Tag Archives: hiking

On Our Way to the Tetons

   Woof, when we left on our trip it was warm and when we returned it was warm again so I didn’t mind the wet. After leaving early in the morning we stopped at a place along the way in central Oregon called Crack-in-the-Ground and what a big crack it was. We hiked a little way but there were some spots Matt thought was too steep for us so we turned around but it was a neat place. It was in a community called Christmas Valley, but it didn’t look like Christmas to me but it was still nice. I like the Oregon desert, woof!

Woof, me in the big crack in the ground!
Woof, me in the big crack in the ground!

After our hike we decided to drive on to Ontario (Oregon) instead of camping in the area to visit another place in eastern Oregon. Matt said if couldn’t find a campsite close to Ontario he would get a room, which he did. I was ready to go the next morning because we knew where we would be camping the next night it’s an unusual place. Matt doesn’t like to drive on the Interstates so we took a slightly longer but less stressful drive following the Snake River for at least 40 miles. Matt said we would get to see that river again when we got to the Grand Tetons.

We had visited Craters of the Moon National Monument two years ago. It’s out in the middle of Idaho and looks real strange. The ground is mostly covered in rocks and gravel, and the rocks have lots of holes in them. I usually have to wear my boots there because the rocks can hurt my feet, woof!  Matt got there early enough to choose a nice campsite and we had plenty of time to explore, even with the added time Matt had to go back to the campground to get his forgotten camera bag. We are lucky most campers are honest and leave other people’s stuff alone, though Matt was nervous until get got the camera bag!

Our camp set-up at Craters of the Moon National Monument.
Our camp set-up at Craters of the Moon National Monument.

We got up the next morning, Matt cooked breakfast, and we left for the Grand Tetons right after eating. It was still a long drive, we don’t like to drive more than four hours a day and Matt said it was going to be about a half hour longer than that and of course that doesn’t count for the stops for Matt to take photos, or just regular breaks. Sometime on our trips we are out where there isn’t much of anything but land, or mountains, or things like that. Matt always tells me we know we are in real remote places when you don’t see power lines next to the road for miles and miles. We went through a lot places like that in eastern Oregon and in Idaho, you can drive for hours and not see any signs of people. Now animals are a different thing, on these trips sometimes we see animals you wouldn’t see where a lot of people live, though we didn’t any on this trip unless you count squirrels.

Driving through these big open areas, we both love being able to see from what seems to be from the edge of the Earth to the other edge of the Earth. The most fun part of the drive for me was going over Teton Pass. The road winds back and forth and goes up and up. When you get to the top you feel like you are on top of the world, I made Matt stop at the top so we could look out over all the land below us. Woof, what a view!

The view from Teton Pass.
The view from Teton Pass.

I’m going to stop here; my next post will be about what we did and our return to Eugene.

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.

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!

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,

 

Close Encounters of the Pony Kind

Woof, when I first started my blog I mentioned my buddy Maverick. He was part of our pack when I first chose Matt as my forever human. What happened to me reminded me of a story he told me before he went to a place called the Rainbow Bridge. First I will tell you my story and since Matt has photos of Maverick’s adventure I will tell that next.

The foal coming to investigate us.
The foal coming to investigate us.

We went camping last weekend at one of Matt’s favorite places we have come to this place often and hike the wide open spaces and forests too. Almost every time we come here we see a lot of the wild ponies that eat grass all the time. A long time ago, at least in dog years, Matt used to backpack all over and a lot of times it was in this area. Maverick went with him and carried his own food and bowls in his own back pack, but like I said I will tell his story later.

He came right up to me, woof!
He came right up to me, woof!

While we were on one of our hikes we stopped so Matt could take some photographs of the ponies. After taking a few photos a young pony got curious and decided to come over to us. Maverick had told me to stay away from the big ponies and not to walk behind them when he shared his story with me. As the young one, Matt said it was called a foal, started walking towards us I got nervous. All of a sudden Matt backed up and there I was alone with this big foal sniffing me, woof! I did not know what to do so I just sat as still as I could and tried to figure out what he was going to do next.

Woof, I am not sure about this!
Woof, I am not sure about this!
Woof, woof, leave my ear alone!
Woof, woof, leave my ear alone!

Right when it seemed like he might nibble my ear Matt came over and rescued me. That sure was a bit scary but I know Matt would not let anything bad happen. The foal went back to his mother and we went on our way. Now I know how Maverick felt when he had his close encounter. I will tell that story in the next blog.

Well, that was interesting!
Well, that was interesting!

Wrapping It Up (and more to come!)

 

Woof, I have been one busy dog! We have been back for a while, but I never did a wrap up of our trip. After we left St Paul we were super busy. We went to visit my friend Nate in a town with a funny name like Wetcorney or Corneywetter or something like that in Wisconsin. Our friends, Nate and his humans Bob ad Paulette used to live in North Carolina but moved to that Croneey place. We had a great time visiting with them.   

