Tag Archives: hiking with dogs

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.

Jackson Takes a Swing!

  Woof, I have been on some scary trails, but this hike on Drift Creek Trail is one of the scariest ones I have ever done. I am just glad there was only a short section I didn’t like. Matt had read about this place and the very next day we went there. He was rambling about bridges and I was thinking about the bridges that look like houses he goes to all the time. Don’t they look like big dog houses? Woof! Well let me tell you while we went to one of those house bridges along the way we also went to another kind, but I am getting ahead of myself. We left in the morning and it was a long drive, not as long as some but we got to the trailhead before lunch. Then we got ready and gathered our gear to get ready for the hike. It had warmed up some but I could still see my breath and Matt had his funny looking wool hat on, he lost that later when it warmed up. As we hiked along big trees I had to check who had been there before me but I kept up with my job and led Matt as I took in quick sniffs without delaying our hike. We are interconnected in walking rhythm when we are working together. Sometimes I have to stop and help him cross difficult places by giving him added balance by giving his resistance on my leash or by him using me directly for balance since I am a tall dog.

Watching over Matt.
Watching over Matt.
What kind of bridge is this?
What kind of bridge is this?

   The trail gradually descended and went back and forth on the side of the mountain to make it easier to walk It was a pretty normal hike crossing over some creeks on small wooden bridges and I was enjoying it thoroughly until… The Bridge.  At first it wasn’t too bad, I was a little hesitant because there was only wire on the sides but when that bridge started moving from side to side and the 100 foot exposure below and a waterfall roaring right below me I froze up! We were right there at the midpoint of the bridge and I just thought I had to get back where we came from. That bridge moving I though meant it was coming down and I didn’t want to fall that far. Luckily Matt turned my video camera off at my most embarrassing moment and gave me some love and along with encouragement and some treats I made it across. Luckily the return back over the bridge went much better. This time you could see the waterfall and exposure in advance instead and I had done it before, the other way it was a big surprise!

The return trip.
The return trip.

That’s it for now, but we are getting ready for another big trip, oh boy!

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,

 

Carpe Cape – Seize the Cape!

Woof, woof, what a day we had at the cape park. I was so busy having fun I forgot to look for that cape thing. We got up early in the morning just as it got light and drove to the park from our campsite. The first thing we did was drive by a stand where a nice female human took some money from my human. She gave him a map and told him places I was not supposed to go. Luckily there were not many places I could not go, woof! We only drove a little further and took our first hike. We went up a big hill where we could see far, far away. I saw some rabbits on the trail and ran over to them to say hello, but they ran away, Matt would not let me go in the woods after them. I guess he was afraid I would get lost looking for them. I do not know why they all ran from me.  All I wanted to do was say hello and ask them a few questions. The next place we went was at a real rocky beach where the waves come crashing in. Waves are strange; they come at you and then go back. It is almost like the water is alive and coming after you. I still have not quite figured them out.  I do not get to see them very often, woof! The beach was one of the places I was not supposed to go so I sat in the truck and watched my human take photographs.

This is me at a beach where I am allowed not in the National Park. Even the little waves here were after me!
This is me at a beach where I am allowed, this is not in the National Park. Even the little waves here were after me!
Hiking on one of the trails.
Hiking on one of the trails.

Then we took a hike to a waterfall. I decided to walk mostly in the stream and it was fun, the water was so clear and it even smelled good. When we got to the waterfall I got to swim in the pool right at the waterfall. It was deep, nice and cool. Matt said he walked eight miles, I bet I walked twice that, ruff! Humans are good walkers, but they are slow and a dog has got to do what he has to do, run! We had a great time hiking together and I loved being in the park greeting nature and other humans and dogs along the trail. I did record some videos, but Matt said we would wait until we get home to edit and post those.

Woof, having fun swimming!
Woof, having fun swimming!

Well we are headed back on the long trip home, but Matt says we will have fun and visit places on the way back so we will see you from the road, woof!

 

 

 

 

PS – Matt here this was the day we spent in Cape Breton Highlands National Park – it is a beautiful place and dogs are restricted only in two places; the beaches and the Skyline Trail. I did a small portion of the Skyline early in the morning while Jackson was in the car parked in a shady spot. The rest of the time we were hiking together.

Camping and the Ponies

A note from Matt:

Sometimes Jackson has problems with place names; he gets a little confused due to his excitement when on a trek. We were camping at Grayson Highlands State Park in southwest Virginia.

