!  

Indeed, the stretch from crescent city to Klamath was exceedingly tough and it took all my focus and energy but it was therapeutic and though Hudson's absence is felt with every step, Indy and I have a mission to complete.

The Rhythm Of The Road

The first half of this journey has been a series of stops and starts while we were trying to determine the problem with Hudson's pads.  Now that's been resolved Indiana and I have been able to grind out the miles. We walked 9 consecutive days together to garberville and it's inspiring to see the grown up puppy he's become.  Truly a champion.

God it feels good to finally reach the rhythm.  

Amongst Giants

Expounding my experiences in the famous humbolt redwood forest would require pages and pages at a minimum.

The avenue of giants, the main road through the park, spans 32 miles of old growth forest with sequoia redwoods reaching over 350 feet in height and 50 feet in circumference and dating back to the Age of the Vikings. 


Aww that's a small moosey

On the One

Once we arrived at the end of the avenue in garberville a nice couple we met in eureka picked up lil nanner for the rest of the week while I continued on.  The downside of the forest was that it pushed us inland again into the Eel River valley where temps get up to the 90s and the sun burns off the fog by 9am and is punishing.

So my goal was to get down to leggett ca, pick up 1, cross the mountains for the last time and get back to the coast where weather conditions are much more amenable for Indiana. 

Only in reflection will I admit that it was bittersweet leaving the 101 after we'd shed so much blood sweet and tears on it but da-yamn it was time to get off it.  



YBDs Notes 1: Adjusted Schedule.  We're behind a few weeks and trying to make them up now but our target date to San Diego is the second week of December.  From fort bragg I estimate 160 miles to the Bay Area then 500 more to the border.  

YBDs Notes 2: companions on the road.  We've had an incredible couple of weeks made even more so by people who have walked with us.  From eureka to scotia we had someone with us.  And our good friend Valerie from CT walked with us the previous week.  And then jimmy from Fortuna walked with me on the brutal stretch from garberville to fort Bragg - thanks man. Helluva time & thanks for the native knowledge 

YBDs Notes 3: #%?@!!!! Cell phones.  From Waldport OR my ATT iPhone has been very little more than just dead weight.  This is why I can't post more pics more often and why I have people helping me with social media.  

Folks I met in Oregon kept telling me that cell phone reception wouldn't be a problem in Northern California.  We go days and days without reception and it's tiring disappointing and downright lonesome.  But it's inspired a whole comedy routine I've recorded. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

How do you like them apples?

Walking a higher road

I've spent a few days walking, talking and scouting walk routes with Luke. Wow.

Day 1- "Danger Luke Robinson".
These roads are just downright scary. The route 101 highway from Oreck to Patricks Point was a part of the route I walked with Luke. The hills, the narrow "shoulders"- more like fingers in my opinion, are just dangerous. Combine the hairpin curves with speeding traffic, distracted and well, rude drivers that won't move over create a hazardous scenario for our fuzzybutt friend and his Papi.  "zigging and zagging" along the road, yep, I get that now.  Luke is cautious and protective of his kids and from what I've witnessed, I think he would risk his own life to save theirs.

Day 2-The choir
As we walked from Patricks Point state park to Trinidad, we were serenaded by the beautiful sound of sea lions in the fog. We were off of route 101 and walked along the coast.  I felt fortunate to hear the sea lions singing, but sad that I couldn't see them through the thick, dense fog. Oh and yes, more hills, up and down and back up and then down.

The Digs
I actually enjoy camping out as it reminds me of my youth, when my family would go on camping adventures in our 1972 Chevy station wagon, loaded up with gear!  Those were the days.

I have mastered setting up and breaking down my tent in record time. (Actually, I think I'm quicker at it than Luke). What I bring to the campsite- lights, fun and purposeful battery operated mini flower multi colored string lights. They seem to be the funnest thing our fellow campers have seen.

My sleeping bag, pillow (yes, I brought my pillow from home), sleeping pad- not nearly thick enough as I can feel every stone, root and etc through it. The downside-the dirt factor.

