Tag Archives: camping

R&R Part II; and not the fun kind!

  Woof my last blog was about rest and relaxation, this time my blog is still about R&R but this time it is rest and recuperation. I must mention here as I have on my Facebook page I was trying to hide the fact I was hurt, but Matt is too observant and took me to the doctor to find out what was wrong. Matt’s truck is a tall one and sometimes I misjudge my jumps. On one of our last trips I fell when I didn’t quite make the jump into the front and ended up on my back. That hurt but I didn’t say anything and acted like I was fine, but oh it did hurt to walk. The doctor took pictures called X-rays of my leg and shoulder. She told us there was no damage to my bones and no signs of bone cancer. Both of us were relieved and Matt said he hadn’t even thought of bone cancer. The doctor said she was worried about that but didn’t want to say anything. She explained to us I have either a muscle or tendon injury and I have to take it easy for at least two weeks.

I'm a sad Jackson.
I’m a sad Jackson.

  Well with all that fuss now I am restricted to just potty walks and can only go downstairs from our room twice a day so I stay downstairs for part of the day. Woof, this is so boring, butt Matt tells me it is necessary to help things heal. He does spend a lot of time with me, but we can’t play ball, or go for our walks, or go swimming, or the dog park, or anything! Matt rearranged his room so there is more floor space and moved my bed and added more cushioning to it because he doesn’t want me to jump up on the big bed because it’s high off the floor. I do get massages and treats but it is still boring. The only plus side I can think of is I have more time to work on my photographs, videos, and blog.

Me on a hike in the mountains.
Me on a hike in the mountains..

  I hope we can go on a trip soon I haven’t even gone on a truck ride since went to the doctor’s office. Matt keeps telling me we will go soon but he is waiting for an okay by my doctor. I get tired of Matt’s music too. I would rather hear the wind, rushing water, birds, or something outdoors. Well I do get to go out in the yard and lie down in the sun, but it’s been cloudy the last couple of days so I only get to sniff around the yard and, well, you know what.

You can get all kinds of stuff with my photo on it, or you can even buy photos of mine at www.matthewirvin.com!
You can get all kinds of stuff with my photo on it, or you can even buy photos of mine at www.matthewirvin.com!

  Woof, that’s enough complaining and I just have to get better! Oh since I am here at the house all day long I decided it’s time for another Photo Dog Jackson mug Mug Contest. I’ll have some details about it on Friday (8/9/19.) Plus I am making a compilation video from my very first one. I should have that ready next week!

Rest, Relaxation, & Swimming

 

  Woof, I had to put my paw down last week! Matt was spending too much time in front of the computer and not getting enough rest and relaxation. He need more time just to play. He had my head spinning with subscription pages, mailing lists, and other things with the newsletter. Then he decided to automate the page that announces what pictures we have for sale, but that took a lot of time for him to set up. But that wasn’t all, he was adding photographs to the websites that has the pictures for sale plus editing the photographs from our last trip. Then he wrote the entire July newsletter plus all the posts on Facebook during that time and some other things I can’t even remember. I was getting tired of taking the same walks every day and then watching Matt work so I told him to wrap things up and we were heading out. Where to I didn’t care but we had to go!

Us in the back of the truck resting & relaxing!
Us in the back of the truck resting & relaxing!

  I gave Matt a little time to sit and rest before we left, but I sat in front of the computer so he couldn’t get on it, woof! Then I told him to get everything ready and I give him credit, he has everything pretty organized so it doesn’t take long to pack. We left Friday afternoon and headed up to the mountains. Matt decided to go to a place where we had visited before, he said even if the campgrounds were full we could find a place in a big forest next to a creek and that was what happened. Matt knows on a Friday you usually need a reservation unless you get to the campground real early. The place was perfect for me and we ended up staying there two days. The first day, Saturday, we did nothing. The next day we took a hike and I went swimming in the creek. Matt told me its name was Jack Creek, the water was from snow melt runoff from a mountain called Three Fingered Jack and it was cold!

Me swimming in Jack Creek at our first campsite.
Me swimming in Jack Creek at our first campsite.

