Hello, Matt stepping in on this post on Jackson’s blog. I have been busy for the last few months with a pretty big personal project. After Jackson’s last post on August 31 I didn’t check back on the blog for quite a while. It appears from the traffic history the page went down sometime in November and when Jackson wanted to do a post I found I couldn’t access the page. That was in December so when I finally started trying to find out what happened I couldn’t restore from the backups as the system only goes back 30 days. After some excellent customer service where I host my site I was able to troubleshoot the problems and get the page running.
Jackson is working on a new blog entry so we should have some news from him soon. We both hope everyone had joyful holidays and have had a great start to the new year.
Woof, woof! We are resting in Eugene, Oregon right now and it is nice. It has been a little while since I have updated everyone. After my last blog posting a big storm with wind, rain, and snow made us go stay at a motel in a town called Grand Junction. We were camped close to Arches and Canyonlands parks and when we left it started getting windy, then cold and rainy. After that big storm passed we went to a place called Colorado National monument. We stayed there two nights waiting for it to get warmer because Matt said where we were going was up higher in the mountains and colder too. That was another big canyon called Black Canyon of the Gunnison. I liked it there, deer came right into our campsite and we hiked down into the canyon. It was windy and cold there like Matt said and it rained that night, when we woke up the next morning everything was frozen, woof! I stayed under the warm sleeping bag with Matt for a long time before we got up that morning. Matt waited until the sun had been up a while before we got out.
Just when I thought I had seen everything, then we see something else strange and new. We went on a long drive after the black canyon and went to a place with water shooting out of the ground. The whole place smelled funny. At first I thought my human was being impolite until he explained the stuff called sulfur which was in the air. We went to a place where the ground bubbles, shoots up water way in the sky and makes all kind of strange noises. Some places had steam all over the place and those strange smells. The place is called Yellowstone and some places do have yellow stones, and white, and red, and a whole lot of colors. We had to walk on boardwalks to stay safe. The water looks clear and fresh but Matt said some of it was very hot and some was dangerous because of stuff call acid and he explained what toxic meant. I really enjoyed watching the water spurt up way in the air. Some went all the time and some only now and then. We stayed at Yellowstone for three days.
After Yellowstone we went to another strange looking place, it was called Craters of the Moon, the name is longer than that, but that is all I can remember now. A lot of the land has no plants and it is very rocky. The strange thing is the rocks have holes in them and they are not as heavy as you would think. We went on several hikes there. That place was in a state called Idaho. Woof, talking about states I have been to four new ones for me. Oklahoma was my first new state a long while ago on the trip. Now I can add Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Oregon!
When we got to Oregon there was more rain and snow, we sure have seen a lot of that. The weather has been strange; when we first got in Oregon it was hot, 80 degrees, woof! Then the next day it was 50 and the next day is when it rained and snowed.
Well I have things almost completely updated in this report and I am holding up my paw in a promise to start my next blog tonight.
Woof, well really more than two months. I have been having a great time working as a service dog. We have been going on a lot of hikes everywhere we have been going. Sometimes it is hard to remember I am working so many people are kind and well meaning and they want to pet me. Sometimes Matt lets them if we are resting. This year has been more fun than last year. I hardly ever have to wait in the truck anymore. We were recently in Zion and Bryce national parks, at first I thought Matt said it was Rice Canyon. Can you imagine a canyon full of rice? Matt had a good laugh with that one.
We had a nice weekend not too long ago with Matt’s cousin and his family camping out. Woof, of course when are we not camping out right now? I spent the whole time off leash and not working, I got to roam and play all I wanted to until I just had to lie down to take a nap. We were not near a road and the best thing is there was a creek there, I got to play in it all I wanted and it was fun. I had kids to play with and they wore me out. We stayed there for two days and I got to eat real meat, Tim gave me so much and it was good, ruff! We spent almost the whole time in camp enjoying each other’s company. When we got ready to leave Theresa gave me a new toy and I love it.
