AUGUST 2004 JOURNAL ARCHIVE


1st - Day #93
MUSCATINE, IOWA EVENT RAISES $4,775

Muscatine - The Pearl of the Mississippi -- welcomed Max & Bailey to Iowa on Sunday with a 50-bike escort led by Bobbie Brown and others from the Abate of Iowa, District 15. Bobbie and her friends met us in Rock Falls, IL to begin the 90-mile escort into Iowa. What began with about 15 bikes quickly grew to over 50 riders after a stop at Ducky's Lagoon - a local biker hangout in Andalusia, IL just across the Mississippi River from Iowa.

Mark Twain once wrote about the spectacular sunsets in Muscatine. While I'm no Mark Twain, I'd have to agree with his assessment about the sunsets, but I'd also add an entire book on the generosity of the city's citizens and businesses. Led by KSDS Puppy Raiser Jennifer Blair, Muscatine threw an outdoor benefit dinner and live auction to support Max & Bailey's Ride Across America. When the dust settled after the event, the total amount raised was just shy of $5,000. What began with a single volunteer in a town of approximately 25,000 turned into one of our highest earning events.

A strong showing from KSDS clients and foster puppy raisers help illustrate the importance of Assistance Dogs in the lives of their partners with disabilities. And a strong showing from the community illustrated this community's commitment to reduce the long waiting lists facing people with disabilities seeking the assistance of a service dog. Thank you Muscatine!

If you've been here before, you've heard me sing the praises of our volunteers and how important they are in our success. Now, you've seen another example of how one volunteer rallied her community to support a local event -- and it paid off BIG!

So, do you think you have what it takes to start something in your home town? We need everyone to share the story of Max & Bailey's Ride with your neighbors, your local news stations and your favorite talk shows on radio or TV. We need you to examine your abilities to help start an event in your own town and contact us if you have an idea for an education or fundraising event. Like to cook? Throw a fundraising barbecue. Play in a band? How about a benefit concert for 1000 (or more) of your biggest fans. Know someone famous or with major influence who could help promote Max & Bailey's Ride? Call them today.

If none of the above works for you, how about spending a few dollars in our Hogs For Dogs' online store or making a donation. Every dollar counts. Imagine if we could get the entire country to donate just $1. That would be $350 million - problem solved. Get involved today. It does make a difference.

Donor(s) of the Day: Muscatine, Iowa - period. This small town has a huge heart, and some great sunsets, too!

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Welcome to Iowa - Max & Bailey's 26th state (2) A rousing welcome for Max & Bailey (3) Charity Auction attendees (4) KSDS clients and puppy raisers pose for a photo with Max & Bailey


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


2nd - Day #94
JANET CELEBRATES HER 39TH BIRTHDAY IN MUSCATINE, IOWA

Monday was a more relaxed affair for everyone after a rousing fundraising event on Sunday. Max & Bailey spent the day playing and lounging with several KSDS foster puppies and a few Assistance Dogs while the adults enjoyed a great cookout at Derry and Carla McGuire's home (foster puppy raisers for KSDS). We also suprised Janet with a birthday cake and some great presents from the KSDS folks. They even got me a great t-shirt for my birthday, which I celebrated back in June during our NYC visit. But it wasn't until after Max & Bailey spent a few minutes on the grooming table that we received the most amazing gift.

Ed Maynard spent about an hour sprucing up Max & Bailey's appearance on Monday. Then, as Ed was cleaning up his tools, he and his wife Nancy asked to speak with us in private. Ed looked very somber and I was worried that Ed saw something while grooming Max or Bailey that we hadn't noticed. By the time our conversation was over, we were all crying because Ed and Nancy offered us a free Golden Retriever puppy from their breeding stock when the time came to let Max & Bailey go on to chase Frisbees in the sky. The same breeding beautiful Golden Retriever breeding stock that they use for the puppies that they donate to KSDS for Service Dogs. Their dogs are priceless.

Max & Bailey have many good years left and could never be replaced. But, knowing there is a Golden Retriever puppy waiting to cheer us up when Max & Bailey's time comes is a gift that only comes from the heart and we were left with no words to appropriately say thank you. It will be a birthday present that Janet, nor I, will ever forget.

The day ended as quietly as it began with a family dinner at the Blair's household (our Muscatine hosts). And then, around 10:00 am the next morning (Tuesday), we saddled up and looked north to Shell Rock, Iowa. But that is the story for tomorrow.

