Monday, September 15, 2014

Hudson's Cancer Is Back

Hudson's cancer has returned. Two-fold it seems.  Last week two tumors were taken off him; on the base of his tail the other on his ear.  Path lab report indicates that the former is a neurofibrosarcoma, the latter a grade 2 mast cell.  

And while it's preliminary pending further testing and consultation with a few oncologists contingencies must be made.  What has made it even more difficult for me, other than being thousands of miles away from him, the lack of cell service on both my AT&T & verizon phone.  The path results were texted to me and I had to use the landline of a grocer in elk CA to learn its scope.  

The walk may be postponed once we reach San Francisco.  As we're within 130 miles of the Bay Area and planning a few events there, we're committed to them.  After that, what we learn this week will make a determination.  

What's particularly disconcerting to me is that there was a 95% probability of no recurrence or metastasis within two years.  It's been less than one.  

We've been tried and tested the entire time on this journey in ways I didn't foresee, perhaps even unforeseeable.  But what matters now is Hudson.  Indy and I are back on the road tomorrow unsure & uncertain what comes next. 

Monday, September 8, 2014


Just like the Super Bowl half time is all about the sponsors so I wanted to take a few to thank all of ours who have help make this journey possible.

TAGG the GPS Pet Tracker

TAGG has saved our fuzzybutts on more than one occasion.  The best example of this was when I walked highway 20 from Corvallis to Newport OR solo.  I took one of the trackers in case of an emergency and on the very first day I ran into a bit of a crisis. We had made water drops along the 50 mile stretch and my supply was down to less than half a liter.  As I neared the first drop I saw a man in a John Deere mower cutting the grass on the highway shoulder.

I sprinted up to him and asked if he found 2 jugs of water in the area he recently cut and he said he had and that one of them may have escaped the blade of the mower.  It didn't.  The temp in wilamette valley was already soaring up to the 90s and the next drop was down the road another 10 miles so i was in a bit of a pickle.

Ginger was able to tag me and then find a nearby store using Yelp.  TAGG - not only great for your dog but Yer Big Dog too!  I've gotten to know the trackers intimately and the folks behind them and I can't say enough about them. The fuzzybutts will be wearing them even after this walk.  

 When you purchase the trackers at their website and sign up for the service, enter the promo code 2Dogs they're generously offering a 10% discount and donate $25 to the Puppy Up Foundation. Also you can track Indy and me as we walk the west coast at It's been a little confusing because we're staying with more host families and sometimes we're tagged after we've been picked up and off the road.

We'd also like to thank our other walk sponsors: Hollywood Feed for providing the dog food for the walk.   P2 Collars and Toki Poki for the awesome corded collars and leashes.  Everlasting Memories for the beautiful infinity ring that holds Murphy's ashes. Orijen for providing the 6 Fish food for Hudson.

Rudy Green's

Karla, proprietor of Rudy Greens and chef extraordinaire to the dogs, just sent this hilarious video a few weeks back and it stars Teh-De a pit bull we met on our first walk and cancer survivor.  Check it out!

Also, Karla has been nominated for Martha Stewarts American Made awards - please share on Facebook and Twitter

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Scenes from the roadside 3 or 4?

Monterey Cypress grove. Westport CA. 

The 3rd and last time we cross the coastal mountain range

Pitching a tent on a promontory.  Westport CA

One of the great mysteries of this walk. Why poop on the white stripe?  Kid you not - all of the scat on hwy 1 is on or near it

Chipalope... Unsurprisingly Found only in the pot country of Humbolt

On the road there is no clean. Only degrees of dirty. Washing my shirt in a hotel sink

Meet Dave. He lost his Indy to cancer & every year takes Indy's favorite toy - a gorilla - on hikes in the redwood forest. Meeting ppl like him makes it all worthwhile

Josie's a beautie. She has cushings from a tumor on her pituitary gland

Autumn in August?  Never seen the leaves change so early in all our travels. Ferndale CA

Indy getting a little ass in Fortuna CA

Now that's irony

Etched in the sands of time

That's right Ella - you tell em

The glorious Trinidad beach... Breathtaking

Miss my Hudson but we must walk on!