After that we went back to the big lake called Powell and this time Matt let me go swimming. Then we went to see a big river called the Colorado. The river was big and the water was flowing too fast Matt said. The net place we went was Zion where we did a lot of hiking. Woof we have been to so many places it is hard to remember them all right now. Then we went to Bryce the rice canyon. I still like to think of it by that name.
We camped in Bryce Canyon park for several days. I think Matt was tired when we arrived. He just about pulled into the first place he saw. After trying to find camping places at pother crowded parks he said we were going to stay for a while to have fun plus get some rest. So far we have hiked down into Rice Canyon (woof, just making a funny) and then hiked at another canyon close by called Red Canyon. The next day we hiked at Kodak Park, at least I thought it was called that, Matt told me it really was Kodachrome Basin State Park.
The next places we went were Arches and Canyonlands parks then we went to Capitol Reef, I got excited because I thought we would see the ocean. Matt told me it was not that kind of reef. It was a beautiful place, we hiked on several trails and it even started snowing when we were on a trail so we had to go back to camp.
We are stayed more than one night in a motel in Grand Junction when the weather got bad, I learned about motels last year. There were a lot of dogs and humans there, woof and they are nice and warm. We are heading out this morning to start camping again and more adventures.
We stayed in a big city for a long time. It got so hot there we only went out early or late then came back to a house when it got too warm. One place we went to was a place where humans lived a long time ago, only a little of the walls and holes in the ground were left. We hiked in green deserts with plants everywhere. A lot of them had stickers on them so I had to be careful. Then we hiked in a desert where flowers were everywhere, I could smell them all over. One place we drove on a real windy road, up and up we went where we could see the sunset and the city light up all over. One of my boots got a hole in it so we went to the place we got my last set. No more little rocks and stuff in my boots and he fixed my old ones so I have two sets of boots now, woof!
We stayed at Matt’s cousin house. Everyone there was very nice. I met a little human named Abby. She hugged me and gave me kisses. She would throw my ball and give me treats. I tried my best not to play with Abby’s toys, but she has some nice balls and a little doll that were too much to resist. My human told me I could not play with them, I tried my best not to and every time I sneaked over to get one of hrs toys Matt caught me, ruff! The only thing I did not like when we were staying there is I had to stay behind two days in a row and that made me a little upset. The second day I howled a little for him, even though his cousins at the house tried to make me feel better.
After the stay in the big city we left to go camping again first we went to a place called Dead Horse. I was afraid we would find dead horses but my human said the name came from a long time ago. Then we went to a town that was on the side of a mountain. My human said there were mines there. I asked him did he say it was mine, but he laughed and said mines were where humans went down inside the ground and brought things back up. That is taking hole digging much further than any dog I know. Usually we bury things, bones and stuff, not find things! Next we went to a different less crowded campground. I liked it there.
Oh woof! Talking about big holes, we went to a place that was a big water hole where humans lived a long time ago. Matt said it was a well, but it did not look like a well to me, it looked like a big swimming place to me. We went on a nice hike the next day and came back to rest at the camp. We had a nice fire and then it started to thunder after it was dark. Later that night it started snowing and we woke up to a white campground, it was fun playing in the snow, woof, woof! We packed up and drove to another town called Flag something where we stayed until it stopped snowing.
Now we are getting ready to go again, I cannot wait to see where we are going!
*Note from Matt*
Places we were visiting/staying in this report:
Dead Horse Ranch State Park
The Devil’s Bridge – Sedona
Oak Creek Canyon
Pine Flats Campground
Woof, woof, we had the best time last week in the mountains. It was so much cooler up there we stayed outside most of the time. Not like we have been at home, only going out early in the morning. We stayed in a town called Mortimer. The strange thing is there are hardly any buildings there, ruff! We camped at our friend’s place called Betsey’s Ole Country Store. It was a great place to camp and visit with Bruce and all the humans and dogs stopping by.
One day we went on a hike to a waterfall where fish hunt, I don’t know what they hunt, other fish, bugs? Or what??? But the name is Hunt Fish Falls. The trail goes down, down, and down more, but when you get there I discovered one of the best swimming places ever! The water was nice and deep and clean smelling (my human likes that.) I did a video of this hike so we should be able to see it soon if my human ever gets it done, woof!