  Matt looked at a new map he bought at the ranger station for our next place to explore. He said he was tired of being like a bear in the woods and wanted to be in a real campground for the next day at least. I’m not quite sure what he meant by that and he won’t explain it to me… Our next place ended up being only a few miles away. He was hoping to find a good scenic view of Mount Jefferson, we didn’t find that but we did find a beautiful river so we decided to camp there and hike along the river and I got to go swimming again. Matt took me to the place where the river starts, it just comes right out of the ground and becomes a river right there, I have never seen anything like it!

On our hike on the Metolius River.
On our hike on the Metolius River.

  When we woke up the next morning clouds covered up the sun and it started to rain a little so Matt told me our plans to photograph the big mountain were canceled by clouds once again. Matt had to drive into a town called Sisters. I asked Matt why it was called Sisters and he said it was named after the mountains called the Three Sisters. When we got there Matt decided to drive up a scenic road and then we went back to Sisters so we could visit a place called Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

  Our last day before coming home was more like our normal trip with taking photos, exploring, some hiking, and then setting up camp but things went pretty easy. We saw a lot of beautiful vistas and a lake called Paulina. I am sure Matt will share some photos of that and I have some I took on the trip.

  Woof, I almost forgot, I got to go swimming again on the way home in the Willamette River!

Did I mention I like to swim?

Jackson Ruminates on Ageing

  Woof, I am getting an understanding about old age. Now I know why Matt groans and complains sometimes. I will be turning 11 this August and I am close in dog years to Matt’s age now. I think Matt has noticed I am slowing down a little. He is observant because he told me we weren’t going to play ball or Frisbee until my shoulder stopped bothering me. I don’t know how he found out, I thought I was hiding the fact from him, but he watches over me pretty closely. It started hurting a couple of weeks ago, but I like paying so much I didn’t want to tell him. We are still going on walks and we are taking it pretty easy. When we were at Elk Lake on our trip I tried to entice Matt to throw one of the wonderful sticks that were on the beach. It was a cornucopia of dog sticks and so many it was hard to resist. Matt told me to use that word and I looked it up so it fits, woof!

Matt's truck is high off the ground, woof!
Matt’s truck is high off the ground, woof!

  One day on our last trip I didn’t make the jump into the front of Matt’s truck  and fell on my back. It really surprised me and scared Matt. He has started helping me jump in by assisting with my harness. That time I didn’t wait for him and I slipped and fell when I jumped up. The truck is higher than most because it is a four-wheel drive. It has a lot of road clearance plus the back of Matt’s truck has always been a tall jump and occasionally I have missed even when I was much younger. On our last camping trip Matt figured out a real smart way for me to get in the back easily. Matt puts his chair back up to the dropped tailgate and I use it as a step to get inside. That makes getting in so much easier. Even Matt has to use a stepping stool to get in so I really don’t feel embarrassed to use it.  I tried the stool once but it is too small for me to use.

You can tell how far off the ground the tailgate is. The yellow chair is my step up into the back.
You can tell how far off the ground the tailgate is. The yellow chair is my step up into the back.

  Matt said we will grow old together as gracefully as possible. I still have my job to help Matt and I can do it but one day I will have to retire. Now I know why Matt has discouraged me from jumping like I used to. He told me not to worry or get upset about it. He explained there were a lot of things he couldn’t do anymore but what we needed to do was to focus on the things we can still do and enjoy. Oh and he told me he would find a good place for me to swim as that is a good low-impact exercise and I can chase things in the water, double woof!

Me two years ago swimming in Lake Michigan, photo by my good friend Robin Long.
Me two years ago swimming in Lake Michigan, photo by my good friend Robin Long.

  Woof, it’s time for my nap so I had better wrap this up for now. I need an extra one anyway because we recently got back from a four night camping trip. Oh and don’t worry we all age, Matt is making sure I get all my proper nutrition and supplements to help me as much as possible.