 

Woof, woof, we just got back from a short camping trip to one of my human’s favorite places. He said it was called Gray Sun Hi Hound or Mr. Rogers. Funny names I know but I like to go there it  is a great place. Each time we go we get to visit with those big critters Matt, my human, calls ponies. They look and smell different than dogs and they eat grass all the time. If fact they eat so much they usually do not even pay much attention to you, unless you get behind them. Now my human gets upset with me when I eat grass but he did not say a word to those ponies. He explained to me that was about the only thing they eat. Woof, he did say the eat apples and some other things, but the apples were about the only good thing I heard. They do not know what they are missing!

This is me at the sunrise hike.
This is me at the sunrise hike.

We camped at the park campground for two nights. During our stay I made some videos and photographs of the campground and a trail. Woof, I even got to go swimming! We got up early our first morning, well not really early for us, and met our friend Bonita (She is a human) so she and Matt could do some sunrise photographs. We hiked up a big hill, but it took us awhile. Humans are so slow; I had to keep checking on them to see if they were still coming. We finally got up that hill and as they were fussing over their cameras I saw the ponies and baby ponies long before they did. I was a bit upset Matt did not bring my camera. He promised he would do better next time.

At our campsite.
At our campsite.

Back at our campground Matt took a four hour nap, he said he had been working hard and decided just to rest. I did not mind that at all and slept with him. We stayed at the campground the rest of the day and I played in the fields. Some humans camping close by brought Matt a nice warm dinner and we enjoyed a fire before some thunderstorms made us get in the truck for the night.

That is a great creek! Matt said it was called Wilson Creek.
That is a great creek! Matt said it was called Wilson Creek.

The next morning we were almost packed and ready to go so we had some breakfast and went on a short hike to a creek. I really liked that hike because I went swimming and the water was nice and cold. Thinking about it the whole time we were there it was nice, Matt wore long sleeve shirts and of course I have my coat on all the time! Woof, woof, some dog humor there. I was sad we left so soon, I really like it there, Matt said we would be back soon. I hope so, woof!

Woof, me swimming!
Woof, me swimming!

Then we drove home and it was hot again, ruff!

Be sure to check my video page to see the video of the campground and soon I will have my video of the hike posted.

Our Great Side Trip

For those that have just joined us on Jackson’s blog I am adding this note. We are on a month-long road trip visiting the desert canyons in the American west. I enjoy traveling, but I always regret my best buddy can’t go on a lot of my adventures. This is one of two we have planned this year centered around Jackson joining in on the grand adventure. Jackson is going to be doing all of the blog posts. We will be posting our photographs on our Facebook pages (and a few here also!)
– Matt

Woof, woof! So far it has been a great trip but I got bored of all the driving and put my paw down! Too much driving and no fun and I could tell my human was getting tried. I saw him looking at all the big brown signs and saying he would like to go there and finally I told him to go to one. He said we were still in New Mexico and had a ways to go so I thought doing something different would be good. All I have been doing on the trip is taking videos with my camera mounted on the dash of the truck and I wanted to do some real picture taking and hiking, ruff!

On the road to the cliff dwellings.
On the road to the cliff dwellings.

Well  Matt decided to go to a place where people lived up in the cliffs a long, long time ago. He said they left the area way back in the 12th century, now I have no idea what a century is, but it must be a long time! They lived in these big caves and built houses with rocks. He told me it was the Gila Cliff dwellings. Woof, I got to explore a little one on a smaller trail, my human said that trail is called “Trail to the. Past” We also saw some of the  writings of humans that lived there a long time ago, called pictographs (my human told me that word!)

This one looks about the right size for me!
This one looks about the right size for me!
Petroglyph
Petroglyph

After our visit to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, we drove back on the curving windy road, then all the way to a city called Phoenix where my human met some of his pack and visited for a day. He stayed at his aunt’s (who was very kind and nice to me) and saw a lot of cousins. He also also met an internet friend for the first time, woof! I had a good time.

Today we will be driving again, but not the hundreds and hundreds of miles we have been. Matt said we have gone more than 2,700 miles in five days, ruff and he told me I have been in seven new states. I had to get him to remind me what a state was so he tried to make me understand what they are. I’m still not sure but he said there had boundaries like dogs have their territories. Ruff maybe by the end of the trip I will understand fully. Woof, but back to where we are going. My human said we will be going to a place called Sedona and after that the Grand Canyon!

Woof, woof! I can wait to see those and write about them. I’ll be back here soon to report, ruff!