After the hike Matt was pretty tired (I was too, but I was not going to let him know) so we rested on the front porch at the Betsey’s place, but it is really Lucy’s place. She says her human, Bruce, thinks he runs the place, but she is the one really in charge. I like visiting Lucy’s place. I don’t know why she named it Betsey’s Ole Country Store, maybe Betsey is her mother? We spent some time every day there on the porch, my human talking with the other humans. I got to visit with them also plus all the dogs that came visiting. Sometimes it got busy and sometimes it was quiet but it was always peaceful!
We spent a few days at the campground at Ole Betsey’s, it was nice. One evening we went on a walk with Lucy and my human friends Bruce and Candice. Bruce was telling the other humans the history of Mortimer and where the buildings were before the floods made them disappear. One thing I heard was the last big flood was the one that wiped most of the town out. Now it is only a few buildings and houses. Woof, I know my human will be surprised I heard this, all he thought I wanted to do was swim, but I do listen. But, yes I really wanted to swim too; I can never get enough of that!
I’m not sure what part of Betsey’s Country Store I like best. I have stayed in the cabin and teepee before they are nice and I like the campground too! Woof, woof, I almost forgot if you like good food Bruce told me they are going to have a Lowcountry Oyster & Seafood boil on October 22. Woof did I do good Bruce?
PS Here is a link to Betsey’s Ole Country Store Facebook page:
Woof, woof, what fun we had on our last two days of our trip! We drove for a long time. It was so hot my human said we were going to head for the mountains in a state I have been in some, Virginia. We drove from a place call Binghamton, I wonder if they have ham there and what kind ham is Bing? Woof, maybe Bing is the name of the man that has the ham and there is a ton of it? Woof, I think I may be onto something. Well we drove all the way from Bings place to a place in Virginia called Shiny Doe National Park. I like going to national parks even though at most of those I am only allowed in certain places.
Ruff, one bad thing along the way was we got stuck on the big road that has so many cars and big trucks zooming by, but they were not zooming at all for a long, long time that afternoon. All we could see were stopped cars ahead and behind us. On the other side there was not any cars, the road was empty. Woof, I have not ever seen anything like it. Cars with flashing lights and sirens passed by us on the part of the road you are not supposed to drive on. Finally we started moving again, but we got to our campsite later than we wanted. Instead of afternoon, we got there in the evening but before the sun went down.
Woof, I can almost see why the park is called Shiny Doe because we saw plenty of does all around our campground and all over the place. There were big deer and baby deer eating all that good tasting green grass there. I just wonder when they are shiny? They did not look very shiny to me! We were camped at a place called Big Meadows and they were big. Not as big at that Gray Sun Park in Virginia, but it was big, woof! We got there in time to take some sunset photos, well Matt did. I am having some problems with my harness my human is going to have to work on so I only took videos on this trip. Though Matt does have some tricks where he pulls out a frame of the video to make a photograph, ruff!
On our last day we went to a place called Dismal Falls. Woof, I do not know why it was dismal, it was fun and I got to swim and swim and swim! I was fun and I think it should be called Fun Falls because there is a big swimming pool right below it!
Well we are back home now so my human needs to work on my videos, look for them soon, woof! He says we have some plans for our next trip, but I am not telling yet. I really enjoyed this trip and look forward to sharing photos and videos of it, woof, woof!
Matt here again to explain a couple of the place names:
– Shiny Doe Park is Shenandoah National Park
– Grey Sun Park is Grayson Highlands State Park
and of course the Scooty is a reference to Nova Scotia
Woof! We made it back to the USA after our trip to that big country above us. We had fun in that Scooty place, we drove all over and I got to hike and swim at many different places. We saw places I could not swim, where the water was not clear at all. The water was red just like the earth is at home, that was strange. My human said that was because this thing called tide came in and out so fast it stirred things up. We saw one place where the rivers ran backwards sometimes, woof that was really strange. Now we are in places that look more like our mountains. The water is clear, but right now there is not much water in the streams. Matt said it is because there has not been much rain.