A Trip to the Beach

 
  Woof, I made a new friend and we got to go to the beach last week! We had company visit from North Carolina and they brought Maggie, their new dog and she and I became good friends. I knew Joy and Bob but Maggie was a shelter dog that adopted them. She told me when she saw them especially Bob, she knew they were her people and she would go home with them. Her life before ending up at the shelter was pretty rough but a kind veterinarian made sure she was taken care of.  I won’t go into detail but she did escape a possible real bad outcome but now she is a mother of some fine grown up dogs and she has her forever home. Though she is like me and travels a lot.

Woof, Maggie, Joy, Bob, and me at the place they were camping. Matt took the picture!
Woof, Maggie, Joy, Bob, and me at the place they were camping. Matt took the picture!

Joy and Bob told Matt they wanted to go to the coast while they were visiting and Maggie and I were all for that! Luckily a trip to the ocean is a short one from Eugene and our friends were staying at a campground just north of town. We went to South Jetty Beach in Florence. It was a nice day but windy and there we almost no other people or dogs there.

Woof, Bob is finding just the right stick for us. Matt took this picture.
Woof, Bob is finding just the right stick for us. Matt took this picture.

It didn’t take much encouragement on our part to get our humans involved with playing as you can see from the photographs. This beach is long and sandy and flat where we can run and jump all we want to. Maggie likes to chase after the birds while I prefer sticks. Any stick will do, big or little ones. As long as I can chase, run after, and chew them I am happy. We had the best time running around on the beach and had a long walk. We did watch a couple of trucks and buggies try to go over the dunes. One couldn’t make it over and had to drive the long way to get back.

Woof, Maggis likes to chase the sick with me, birng it back, not so much. Joy took this picture.
Woof, Maggie likes to chase the sick with me, bring it back, not so much. Joy took this picture.
Woof, us bringing back the stick. Joy took this picture.
Woof, us bringing back the stick. Joy took this picture.

After that we drove up to part of the beach that is rocky and had no beach, it was pretty but no place to play and I don’t like to swim in the ocean and Matt doesn’t want me to anyway because he says it is dangerous.

Woof, one more photo! Me jumping, Joy took this picture.
Woof, one more photo! Me jumping, Joy took this picture.

It was a nice day and I was glad to see old friends and meet a new one. I hope we get to see all of them on our next visit to North Carolina.

Bye for now,

Rain, Wind, Cold, & Snow, Woof!

 

  Woof, are we there yet?  I know Matt got (and gets) tired of me asking that. We had such a hard drive to get to Joshua Tree National Park. We had planned to camp along the way but Mother Nature and some ocean guy Matt calls the Pacific or is it Specific? It rained, and rained, and then it rained more. Along with the rain was wind that shook the truck around as we drove. It was just too bad to try to camp out because we would be soaking wet every time we got in and out of the back of the truck. When we got there Matt told me I was a bit excessive about asking if we were there, but I was worried. It wasn’t fun being in all that bad weather. It was hard to see we were in the truck, no fun or hiking so I just wanted us to be there. Matt watched the news every night and there were stories about mudslides and all kinds of bad things happening. A lot of times Matt would say we had just been right through that place or in the case of Joshua Tree we saw what it looked like after the flooding that happened the day before we got there.

A sunny day at Joshua Tree National Park.
A sunny day at Joshua Tree National Park.

Our first night camping was windy and cold but at least there was no rain. I had to get right next to Matt to keep warm under the warm and fluffy sleeping bag. The next day was windy but Matt said it was too but clear for photographs so we hiked a lot. When we went exploring the next day it was clear and sunny where we started but by the afternoon it started getting cloudy and started to snow while we were hiking, woof that was fun! Matt decided late in the afternoon we should get dinner instead of cooking and go to camp. The next morning when we woke it was sunny but everything was covered in white! I got out and played in the snow that morning, it was fun. That morning we drove through the park and too photographs before going to our next camping place.

Us hiking in the snow at Joshua Tree National Park.
Us hiking in the snow at Joshua Tree National Park.