Do you think you have what it takes to start something in your home town? We need everyone to share the story of Max & Bailey's Ride with your neighbors, your local news stations and your favorite talk shows on radio or TV. We need you to examine your abilities to help start an event in your own town and contact us if you have an idea for an education or fundraising event. Like to cook? Throw a fundraising barbecue. Play in a band? How about a benefit concert for 1000 (or more) of your biggest fans. Know someone famous or with major influence who could help promote Max & Bailey's Ride? Call them today.

If none of the above works for you, how about spending a few dollars in our Hogs For Dogs' online store or making a donation. Every dollar counts. Imagine if we could get the entire country to donate just $1. That would be $350 million - problem solved. Get involved today. It does make a difference.

Donor(s) of the Day: Shirley K. from Oswego, IL made an online donation of $30, giving her the day's donor of the day honors. Thank you, Shirley, for supporting Max & Bailey's ride.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Bailey gets groomed (2) Janet shows off her t-shirt signed by many of the KSDS puppies and service dogs (3) Group shot with KSDS clients Karen and Doug (4) Jennifer Blair and her foster puppy, Crash, pose for a photo just before we left Muscatine.


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


4th - Day #96
MAX & BAILEY DEPART SHELL ROCK, IOWA HEADING FOR MINNESOTA

After more than a week of work of waiting for its arrival, we think we now have our new laptop up and running. I'm still lacking some of the software we use for these updates, but we're getting closer. For anyone who sent email prior to July 25th and didn't get a response, please resend. Our inbox was lost and if I didn't answer yet - that's where it was. I also have nearly 200 emails in today's inbox, so give me a day or two to catch up, please. Also, forgive any spelling/typo errors until we get our wordprocessing software reloaded.

Because we've been falling behind in our updates, I'll compress this one update for the last two days. Hope you'll forgive me for that.

Max & Bailey left Muscatine, Iowa on Tuesday after a great two-day visit with the Blair family. Local events had raised nearly $5,000. A record for a single small-town event. So, around 10:00 am, we headed north towards Shell Rock to visit with more KSDS puppy raisers, Hank and Rita Wilson. We were supposed to hook up with Walt Howard, but somehow missed him by a few minutes. We arrived at the Wilson home about 15 minutes before Walt -- he had been just behind us the entire way.

The Wilsons were ready for our arrival and the newspaper reporters weren't far behind, arriving with just enough time to say hello and have a cold drink. We answered questions and took photos for a few hours and then prepared for a group dinner at the Wilson's home. Friends, family and KSDS clients joined us for dinner where we shared stories of our travels and listened to stories from all the farmers. Farmers, if you didn't know, always have the best stories and Hank Wilson is QUITE the farmer. We love you Hank! And we love Rita, too. Her hospitality and meal raised several hundred dollars from those who attended.

Wednesday morning came early, but our departure was delayed for rain (again) and some feeble attempts to transfer old data to our new laptop PC. When the sun came out, and looked like it would stay that way, we took off for Minneapolis, MN. It was a perfect day for riding - not so hot and plenty of cloud cover. And though we don't often take interstates, we did for this leg of the trip. Max & Bailey were a HUGE hit at the two rest areas we stopped at and it was a pretty good fundraiser! Who knew?

Today finds us in the home of Todd and Rene Norton, our Minneapolis volunteer hosts. The phone has been ringing off the hook with media questions and plans for tonight's events. If you're in the Minneapolis area, stop by The Joint on Cedar Avenue. Max & Bailey will be there around 6:30 pm. We'll have more stories from our Minneapolis event tomorrow.

Donor(s) of the Day: Walt Howard is the donor of the day. He rode nearly 400 miles round- trip to catch up with us, most of it in the rain, just to meet Max & Bailey and to purchase several logo gear items. Now that, my friends, is dedication. So, he gets the top honors today.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Walt Howard after his 200-mile ride to meet us (2) Our Shell Rock hosts, Hank & Rita Wilson (3) Bailey smiles for Kim, the Shell Rock Courier photographer (4) Spreading the good word at the Minnesota Welcome Center.


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


5th - Day #97
MAX & BAILEY ROLL THROUGH MINNEAPOLIS, MN

NOTE: NEW LAPTOP HAS ARRIVED. IF YOU SENT AN EMAIL BEFORE JULY 25TH AND DIDN'T GET A REPLY, PLEASE SEND AGAIN. IT WAS PROBABLY LOST WHEN OUR INBOX WAS CORRUPTED. IF YOU SENT AN EMAIL AFTER THAT TIME AND I HAVEN'T RESPONDED, PLEASE BE PATIENT AS WE CATCH UP.