We drove a lot when we left Canada (that is what my human called the place where Scooty is.) We drove through that Maine place because it was so busy and hot. Then we came to a state called New Hamster. It was much busier with humans, cars, and dogs than the Nova Scooty place was. When we got to the New Hamster Matt was getting a little discouraged but he said we were going to make the best of it so we stopped and he took pictures even when it was crowded. Then we started looking for a campground to spend the night and it looked like we were going to be out of luck, ruff. Then at one of the campgrounds we stopped and a nice human told Matt there was a place with plenty of places to camp. We drove through some busy towns along the way, but the all of a sudden it was like everyone left. Well not everyone, but it was more like normal when we go camping, woof! We found a nice place with big tall trees surrounded by big tall mountains. There were trails and clear streams and just a few humans and dogs, just enough to make it nice. One thing that I am puzzled about is where are all the hamsters? Is not this place called New Hamster? Are they new? I saw plenty of chipmunks, maybe they are mistaken and calling them hamsters, woof!
Then we set up our campsite and ate dinner. Then my human started a fire and put my pad next to it along with his chair. It was so nice and comfy. I just love camping; I listen to the voices of the other humans and dogs, woof, woof. Those sounds are almost mystical (I bet you did not think I knew that word or what it means.) Everything sounds muted and pleasant. Then the owls started hooting like they did at the house we used to live in. I like hearing them. One was hooting on one side of the campground, then another answering on the other side of the campground.
Well we are off again and not sure where the road will lead us. We will find out when we get there, woof!
Matt here again to interpret some of Jackson’s place names:
Of course the Scooty place is Nova Scotia and New Hamster is New Hampshire!
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.
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.
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.
Woof, woof! What a great time we have had so far. We have been in Canada four days now and have been to so many places. After camping near the place where the water runs backwards and has big whirlpools we finally made it to the Scooty place. My human calls it Nova Scotia, I think that sounds funny and guess what? We have been traveling by Funny Bay and it is funny! The water gets real high and real low. My human would not let me swim there because he said a thing called tide (is that not a detergent?) comes in and out so fast I would be taken away by it. I would not like to lose my human so I decided he was right so I just looked at the water. It was not clear most of the time. It was so red that even I could see the color! Woof! We were at Funny Bay for two days camping by the water, it was very pretty there. We went by a lighthouse at a place called burnt coat. I kept looking for that coat to see if it was burnt, ruff, but I did not see one!
Then it started raining so we went to a big city, but it was so busy and crowded we left there and found a neat place close to a famous lighthouse named Peggy Cove. She must have been special to have a cove and a lighthouse named after her., ruff. Woof, woof, I did get an ice cream cone when we were driving there that day and it was good, they even put a doggy treat on top!
It cleared off that night and we got up early the next morning so my human and I could take pictures. He said there would be a lot of people there and the best time would be very early in the morning. Besides, having been an art director for my human I know morning light makes good photographs. We spent a lot of time photographing the lighthouse, the village where the humans live there, and along the rocky coast. It was very pretty. After taking the photos we packed up and went to a place called Picktoo or something like that. I really liked the campsite we got in the park near the Picky place it is called Cariboo something, boo who? After we set up camp we went into town to see the boats and village. I liked it; there were friendly people and not at all busy like that big Halley city. Now we are at some place that has a cape, I have been busy looking for and when I find it, I will let you know.
Woof, that is all for now, I think Matt has something to say so here he is!
Matt here I think need to decode a few names here for everyone. Jackson has a hard enough time with our local place names, but when we headed north he just doesn’t quite understand them. Here are a few interpretations:
Funny Bay – Bay of Fundy
Picktoo – Pictou
Halley City – Halifax
Burnt coat – Burntcoat Head lighthouse
Cariboo – Caribou Provincial Park
Matthew Irvin & Photo Dog Jackson – Photographers and writers