  After all that rain and the snow we finally had a couple of nice days at a state park called, I hope I write this right, Anza-Borrego in California. It was nice and sunny for two day, but when we left there it was getting cloudy again and Matt was worried about rain. Well that rain followed us all the way to Arizona and the rained on us like crazy for ours. We got to the place called Organ Pipe Cactus, and why they call it that I don’t know, I did not hear any organs at all while we were there. We got there in the dark and the next day it rained, and rained. We stayed in the truck all afternoon and night. When we got up the next morning it was all wet and the mountains had snow on them. Woof, more snow. After spending the morning there we headed to Phoenix where some of Matt’s cousin’s live and we even saw snow there!

The morning we woke up to snow at Joshua Tree National Park.
The morning we woke up to snow at Joshua Tree National Park.

We are getting ready t go camping again this morning so I expect some more adventures, though Matt said he wouldn’t mind a bit less rain and snow and some warmer temperatures and honestly I think I agree with him.

Bye for now!

No Fun at Home

 

  Woof, Matt told me before my surgery the next few weeks would be tough and he was right. That place on my mouth was beginning to be a bother and I know it needed to be done but this staying around the house has been no fun. I like to go out on my morning walks to the dog park or hiking when we are traveling or camping. Even a day trip with a hike is fun but having to stay home all the time and have no play time is so frustrating. To add to all this I had to wear this plastic cone collar so I wouldn’t accidentally scratch or rub and hurt where the doctor removed that lump. That crazy collar made me run into everything and knocked things over and off tables. At least it was clear so I could see through it a little but that didn’t help much. One consolation was Matt did stay at home with me and gave me extra attention.

That stupid collar I had to wear!
That stupid collar I had to wear!

  Finally Matt took that nasty collar off, I hated that thing and we started short walks. Matt says my mouth needs to heal more before we can play with any of my toys though. I kept asking when we could at least walk but the doctor wanted me to rest, she said resting would help me heal faster. The first couple of days weren’t hard because I really didn’t feel like playing but after that I was ready to do all the things I normally do. That was the frustrating part, feeling good enough to play and run but all you can do is lounge around the house with a stupid collar on and your person calls you a Radio Dish head, woof!

Me with no collar showing my boo boo.
Me with no collar showing my boo boo.

  Next it will be Matt’s turn, we have to go to Portland and he is seeing one of his doctors then when we get back he is having something done to one of his eyes. He can’t see very well in one eye and he said after an easy operation he will be able to see out of that eye better than ever. He did say he would be coming home with a shield on his eye and have to wear it at bedtime; I’ll have to think of a name for him.

This is what I would rather be doing. I don't think the collar would work in a situation like this!
This is what I would rather be doing. I don’t think the collar would work in a situation like this!

Jackson at Jackson Lake, WOOF!

 

  Woof, what a trip we have been on so far. At first it seemed like we have been next to a campfire the whole time. Everywhere we went there was smoke, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. It was hard to see very far a lot of places we drove through and stayed. We finally got to Glacier National Park, but only on the east side. When we drove through West Glacier the smoke was so bad Matt said we were going to cancel our camping reservations but it ended up he didn’t have to, they were canceled because of the fire. We spent a lot of our time in the camper there but it did clear up a couple of days. When it was windy and smoky outside Matt said we needed to take it easy.

Me at Logan Pass.
Me at Logan Pass.

  The first day was smoky but the next day it rained and cleared the air. We went hiking on a trail high up in the mountains at a place Matt called Logan’s Pass. Some of the trail was pretty exposed. We only hiked a little ways and we saw a bighorn sheep. I had to stay a little ways back when Matt was taking pictures, sometimes a lot of wildlife look at me as a predator like a wolf or coyote and will get defensive. The next day was clear so we explored around the campground more and the other day we drove to a different area of the park even though the smoke was getting bad again. Then Matt did his laundry so I took a long nap. We had more than one day just in camp mostly in the truck; the air was too bad to go hiking so we just stayed in the camper most of the time. Our last day there I rode on the shuttle bus all the way up to Logan Pass and the smoke was real bad. That is when Matt decided it was time to leave the smoke was too bad for either one of us. We left after Matt and I got something to eat because we had to drive an hour to get to a motel room a good friend got for us to get out of the bad air.