Trust your instinct.
Believe what you see is real. Example, if you think you have just seen a bear on the other side of the campsite across from you, then trust that you have.
If your gut tells you to go right vs left, listen to no one. Trust your gut. And yes, I did spot a young black bear and when we walked down to check him out, we noticed his sibling/friend with him. Climbing trees for apples and not caring about us as we marveled at the peaceful coexistence.  2 black bears, 2 young bucks, 2 fawns and a few doe. The bucks, standing stoic as they protected the fawn and doe, and yes they were more cautious of us, than the black bears.

Believe in yourself.
You CAN do what you put your mind to. Walk at your own pace.  Focus on you and your goals and let the naysayers kiss your keester when you finish.

Note: the days I cranked out some miles walking with Luke were for my bestie, Kate, who has terminal cancer. Diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago, which spread to her bones in her spine and skull. She's in pain. As I walked with Luke and Indy, I thought of Kate. I dismissed the aches and pains felt while walking and post walk because, well Kate has aches and pains on a daily basis. I know Kate will continue her fight and stay strong. I am hoping next year, we can do our cross country adventure and kick up some dust along the way. Just like old days.  

Papa K.  This walk and trip has also inspired me to plan a cross country trip with Papa K.  He is living vicariously through me on this trek and wants to see the sights before his days are up. I will be part of that wish for Papa K.  Perhaps he joins Kate and I!  It would be a blast  for us driving across country in an RV, at our own pace, visiting anywhere we want. Papa K- wants Vegas to be part of our trip. And I can't wait to see him taking in the sights of Sin City, the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam. 2015 will be a defining year. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

13 YEAR OLD’S CLASS PROJECT FIGHTS CANCER IN DOGS AND PEOPLE

August 13, 2014
Franklin, MASS –
“Her name was Magic,” says 13-year-old Kimiya Kim.
“We were best friends. It was devastating when I lost her to cancer. One day she was active and playing around with me. The next day, she wouldn’t eat. She didn’t want to walk. We took her to the doctor’s office, and she never made it home.”
Kimiya’s beloved 8-year-old Bichon Frise succumbed to kidney tumors almost overnight—a senseless loss that affected Kimiya deeply.
Canine adenosarcoma is a rare, but incredibly aggressive form of cancer that affects a small percentage of dogs over the age of 8. The tumors grow rapidly, causing weight loss, loss of appetite, and lethargy. Diagnoses of all types of canine cancer, however, are growing at an alarming rate: statistically, fifty percent of older dogs now face the world’s deadliest disease.
In November 2013, Kimiya’s 7th grade teacher challenged her class to pick individual projects as part of a class effort to enhance community service. “Some people did a recycling project. Some made cards and went and visited the children’s hospital. No one had ever done a project related to animal cancer, so when I presented my idea, the class was very excited.”

Kimiya’s search for a project led her to the place most people go when faced with a helpless situation: the Internet.  “I just became determined to help other people who have been affected by cancer, and who have had pets they’ve lost to cancer. My uncle was diagnosed with lung cancer, and he fought it–he’s in remission. I found the Puppy Up Foundation website and knew it was right for me.”
The Puppy Up Foundation funds a unique area of cancer research that has recently delivered critical information in the fight against cancer: comparative oncology. This specialized and woefully overlooked area of cancer research humanely studies the disease in dogs and how it is similar to cancer in humans. Since dogs get the same cancers as people, information about treatments and methods of prevention is applicable to both species.
In other words, a cure for dog cancer almost certainly ensures a cure for people cancer. Kimiya spent time reading the articles at Puppyup.org, and ultimately decided to host aPuppy Up fundraising walk in her hometown of Franklin, Massachusetts. What began as a seventh grade class project will culminate in some fifty people (and their dogs) walking to end cancer in two species. The walk will happen August 23, just days before Kimiya starts the eighth grade, and she’s the keynote speaker for the opening ceremony.
“Several people in my life have had cancer. I did this for them.”
Make this the best class project everClick here to donate to Kimiya’s walk now, or register to walk with her on August 23 at Franklin Town Commons. You may also join the fight against cancer in pets and people here.
Puppy Up Foundation Links
Puppy Up Foundation on Facebook
Puppy Up Tweets
Puppy Up Pins

Monday, August 11, 2014

One Photo to Save Them All - Cancer Can't Keep a Good Dog Down

Cancer doesn't have a conscience. It takes precious things from you and leaves a dark aftermath. I figured that out when Malcolm exited this world. For months I stood in a deep pit of sadness with so many unanswered questions. It didn't take long for me to look around and see others sitting in that dirt right beside me.