Im sure you've heard the saying that "timing is everything." Well, it was never truer than for our arrival in Minneapolis. Months ago, Todd and Rene Norton had invited us to stay with them when they learned about Max & Bailey's Ride; I said we'd call when we got closer, then our computer crashed and I lost their info for a while. I finally caught up with these guys on Tuesday night, less than 24 hours before our arrival. No sweat; Todd was very calm on the phone and said, "we'll see you tomorrow."

Well, these two were anything but calm. They immediately began an all-out media blitz for Max & Bailey's arrival, began working on some local appearances to maximize exposure and loaded up the house with food. (side story - Rene called friends to ask, "what do you think people from North Carolina will eat?") We arrived late on Wednesday to big hugs, fajitas for dinner and small (calm) talk about the next day's plans.

When the phone started ringing at 6:00 am the next morning, we knew that couldn't be normal. The radio stations were broadcasting Max & Bailey's arrival, local friends were checking in with their progress around the city and the local NBC affiliate KARE 11 was on the phone asking what time they could come shoot some video. And all that was before 9:00 am! Todd and Rene were turning the city upside down, shaking loose every possible opportunity.

Later in the day, a small band of riders joined us as we made our way down to The Joint, one of Minneapolis' best biker hangouts. We were greeted by the owner, fed and watered, and invited to hang out our 'wares' to raise a little awareness as bikes rolled in and out. But, it was still early and this was the first Thursday of the month: bike night at Dulono's Pizza. So, we followed Todd and Rene's tail lights to Dulano's where there must have been 1000 bikes parked in a two block area. So where do you park?

Rene jumps off the bike parts the crowd with her charming personality and makes a hole for us right up front in the middle of the pack. We sold shirts, we passed out brochures and we made friends. Then it was back to The Joint to close up the night - but not until we had the chance to ride through the downtown lights of Minneapolis on the way.

A great day and a great night with great people. Maybe it was just the timing, but we happen to believe that Todd and Rene just ROCKED the city until they woke up for Max & Bailey's arrival. And, with very little arm twisting, we've decided to stay an extra day in Minneapolis. So, we'll change our online schedule to reflect the coming days and enjoy a few moments of peace in Minneapolis.

Todd and Rene showed us just how successful a local media blitz can be. If you'd like to help us with media for the ride, here's the simple solution. Look at our ride schedule, search the Internet for media outlets (radio, TV, newspaper) in the cities we're visiting and then start emailing and calling them about Max & Bailey's Ride. It works -- we have seen it first hand time and again on this trip. Get involved if you think we can make a difference.

Max & Bailey t-shirts are still selling faster than we can keep them in stock. But that's okay. Buy all you want -- we'll make more! And it all goes to charity.

Donor(s) of the Day: Jennifer (Jenna) F. from Edina, MN stopped by Todd and Rene's house with a $250 donation and lots of support for Max & Bailey's Ride. Jenna is yet another example of the generosity we've seen here in Minnesota.

Photos of the Day: (1) Rene poses for a shot with Bailey at The Joint (2 & 3) Dulano's Pizza Bike Night (4) Max posing like a celebrity

Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


7th - Day #99
MAX & BAILEY ARE IN FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA

NOTE: NEW LAPTOP HAS ARRIVED. IF YOU SENT AN EMAIL BEFORE JULY 25TH AND DIDN'T GET A REPLY, PLEASE SEND AGAIN. IT WAS PROBABLY LOST WHEN OUR INBOX WAS CORRUPTED. IF YOU SENT AN EMAIL AFTER THAT TIME AND I HAVEN'T RESPONDED, PLEASE BE PATIENT AS WE CATCH UP.

For those of you who are paying close attention, I've purposely skipped my update for Friday. The day was spent catching up on paperwork and email at the Minneapolis home of Todd and Rene Norton. In a nutshell : work, dinner and a late-night movie. Theres an entire story to be told about our movie experience, but suffice to say that I sat next to the world's largest, and loudest, cynic. What an unhappy human being.

Todd and Rene escorted us out of Minneapolis this morning with a short stop at the Mall of America for some photos. It is an American icon of sorts, so we had to get Nax & Bailey's photo there (one of today's photos).

The 240-mile run to Fargo marks our entry into the 27th state on Max & Bailey's Ride. We also crossed the 10,000-mile milestone today. With only 119 days and 15,000 more miles to go, we need everyone to get involved by spreading the word about the ride, making a donation of any size and/or purchasing some logo gear.

