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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!).
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
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, 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.
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!
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.
Woof, I was so glad we left Eugene. I know it was restful for Matt but it was a bit stressful for me. Where we slept was not as bad, but during the day Ginger the dog just would not leave me alone. Woof! I like attention and getting to know each other but this was way over the top! It did make me a bit happier our last day in Eugene Matt took me on an extra long walk and we played some Frisbee before we got on the road again. Then drove all the way to the ocean, I could tell we were getting close because I could smell it. Matt told me this one is call the Pacific, at first I thought he said Specific. He laughed a long time and corrected me but you should hear some of the mistake he makes. Even I know they are wrong, ruff! I laugh to myself when other humans correct him sometimes. When we got to the beach we were the only ones there so I ran and played on the dunes and I got swim in the ocean. We camped at different places as we traveled up the coastline and honestly I think it was prettier than Nova Scotia, I think I called that place New Scooty last year when I did not know better.
After the desert we sure have been around a lot of water. We went to a big tall waterfall, I can’t remember the name but I do remember it was in the Columbia River Gorge. I will have to ask Matt to name it on the photo when he uploads this blog. We rested some in our campsite at the river; Matt liked listening to the trains. He told me he was going to take me on a train trip sometime. I think that would be fun, woof, woof!
Next we went to some tall mountains where the tops were all covered in snow. Matt said they were volcanoes and they could be very surprising things. Matt said the first one we visited he actually watched explode, well not in person, he saw it on TV. Another one was the tallest mountain and it was covered up by clouds when we first got there, but while we were on a hike it cleared off enough for us to see, and oh, all that snow, woof!
After seeing all these wonderful places we came to Port Townsend to visit and stay with some friends. I have even met one of them before a long time ago. The best part is I made a new best friend, Sophie, who plays with me all the time. I do not even mind when Matt leaves because I can play and not work. There is a big yard and it is pretty far from busy roads so I can run and roam and not worry about watching out for traffic. I really like Sophie and I think she likes me a lot. I think sometimes I wear her out throwing the ball so much but it is so much fun. The only bad thing is after Matt washed his truck he told me it was time for a bath. You know I do not mind water, I just do not like smelly baths, ruff!
We have just left for Olympic National Park; this will make number 23 for me. Matt has one more because he visited a small national park in Seattle. I do not mind because I got to play with Sophie. Of course we have visited more places than that. Those are just the national parks and monuments we have seen. More adventures, WOOF!
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.
Woof, we have been doing a lot since I last wrote. We have been in Arizona a long time now. We hiked through a forest turned into stone. At first when Matt said we were going to the petrified forest, I thought he meant it was afraid of something but he explained the other meaning of the word. I liked it when we went to a big canyon Matt said it wasn’t the Grand Canyon, but it was so pretty green on the canyon floor. Woof, I even got to sit in four states at one time. How many dogs or even humans can say that? Then we stayed at a mountain cabin and then we went to the Grand Canyon and boy was it grand. It seemed grander than the last time we were there. I know I have left some things out. I’ll just have to write more often, ruff.
I really enjoyed staying at the cabin. We stayed there with Matt’s aunt Nancy and Janet. I got to lie down by the fire and it was so warm and cozy and I got to chase the big birds out of the yard. It snowed while we were there too, I have not seen this much snow in a long time. It was nice visiting with them; I like both of them so much. We left for the Grand Canyon after staying at the cabin.
When we got to the Grand Canyon I got to ride on a big thing called a bus. Matt laughed when I called it a big truck, he explained what it was to me.. I have only seen them from the outside and wondered why they were so big. A lot of humans ride on it all at one time and it has doors that open all by themselves. The doors have windows too, I liked looking out at the road and things passing by. The bus stopped a lot of times to let humans on and off. It was nice Matt did not have to drive. Woof, woof, it snowed again when we were camping at the Grand canyon, everything was white when we woke up one morning, but it melted all away.
While we were at the Grand Canyon we went on a hike down into it. Before we could go we had to go talk to a ranger three times. She was real nice. Matt had to explain what I did to help him on the trail. Then she had to tell all the rangers and something called a mule driver we would be on the trail. I really appreciate all the help we had from the Ranger Casey. We got to the trail and walked down, and down, and down. There were a lot of humans on the trail. A lot of them said hello and some wanted to pet me but Matt had to tell them I was working. On our way back up we had to step to the side of the trail because some horses were coming towards us. Well I thought they were horses but Matt said they were mules, so I guess the humans riding them were the mule drivers, woof!