To honor the great undaunted spirits of our friends taken by cancer, I started a calendar back in 2009. It was a simple and beautiful way to make some sense of these dark experiences, and the goodness just keeps growing. People write to my foundation (Puppy Up) with their stories and pictures every year. Puppy Up publishes the calendar and uses the proceeds to help fund major comparative oncology studies. It's an overlooked but critical area of cancer research that can give us endless information. 

My own Murphy appeared on one cover. If you want to tell us your story and join the fight against cancer in people and companion animals, I've posted the rules below.

Every single story helps, and we appreciate anything you can do.











//////
Welcome to the 2015 Cancer Can't Keep a Good Dog Down Calendar Contest!This contest gives you a way to honor your canine cancer hero while helping the Puppy Up Foundation raise funds for cancer research to benefit pets and humans.
How Does It Work? 
Register your dog. Simply upload your dog’s story and photo. For best results, use the best high-resolution digital photo you have. Please also be prepared to submit a high resolution digital photo of the same image (minimum of 500kb) upon request for reproduction in the calendar. Then provide a brief summary of your dog's story. The more you show your dog's personality, the more votes you will receive!


Who Can Enter? Anyone with a dog who currently has or has had cancer (living or passed) can enter, including dogs who have entered in previous 2 Million Dogs/Puppy Up calendar contests.
Get started right now. Or for more info, keep reading.
Voting Begins As Soon As You Enter
Your $10 registration becomes the first 10 votes for your dog.
To add more votes, share your dog's page on your favorite social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and encourage everyone to vote for your dog. (The first vote is $5. All subsequent votes are $1 each.)
The 13 pets with the highest number of votes will win a Dog of the Month slot on the calendar. ALL photo entries will be included in our 2015 Calendar Photo Gallery. 
Your participation helps fund vital cancer research for dogs and humans. 
Begin here and follow the directions. Be sure to write down and remember your user name and password! 
For questions about the contest, please contact Erich Trapp at erich@puppyup.org.
 FAQ
Where Do My Voting Dollars Go? 
Your voting dollars go to fund cutting-edge research in comparative oncology, that branch of research that benefits both companion animals and humans in our fight against cancer.
What Makes a Puppy Up Calendar so Special?
Puppy Up Foundation uses our annual calendar as an educational tool about a critical and often overlooked area of cancer research called comparative oncology. There are important clues in the connections between human and canine cancers, especially since the resulting treatments benefit both species. One of the best ways to call attention to the need for this research is by telling your stories and showing your photos. It also helps transform our losses into information that helps fight the world's deadliest disease.
Why Do I Need This Calendar (when it's published)?
First, every dog entered appears in the calendar. No one gets left behind. We have a whole section of gallery photos dedicated to all of the dogs entered into the contest in addition to our winners who are featured as each month's "model."  We also include regular ‘people’ holidays and special dog holidays like National Puppy Day, Pet Theft Awareness Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, World Animal Remembrance Month, Pet Cancer Awareness Month, etc.
Each calendar is a one-of-a-kind keepsakes.
Start right here today: look for the Register Here button on the left of the page. Click it and follow the directions.

Have fun and good luck!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Pyr Paw



To me it's always been a symbol of strength and solidarity.  Just open your palm and it's there.  It's loyalty, allegiance, and at times a lean-to, the late at night shelter in the wilderness of uncertainty.

Murphy used to paw me so much I called him Pez and I was the dispenser for whatever he needed and wanted.  

Today is the 3 month mark of our west coast walk and from my experience with Murphy I learned that the pyr paw sometimes means it's time to tap out.