Our Max & Bailey t-shirts are still selling faster than we can keep them in stock. But that's okay. Buy all you want -- we'll make more! It all goes to charity.

Donor(s) of the Day: I don't know the names of our donors today. The day's donations came from several families we met during stops on the way to Fargo today. They had seen our story on Minneapolis' NBC Affiliate KARE 11 and on CNN last weekend. I was so surprised that someone we met actually saw the dogs on TV that I forgot to ask them their names.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Todd, Rene and the Hogs For Dogs crew (2) Mall of America (just before the cops chased us away) (3) Leaving Minneapolis (photo courtesy of Todd & Rene) (4) Just a great shot of Max.


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


8th - Day #100
SOUTH DAKOTA WELCOMES MAX & BAILEY

With a weather report that sounded like nothing but rain, we left Fargo, North Dakota completely confused and surrounded by beautiful sunshine. Just to be safe, we stopped only once in North Dakota for an obligatory photo. Today's photo #1 could have been taken anywhere along the route. Unfortunately, it all looked the same: flat & corn mixed with hay fields.

South Dakota, to the south (of course) teased us with verdant rolling hills that seemed to take forever to reach - even at 70 mph. I know we don't normally take interstates, but all the other roads we looked at ended (or began) with loose gravel, so we stayed to the highway for the 240 miles. Our efforts were rewarded with a quick crossing of the North/South Dakota border and some very friendly folks at a gas stop.

If you haven't traveled these parts before - and we haven't - I'll set the scene for you. The highway is bordered by rolling fields (more corn, grain and hay) and only rarely is the highway intersected by other roads. So, with our bikes running on fumes, we were quick to exit at the Hwy 12 exit off of I-29. Looking for fuel and a bite to eat, we pulled into the Conoco Coffee Cup Fuel Stop, an oasis in a cornfield desert. That's where we met Wendy.

Wendy, one of the Coffee Cup's employees and a professed dog lover, came out to see Max & Bailey as soon as we arrived. We got her permission to pull the sidecars up onto the sidewalk so we could chomped on a slice (or four) of pizza. While we ate, Max & Bailey used their charms on the Cup's customers and staff alike. As we were leaving, Wendy told us that Max & Bailey's photo was going up on their Wall of Fame - the same wall where they keep the photos of all the famous people who've stopped at this little oasis. If you're ever on I-29 in South Dakota - tell Wendy we said hello. She - and everyone else - treated us nicely.

I'm going to cut this short. With two days of longer updates, it seems nobody has had the time to purchase any logo gear. No excuses today. Check out (and purchase) the limited edition Max & Bailey t-shirt or other logo gear now! All proceeds go to charity.

Donor(s) of the Day: Today's honors are still open because for the first time in as long as I can remember, we nothing to report. Make a donation now and your name will be inserted here instead.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Obligatory North Dakota corn field photo (2) Blaine & Max at the South Dakota border - State # 28 on the Ride (3) Janet and Bailey rolling down the highway (4) Max with the wind in his ears.


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


9th - Day #101
MAX & BAILEY SPEND THE NIGHT ALONGSIDE THE MISSOURI RIVER IN CHAMBERLAIN, SOUTH DAKOTA

Another fruitful day in the land of Hogs For Dogs. After a short visit to Falls Park to see the falls after which Sioux Falls is named, We took our time along I-90 from there to the small town of Chamberlain. Max & Bailey made several stops at Harley-Davidson dealerships, cafes, rest areas and gas stations to break up the trip. We all needed the frequent stops to seek refuge from today's torrential winds - in excess of 20-25 mph.

At each of our stops, we met interesting travelers on their way to the annual Sturgis Rally. Jim Rogers and his wife, Evelyn, from Waterloo, Iowa had seen the article about Max & Bailey in the local Courier newspaper. They bought a t-shirt. Another lady had seen Max & Bailey on KARE 11 out of Minnesota; she made a donation. Everywhere we went today, people had either heard of, or seen information about, Max & Bailey's Ride Across America. We're hoping that our short visit to the Sturgis Rally will allow us to touch people from around the country & then send them back into their communities to spread the word about the great need for Assistance Dogs to help individuals living with disabilities. You have helped spread the word already -- I wanted you to know that it is working.

We even met our first group of international riders heading to Sturgis at a rest area just outside of Chamberlain: five riders out of Quebec, Canada. Three of the five bought t-shirts.