Well I had better start on my next blog because I left a lot out of this one!
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! I have become a backseat driver! I started out in the front seat on this trip as usual and ended up in the back. This made me mad at first and I kept trying to sneak back up in the front, but that is hard to do. At first I though it was because of all the helpful suggestions I make when he is driving. I know I do get a bit talkative and pace a little bit so I thought my commentary on his driving got me put there. He said something about it being safer for me than riding in the front seat since I do not have a doggie seat belt. Matt said his truck was too old to take the right kind so the back seat is now mine, well at least half of it is. I think I finally am used to it, but I did not like it at first. Woof, I do have to admit this was after I was not ready for the bump in the road and my head hit the front window and made the crack longer.
Since we left my friend Francie’s house (she is my human’s cousin) we have camped and gone to so many places. Texas is a big place and we have been to two other states after that. My human said we were in it long before we stayed at Francie’s house. In Texas we saw places where wires ran all over in crazy patterns and huge machines that look like they were big birds drinking water, but there was no water there. We hiked on sandy beaches where I could not see or smell water. Then we came to a place called New Mexico, another place that is a lot different from where I live, we found an even bigger beach with no water there. Another had pictures and drawings on the rocks. Matt said they were done a long, long time ago. Not like the painted things you see in the cities. He said these were done long before he was born! We walked along these rocks for what seemed forever while he looked and photographed them.
Then we stayed in a place called Cliff and there were a lot of cliffs there. We stayed for a few days visiting with my human’s friends. We went on hikes every day and I even had to walk on a strange path where you could see below you. Matt said it was a cat walk, but I did not see any cats. They must be special to have their own walk. I wonder if they are okay with all that noisy water rushing below them. I bothered me. I know that water is dangerous and we were way above it I was scary but Matt helped me. I even got to swim in a gentle creek, there was a lot of fast water at other places, but my new friends knew where to go for the best swimming.
Woof! I was hoping to catch up to where we are now, but I have waited too long to write, I have been so busy. I think I will stop here and continue in the next blog entry. I will let you know we are in another state with a green desert.
Woof, woof, we have been busy. We had a great time at my friend Marlene’s place for two days. My human needed a rest after all the things he had to do just before we left and it was going to rain so we stayed longer. Marlene was real nice and it is always fun to visit her even though Hobo, her cat, was not to happy I was there. Marlene lives in a place called Welcome Valley and I always feel welcome there. I hated to leave but Matt said it was time to go. I hope we visit Marlene again after we get back woof!
We left early the next day to go to a state called Missus Sippy; I wonder who she was and why they named a state after her? That night we camped at a park named Wall Doxey. I did not see a wall, but it was a nice quiet place. We left early the next morning and went to a place called Barkansas. We stopped at a place that my human said was a welcome center. It was nice, but not nice like Welcome Valley. The humans at the welcome center were welcoming, woof, that is a doggy joke! They let us use the sitting area to make posts on Facebook and my other doggie media places. That night we ended up staying in a park in Barkansas because we got stuck for a long time on one of those big fast roads. My human says the other roads are better and I think he is right. There are a lot more neat things to see and not as many cars and big trucks.
After leaving the diamond park in Barkansas (I did not see any shiny rocks there) we went to find a Broken Bow in a place my human had never been to. It was a funny name, Okayhome I think. It seemed to be a nice place. Then we had a long drive to a big town in Texas, did I get that one right? We spent several days in the town Matt calls Austin, while we were there he took me into two places that has food all around, it was so hard to keep working on my mind with all of those yummy smells right next to me and all around. Now I know where he gets my food from. We went on a hike where there were a lot of people and dogs. Barking Creek maybe? I cannot remember. The only thing I did not like was my human did not let me swim, ruff!
We will be leaving Austin soon and going to some desert areas, I wonder if that means it will be sweet and yummy there.
Before we left Austin I did get a chance to swim, but I did have to get a bath after, ruff! I will tell about that in my next post.
That is it for now!
Matthew Irvin & Photo Dog Jackson – Photographers and writers