Scenic route. Trinidad CA

Hey it gets lonely on the road... Indy's all about the girls from Cali 

An elk bull.  I was just 20 feet away when I took this pic. Powerful 

The south slope of the 101 mountain from crescent city was so dangerous that we walked on this narrow retaining wall. Frikkin crazy

Curious sea creatures that wash ashore on the west coast.  Like a mini Portuguese man o war found on the Gulf of Mexico 

Hudson's last days with us on the west coast

Chef big dog, tho otherwise occupied, is still in the house! Tex mex cuban sammich w chorizo spicy pickle roasted peppers bacon marinated pork chops and a chipotle mustard sauce

We enjoys having our friend and nutmegger Valerie join us on the road for a few days.  

The drive... Err... walk thru tree

Klamath river

Jimmy at the log house.  He walked from garberville to fort Bragg with me

Halfway Home

Yesterday I completed a 145 mile 13 consecutive day stretch from mckinleyville to fort bragg and man I'm beat and taking the day off to rest and relax on the beach. And catch up on the story telling part of this adventure.  So so much has happened and we've met lots of cool coastal kind of folks that this post won't even come close to recounting them all.  


As I posted in a previous blog I had a tough couple of weeks after Hudson got off the road.  Unsurprisingly I took it hard and a dark, deep vein of sadness set in.  But he made it to Memphis safely and is now with ginger courtesy of our good friend Hope - thank you ma'am!  

Indeed, the stretch from crescent city to Klamath was exceedingly tough and it took all my focus and energy but it was therapeutic and though Hudson's absence is felt with every step, Indy and I have a mission to complete.

The Rhythm Of The Road

The first half of this journey has been a series of stops and starts while we were trying to determine the problem with Hudson's pads.  Now that's been resolved Indiana and I have been able to grind out the miles. We walked 9 consecutive days together to garberville and it's inspiring to see the grown up puppy he's become.  Truly a champion.

God it feels good to finally reach the rhythm.  

Amongst Giants

Expounding my experiences in the famous humbolt redwood forest would require pages and pages at a minimum.

The avenue of giants, the main road through the park, spans 32 miles of old growth forest with sequoia redwoods reaching over 350 feet in height and 50 feet in circumference and dating back to the Age of the Vikings. 

Aww that's a small moosey

On the One

Once we arrived at the end of the avenue in garberville a nice couple we met in eureka picked up lil nanner for the rest of the week while I continued on.  The downside of the forest was that it pushed us inland again into the Eel River valley where temps get up to the 90s and the sun burns off the fog by 9am and is punishing.

So my goal was to get down to leggett ca, pick up 1, cross the mountains for the last time and get back to the coast where weather conditions are much more amenable for Indiana. 

Only in reflection will I admit that it was bittersweet leaving the 101 after we'd shed so much blood sweet and tears on it but da-yamn it was time to get off it.  

YBDs Notes 1: Adjusted Schedule.  We're behind a few weeks and trying to make them up now but our target date to San Diego is the second week of December.  From fort bragg I estimate 160 miles to the Bay Area then 500 more to the border.  

YBDs Notes 2: companions on the road.  We've had an incredible couple of weeks made even more so by people who have walked with us.  From eureka to scotia we had someone with us.  And our good friend Valerie from CT walked with us the previous week.  And then jimmy from Fortuna walked with me on the brutal stretch from garberville to fort Bragg - thanks man. Helluva time & thanks for the native knowledge 

YBDs Notes 3: #%?@!!!! Cell phones.  From Waldport OR my ATT iPhone has been very little more than just dead weight.  This is why I can't post more pics more often and why I have people helping me with social media.  

Folks I met in Oregon kept telling me that cell phone reception wouldn't be a problem in Northern California.  We go days and days without reception and it's tiring disappointing and downright lonesome.  But it's inspired a whole comedy routine I've recorded.