Me at Yellowstone, why is the continent divided anyway?
Me at Yellowstone, why is the continent divided anyway?

  Matt has changed our plans because if we headed back home it is just as bad as it is was at Glacier park. We ended up going to Yellowstone National Park where it looked like the air might be better so we started that way the next day. We stopped in a campground on the way last night. We could see blue sky, white clouds and it wasn’t a funny hazy yellow color all over anymore and it rained a little. Then we got to Yellowstone and it rained a lot that night and began to clear the next day. We were going to another campground in Yellowstone when Matt said.

“Jackson, we are going on to the Grand Tetons!”

  Woof, I think Matt was frustrated at all the people there and was hoping to find a less crowded place. I don’t know how he does these things but he told me he was listening to his inner voice. Well that voice was right because we found a campground on a lake named after me, Jackson Lake, and it is beautiful. Matt has promised me a swim there today. I think I just might forgive him for forgetting my birthday. Although he has promised me a big celebration this weekend and something special in the town of Jackson, WY.

Relaxing at Lizard Creek Campground.
Relaxing at Lizard Creek Campground.

  Well, I promise I’ll write before we leave Monday, that’s Labor Day. Matt said we were lucky to have such a nice camping spot for the holiday!

My New Chair

 

 

 

  Woof, I have been busy since we have moved here to Eugene. We have been learning how to get around, finding doctors, and I have been learning how to go on walks in the city. Now I know I lived in a small town but it is different here and the streets are much busier so now we stop at every road intersection whether cars are coming or not. When we were in Norwood we would scan ahead to see if traffic was coming. Now with more people and traffic, and bicycles we stop every time. I like the places where the poles tell you to wait and then let you know when it is safe to cross, woof, sometimes people can be pretty smart inventing things.

  I am happy to say I finally got my chair. Matt has been taking me to a store almost every week looking for one but we could not find a chair I liked that would fit in our new place. The people at the store are nice to me and give me treats sometimes. The place is called the ReStore where people send things to be reused instead of thrown away. We found the perfect chair this  week. There were two low backed chairs with the new stuff and I tried one out and it fit me just right. Matt didn’t even try it out at the store and told me if I liked it that was good enough for him. The lady at the store watched us and said she just loved the fact I got to choose the chair. Matt told me it was a real bargain at only $10 and almost bought both but he said both would take up too much room and we had to share the one chair. Woof, I don’t know about sharing but he can use it when I am not.

Me in my new chair.
Me in my new chair.

  I did enjoy going to the highland games last weekend. Matt had to explain why all these men including him wear skirts. I just didn’t but the “it’s not a skirt thing” at first until he showed me an old style kilt that was one long piece of wool. You had to fold all the pleats in it and lie down and wrap it around you. Now people wear the modern kilt that is easier to put on. The old kilt was multi-functional as you could sleep in it also. There were a lot of people throwing things, dancing, and playing weird instruments call bagpipes I almost started singing with them.

Matt, me, and our friends Ann & Paul Key.
Matt, me, and our friends Ann & Paul Key.

  Well it is hot here in Eugene and I am ready to go to the mountains and go camping. I know Matt has something in mind but we have had to make changes already due to wildfires so we have to watch the news and see. I have some photographs and videos I’ll be posting on social media soon.

Dreaming about camping.
Dreaming about camping.

 

Bye for now,

 

Jackson in the City

   

  Woof, honk, honk, people rolling by on funny wheels and I am not talking about bicycles, I know what they are, and all kinds of weird noises. That’s what I think of places called cities. All that plus all of the strange smells are what I first experienced. Cars, trucks, and big things called a bus go up and down the roads and there are so many of them. What are they all doing? Most times we just drive through the cities without stopping. Sometimes we are on the big roads and there are a lot of cars and trucks and all you can see is road. Other times we drive through streets lined with buildings and I see people out walking.