Our next part of stop wasn’t really a stop, we met up with another of Matt’s friends and we drove and hiked all over this place called Up somewhere in Michigan  the only problem I could not figure where up was! I got to see some new places though. I liked the Great Lakes, they are big as oceans, woof! The waves are a lot nicer there, not as scary as the big ones at the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. We went to waterfalls too there is a lot of water in Michigan (and mosquitoes too!).

This is me at Pichured Rocks rocking it in a boat, woof!
This is me at Pictured Rocks rocking it in a boat, woof!
I am swimming in a Great Lake and woof, was it great!
I am swimming in a Great Lake and woof, was it great!

Next we went to Ohio to see my friend Lisa, I had not seen her for a long time and was sad to learn my friends Pugly and Lucky had gone over the Rainbow Bridge I miss them. I was so glad to see Lisa and meet her new furry owners. All of us had fun at her place.

Woof, Matt has so many cousins I cannot keep up with them all and I wonder how he does.  When we left my friend Lisa’s house we visited another of Matt’s cousins in West Virginia. I saw some big birds when we were there, Matt said they were turkeys. I have never seen such large birds like that before. The next couple of days we did a lot of driving, Matt went to the place where he was born where he went to a bunch of places and took pictures.

I am glad we came back to Marlene’s place in Welcome Valley. It’s always nice there even though Hobo, her cat does not like me much. We stayed there for a week sleeping and resting and relaxing, woof it was nice not driving, well riding in the truck for a change. After Welcome Valley we left for the Smokey Mountains in the rain. I was looking for Smokey the Bear the two days we spent there but I did not see him

Our campsite at the Great Smoky Mountains.
Our campsite at the Great Smoky Mountains.

Then we stopped at Matt’s friend in Asheville. I get to meet Ziva while we were there. She is the boss of Rodney and Valerie, her humans and Matt’s friends.  After we left Ziva’s house we were back on the Blue Ridge Parkway and camped at a place called Crabtree Falls. I wanted to ask Matt why the trees are crabby but I was afraid he would laugh at me. We hiked down to the falls while we were there and enjoyed our last hike of our long trip.

Spending the night at my friend Lucy’s place where her human works at Betsey’s at Wilson Creek in Mortimer was next. We stayed for two lazy days so we would not be too tired by the time we got home.

After we got home I still needed to rest and Matt had to do a lot of catching up, after all we had been gone for five months. Now we are both editing our photographs and videos plus writing about our trip so expect to see more soon, woof!

We are off to Tennessee this weekend to see the eclipse (it’s my birthday present from Matt!)

Woof, woof,

Heading East


  Woof, hello everyone we have been busy the last couple of weeks and what adventures we have had. We are now well east in Minnesota visiting friends in Saint Paul.

  We headed east after we drove to the end of the US until we could not drive any further and then we walked until we could not walk any further. When we reached the very point of Cape Flattering, oops, I mean Flattery, I got so close to the edge it made Matt nervous. He said the cliffs there were undercut so you could fall from the edge breaking off. We were pretty high above the ocean. I stood there and thought about how far we have come. Living in the truck can be cold and cramped but it has been fun so far. We started driving east after our walk and have seen a lot more but it will still be a while before we get home.

This is Cape Flattery and as far as we could go west!
This is Cape Flattery and as far as we could go west!

  Before our walk out to the very edge of the US we were in a rainforest. It was a green, green forest. Green enough where I can see the difference. It was wet all over and mossy. It smelled wonderful. I liked when Matt drove up into the clouds and then up above them to see snow and tall mountains. On a hike by a big river we saw big deer. Matt said they were Elk and not really deer. One of them barked at us and Matt said we needed to leave right then. It was real loud, and I think they followed us a little way.

  I also wanted to mention after walking to the edge of the continent we went back to my friend Sophie’s house. I got excited when I recognized the smell of her place until I remembered Matt said no one would be there. I really wanted to see Sophie again and also Liz and everyone else but Sophie is my special friend. We left the next day and Matt drove the truck onto a big boat called a ferry, I like riding on those. I have ridden on one before, but this one was bigger and I got to walk around on this one instead of staying in the truck.

  So far on our trip east we have enjoyed visiting several parks. We have seen more tall mountains and snow. In North Cascades National Park where we spent two days hiking and enjoying the sights and smells. Glacier National Park was fun too. It was another park that was not all open. We camped on both sides but had a long drive to get from one side to the other. We really started going further each day after making quick stops by other places. One place was called Littlebighorn – woof! I just cannot figure out that name, next we saw Mount Rushmore that place had four big heads of men carved out of the tops of the mountains. Matt told me they were big in more than one way after I told him what I observed. Our next stop was called Badlands, I was wondering why they were called bad, did they do something wrong? I did not want to listen to a long explanation this time so I did not ask Matt about it, woof!

This is St Mary Lake in Glacier National Park I had to get a permit to hike in this park.
This is St Mary Lake in Glacier National Park I had to get a permit to hike in this park.
Me and Matt!
Me and Matt at Badna!

Well after St Paul we will be going to a state called Wiscoccon tomorrow and visit my good friend Nate and his humans and after that to a place called the Upper Peninsula.

Bye for now!