Hudson cannot continue forward on this walk.  Paw problems have plagued him from close to the outset and to our damnest extent we've tried to figure out why and exhausted all solutions. The cold damp climate?  Non stop licking causing chronic inflammation and infection?  Some say there are microscopic sand burrs on the coastline and a whole host of other speculations.

But like any other father, still in the absence of a reason or a solution, a decision has to be made.

Hudson is being picked up today and transported back to Memphis.  Indiana and I will continue on with sadness in our hearts and the longing to be reunited will drive us the rest of the way. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Scenes from the roadside 3


Of course there's a zombie foot on our travels.  This was on the sidewalk in Florence OR


Curious moss covered listing ship in rogue river bay


Ummm did someone contact the marketing dept before putting a spout on the company van grill?  


The head shed?  Ok

Saturday and One Week till......



I leave my loves at home and go West for a bit. 



Famous Last Words.
“See you in a couple months”  When I last saw Luke and the boys about 5.5 months ago, I had intended to fly to Vancouver in May to see them off as they started their journey. Yes, renewed my passport and was planning my flight.  Stuff happens! (My beloved Papa K. was hospitalized and sent to a rehab facility).  The best plans can change due to unforeseen circumstances.  FYI, Papa K. is home and wreaking havoc in town.  Good for him, but poor Mom. 

Preparation
Luke and I discussed the walk in depth and agreed, that if I trained, both physically and mentally, I could do this.  Heck yes, I CAN do this.

I have a full one page list titled “California Trip Prep”.  The categories on my list include:  "Luke’s suggestions", my camping/hiking gear, camping items (yes, they are different from the gear portion of list!), “MY list”, Personal Care and Food/Bev. 

The highlights of this list seem to be in the “Personal Care” section of list and some make me chuckle…..Toilet Paper, Cleansing Wipes(yes, both ends!) and “Sponge or wash cloth”.  Benadryl-never leave home without it, and my Albuterol Asthma spray is another must have at all times.   

Shoes:  Critical as Luke’s stated.  My new Merrell hikers fit and feel as if I’ve had them for years.  I’ve probably put about 25 miles on them since last weekends purchase.  It may not seem like a lot, but considering I worked about 55 hours last week, it’s a good amount!  Yes, I looked like a dork at the gym with tall hikers on the treadmill and elliptical.  Toe cramps suck, and I’m not sure why the cute Vasques caused them.  Luckily, no cramps in the Merrell.  

I do have my list covered, except the rain poncho.  Need to pick that up this week.  Packweight is a concern and yes, I’m an over packer.  We’ll figure out what I need to leave in basecamp SUV when I get there.  As of course I need my flat iron, hairdryer, hair products and some other critical girly things for when I meet my friend Janet in Napa at the end of my trip for a couple days of r&r.   

Food/water:  It’s going to be about zone bars and nuts for me.  And yes, I really am taking the jar of Nutella Luke!  It’s already in the pack and accounted for in pack weight. :

Next post will be about the emotional highs and lows of prep and training.  One low happened yesterday at work, when it hit me hard that I will be away from my furkids (aka my loves) for 12 days…..12 days!

Tears flowed and flowed. 

Last minute questions/concerns-how do I cope w/missing the furkids for 12 days????  The lack of showering, girly things and etc seem so trivial compared to lack of snuggle, snuggle with my kids....

Till we meet again.

 V


Saturday, August 9, 2014


One Week Til V Day

Valerie

A week from today our good friend Valerie from CT is flying to CA to join us on the road for a week.  In her words she wants to experience what our life is like out here and not just walking a mile or a day.  Yep pack, tent, she'll be carrying her on weight.  I've invited her to guest blog here so we can discuss last minute preparations and she can share her side of the adventure.

V - 

I shed my base layers, tops and bottoms in Brookings & I've regretted it since.  Temps in Northern California, or at least this stretch of it ave low 60s in the day and 50s at night.  Sweltering heat from the rogue valley pulls high afternoon winds and fog banks and unless I'm in my tent snuggled up with the boys I'm chilled by the damp air.  

But as I've found along the coastline from Newport OR to here there are different microclimates distinct to each of the areas.