  The other day when we were on our walk in Oakland I started wondering where all these people were going and what were they doing. We spend a lot of the outdoors and I have only lived in small towns. I had no idea there were so many people. Especially all in one place like this, most of them seem to be in a big hurry so they must be important or have something important to do. I know when Matt has something important sometimes he gets in a hurry.

Crossing a busy street in Oakland.
What are all these buildings used for?

  When we walk in the city it is different when we cross the road. Usually all we have to do is look both ways and wait until traffic is clear. In the city you have to push buttons and then the lights tell you to wait. Next it beeps until it is okay to cross. Plus there are signs that let you know when it is safe to cross too.

Crossing a busy street in Oakland.
Crossing a busy street in Oakland.

   We did find a nice park next to a lake where we could get away from all of the hectic running around a little. I did see a lot of other dogs out with their people enjoying their day. On our way back we did stop in a couple of stores. One was sort of boring; all it had were clothes that had been worn by other people. Another store we went in smelled wonderful. I could smell it before we crossed the street and I was hoping we were going there. Matt said it was a bakery and he bought some stuff. He did let me have what he called donut holes. I thought he was crazy, they weren’t holes, they are balls and they taste good! People have such strange names for things though, woof!

Grant Lake sure is pretty but I don't think I want to swim in it!
Grant Lake sure is pretty but I don’t think I want to swim in it!

  When we were walking back to where we were staying I saw a lot of children out with their parents so even more people were out walking. Matt told be the schools had let the children out for the day. I asked him what the children do at school and he said it was like when we train for my service work but a lot harder. Woof, I think I will just stay with service work!

Our campground at Pinnacles National Park.
Our campground at Pinnacles National Park.

  While I do like the city because it is different I still prefer to be outdoors in the woods or wilderness. I’ll be writing from somewhere out there next.

Camping is Fun!

 

  Woof, right now home has an entire different meaning. I guess home is our truck. Sometimes we stay in the same place sometimes we drive a longs was and then we are home. I had to get used to this different meaning of home a long time ago when we first started traveling. Sometime home is with a friend of ours or one of Matt’s relatives. I do like exploring new places and I love when Matt decides to stay longer than planned at one place. I have stayed in motels, campgrounds, and people’s houses since we left our regular home. Sometimes I miss my regular home and my friends there but I meet new and old friends along the way.

Matt always packs all my toys when we go camping.
Matt always packs all my toys when we go camping.

  We do a lot of camping in all kinds of weather. On rainy days we spend time in the camper on the back of the truck. I remember on our last trip we were in the back of the truck during wind storms, thunderstorms, and snow! When it gets cold I burrow under Matt’s warm sleeping bag and get right next to him to stay warm. Other nights it stays real warm. The weather has been changing from hot to cold quite often on this trip. Just when I am getting used to the temperature it changes. I am glad Matt got a sweater for me but if it stays cold I just might need another.

Woof, I like my sweater and I have my own down sleeping bag!
Woof, I like my sweater and I have my own down sleeping bag!

  We usually walk around the campground and I see other dogs and people there. Sometimes we stop and Matt talks with the people and introduces me. I also get to talk with the friendly dogs but some are grumpy and not happy or friendly. I do not know why some dogs are that way; Matt tells me people can be the same. He says sometimes it is best to avoid people or dogs like that.

Sometimes I get to sleep in the puppy tent instead of the truck.
Sometimes I get to sleep in the puppy tent instead of the truck.

  I like campgrounds where there are a lot of trails. We usually take long hikes and take pictures but the best part is just getting out and smelling and seeing nature. I smell so many new strange  things, different animals and plants, Matt tells me we have to be careful because there are many things we are not used to that can hurt us. He told me we have to stay on guard because there are bigger and more aggressive wild animals were we go a lot. Back home I could run loose sometimes but when we are traveling we stay close together.

I like afternoon naps in the sun.
I like afternoon naps in the sun.

  Well we are going to have a lot more camping adventures to go on this trip before we get to our new home in Oregon and I am excited about that. Right now we are in Austin visiting Matt’s cousins. Like coming here to Austin to see Matt’s cousins I love them all.

I am going to sign off for now; I will be writing again soon,