The redwood forests are right around the bend and I can't speak to the climate there yet.  My suggestion is pack lightweight base layers - silk, which I prefer, or wicking synthetic.  Fleece just adds more pack weight & don't think you'll need the heavier fabric.

Shoes - hope you have that worked out by now. Don't know why the vasques cause toe cramping - I love mine - but each foot has different demands.  But that has to be resolved ASAP.  Like fletcher wrote - footwear is the foundation - get that wrong and you won't make it a week.

Don't worry about packing first aid sundries - I keep sufficient supply.  Also I pack a multi tool, extra carabiners, zip ties etc.  

I'm worldly enough to know NOT to tell a woman what grooming/cosmetics to pack but since you'll be carrying your own food and water the pounds add up.  I have nail clippers (since I have to keep toes ultra short) razor & cream (travel size) and axe spray for when I'm in public and haven't had a chance to shower or do laundry.

You'll probably want to bring soap since most campgrounds have showers but I wouldn't expect that luxury more than once during the week.  

Other essentials in your pack - a cpl of ziplock bags to keep your electronics dry, poncho (even though I've only used mine twice in the 3 months on the road), a chamois or microfiber towel, sunblock (I don't carry any), a pkg of wipes or rinse free hand soap, bug spray (though I haven't had much of a problem thus far and I recommend skin so soft rather than a deet based product).  

Pillow - if your body contour requires it but I don't afford the space for one and instead use my clothes sack plus my pack for a head rest but it's not terribly comfortable but comfort is a notion you'll have to divorce yourself of quickly.  

Once you arrive next Saturday and pick us up from the road we'll have the balance of the day to do a gear check and purchase any last minute provisions.  But these are mostly small coastal communities out here - no walmarts, best buys or REIs.

Hope your training is going well but don't push yourself after Thursday. Stick to stretching exercises.  As cell service is questionable up in the forests, post your questions or last minute concerns here...

One Week Til V Day

A week from today our good friend Valerie from CT is flying to CA to join us on the road for a week.  In her words she wants to experience what our life is like out here and not just walking a mile or a day.  Yep pack, tent, she'll be carrying her on weight.  I've invited her to guest blog here so we can discuss last minute preparations and she can share her side of the adventure.

V - 

I shed my base layers, tops and bottoms in Brookings & I've regretted it since.  Temps in Northern California, or at least this stretch of it ave low 60s in the day and 50s at night.  Sweltering heat from the rogue valley pulls high afternoon winds and fog banks and unless I'm in my tent snuggled up with the boys I'm chilled by the damp air.  

But as I've found along the coastline from Newport OR to here there are different microclimates distinct to each of the areas.

The redwood forests are right around the bend and I can't speak to the climate there yet.  My suggestion is pack lightweight base layers - silk, which I prefer, or wicking synthetic.  Fleece just adds more pack weight & don't think you'll need the heavier fabric.

Shoes - hope you have that worked out by now. Don't know why the vasques cause toe cramping - I love mine - but each foot has different demands.  But that has to be resolved ASAP.  Like fletcher wrote - footwear is the foundation - get that wrong and you won't make it a week.

Don't worry about packing first aid sundries - I keep sufficient supply.  Also I pack a multi tool, extra carabiners, zip ties etc.  

I'm worldly enough to know NOT to tell a woman what grooming/cosmetics to pack but since you'll be carrying your own food and water the pounds add up.  I have nail clippers (since I have to keep toes ultra short) razor & cream (travel size) and axe spray for when I'm in public and haven't had a chance to shower or do laundry.

You'll probably want to bring soap since most campgrounds have showers but I wouldn't expect that luxury more than once during the week.  

Other essentials in your pack - a cpl of ziplock bags to keep your electronics dry, poncho (even though I've only used mine twice in the 3 months on the road), a chamois or microfiber towel, sunblock (I don't carry any), a pkg of wipes or rinse free hand soap, bug spray (though I haven't had much of a problem thus far and I recommend skin so soft rather than a deet based product).  

Pillow - if your body contour requires it but I don't afford the space for one and instead use my clothes sack plus my pack for a head rest but it's not terribly comfortable but comfort is a notion you'll have to divorce yourself of quickly.  

Once you arrive next Saturday and pick us up from the road we'll have the balance of the day to do a gear check and purchase any last minute provisions.  But these are mostly small coastal communities out here - no walmarts, best buys or REIs.

Hope your training is going well but don't push yourself after Thursday. Stick to stretching exercises.  As cell service is questionable up in the forests, post your questions or last minute concerns here....

Orygun

It's never the moving forward that's the hardest thing on a long journey.  It's the leaving behind. 

Tuesday August 5th at 12:30 The fearless fuzzybutts and their kilted mate crossed the stateline into California alongside a dozen or so lovely companions.  The folks of Brookings OR really rallied together and gave us the perfect send off (or they were anxious to kick our fuzzybutts into the next state).

We were greeted by this sign at the Blue Coast Hotel and Zoe, the concierge was most gracious to us during our stay.  The warm welcome and generosity of the folks from Brookings couldn't have exemplified our Oregon experience better.  






From L to R: jan (dog less), Tracey & Greg (with canyon, willy & red) Marlene, & carol with Oso.  Not present in the photo are Donna, the mastermind behind team Brookings, Arliss the chamber of commerce head who helped out a ton, and Suzy Q. Can't thank team Brookings enough for making our last stretch in Oregon so special.  



We found this garden of Eden, smallish white flowered meadow just large enough to accommodate our tent above the cape Sebastian beach.  One of the most magical places we've tented out here and it's significant in that it's the closest we've camped to the water for a few reasons.  High water mark isn't easy to discern and even if I could the tides are semi-diurnal meaning 2 high and low tides per day.  Plus with the mountains most of the coast has been either too far down or outland.

There's a saying that's taken me awhile to learn, 'Don't turn your back on the pacific.'  




Mountain mists and fog banks are a daily occurrence here. High temps from the valley east of the coastal mountains pull cooling air off the Pacific Ocean.  Though they consume the coastline and make visibility limited on the coastal highway, they keep the mornings and late afternoons cool. 






Previous three photos were taken at cape Sebastian beach.  We've seen so much native beauty in Oregon but this place will always hold a special place in our hearts.


Indiana provides quite the comic relief.  His quirky sometimes quixotic character cracks me up.  


Port Orford - the battle rock.  What a stunning vista in one of the smallest coastal towns we've been in.  

So many more photos and videos from the Oregon coast but one common problem had plagued us throughout - cell phone service.  It's so bad I had to get a verizon go phone in case of emergencies.  I hear it's better in northern CA but around the bend is miles and miles or redwood forest and we take it one mile at a time.

But before we move on I want to thank the people who made Oregon so memorable and historic (in no specific order other than on the top of YBD's head):  Cathy the Pyrenees queen, Cathy from Portland who took us to the rose garden; Maria & Chris who helped me rescue the damn dove; Rob & Cindy - never got to use your card rob even tho I hoped to pull it out & say something cool like, 'call this man'; sandy & Anna - thnx for the spacious fenced in lot for us to plop at night and your kind and generous spirits, Vince & Diane - the little green man hopes to see you again on our trek; Candy & the grandkids from the 'Boo'; Kim, Red & Carlie from Florence; heather from the Florence animal shelter, Laura from FOCCAS in coos bay, the animal shelter in gold beach; Maryanne & Greg who looked after Hudson in gold beach;  Jenny who took us to breakfast at a Toyota dealership - that was strange but good; & grandma carol who cried when she had to return Hudson to the road.  

Though the list not complete and for that I apologize our lives are richer and fuller having crossed paths with you in Oregon.  And though we must move on, you'll always be in our thoughts. 

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YBDs notes: orygun (sic)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Coos Bay


View of Coos Bay from the bay bridge


The bay bridge into north bend & oregon's Bay Area.  Me thinks these bridges are getting higher & higher.  HOB HOB


Isthmus slough south of coos bay


The Oregon dunes pushed us back Inland so far that yesterday we had to once again cross the coastal mountain range