So, today was a good day, but it was also a day that I rode with a heavy heart. Each day I ride, I ride for someone I've met. Today that person was 4-year-old Caleb. Caleb suffered a medical accident that left him with a spinal injury shortly after birth. Janet & I visited with his mother, Victoria, at our hotel last evening where we learned that she had paid a 'charitable organization' nearly $10,000 for Caleb to receive a service dog. He benefits greatly from the dogs assistance, but the thought of a family already struggling with large medical bills paying that much for an Assistance Dog when so many are provided for free had me fuming --- and sad.

Folks, Max & Bailey are riding to both shorten the waiting lists and to prevent these so-called charitable organizations from pilaging the finances of people who would give anything for their loved one's independence - even if they don't have it to give. Today was for Caleb. I only wish I had met Victoria sooner and could have directed her to a charity that could have helped her for a more reasonable cost. Through your donations and through the purchases of logo gear, we can help prevent other Victoria and Caleb stories.

Donor(s) of the Day: I'd like to honor our new Candian friends for purchasing three Max & Bailey shirts today. Though all our charity partners are American based, these guys saw the good in our efforts and donated anyway.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Max & Bailey at Falls Park (2) Blaine & Max resting at Falls Park (3) Ever town has a tourist attraction (trap?). Janet and Bailey pose outside the one in Mitchell,South Dakota (4) Our Canadian friends pose with Max at the I-90 rest area.


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


10th - Day #102
MAX & BAILEY MAKE FRIENDS IN VALENTINE, NEBRASKA

For as often as we've complained about the weather, today was an astonishingly perfect day. Perhaps I can live down the "Rain Man" moniker that seems to have stuck with me thus far.

We left Chamberlain, South Dakota this morning with the sun rising over the hills and shining on the Missouri River. I tried to capture it in a photo, but it isn't near as dramatic as it was with the human eye - sorry. Also, for the first time in several days, we got off the Interstate highways and went back to our small road journeys. It felt perfect.

I've sat here for a few minutes trying to find the right words to describe the landscape we traveled today. If you haven't already figured it out for yourself, I'm not the best travel writer. My writing style focuses on the human experience of life - and travel - not the way it looks or feels. So I don't often try to explain the beauty of 'the ride' in these updates.

But today's ride was different. It was both featureless and full of contrasts. It was long rolling plains, and then it was hills and valleys right out of some old western movies. It was corn fields with new tassels waving in the wind and sunflowers standing at attention. It was farmers in their John Deere tractors wiping their brows and waving as we passed by in a blur. In a word, it was America. At least the picture of America that I had in my mind as a child when my classmates and I would sing America The Beautiful before classes each morning.

We switched time zones twice today; once from Central Time to Mountain Time, and then back again. We traveled through towns like Winner, Antelope and Mission. And, we followed the twists and turns through the Rosebud Indian Reservation. At the end of the day, we arrived in Valentine, Nebraska. And after 10,000+ miles, we find ourselves nextdoor to some more riders from North Carolina. It was like having a taste of home to hear their stories of our state.

It was a good day for reflection on where we've been and what we've tried to accomplish with each mile. It was a day to look back to my childhood and reconcile my imaginary picture of America's heartland and to see it as a postcard in my mind's eye. It was just a good day. I hope your's was, too.

Donor(s) of the Day: Terri Head, from Franklin, North Carolina, is our donor of the day. She gave us stories from home and bought two Max & Bailey shirts to support the Ride.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) A photo of little Caleb (yesterday's update) (2) Janet & Bailey about to cross the Missouri River (3) Forgotten farm? (4) Bailey and Janet with the sunflowers smiling behind them.


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


11th - Day #103
MAX & BAILEY ENJOY SIGHTSEEING COMEDY IN NEBRASKA

If you read yesterday's update, you may have noticed that we were planning a little diversion on our ride to see some of Nebraska's beauty. Our first stop was supposed to be the Snake Falls on the Snake River. Well, we turned left where the sign said to turn and were immediately greeted with a deeply rutted dirt road with overgrown vegetation on both sides of the narrow lane. Could this be right?

At the end of the road was a small structure that read, "Snake Falls Sportsmans Club." Again, we asked ourselves, 'could this be right?' We decided that this road and this structure couldn't possibly be the state-run tourist site. So, we pulled out and went looking for the official state park stop. Well folks, that rutted road and run-down building WAS the right place. We decided (actually, our kidney's decided for us) not to return down that road to see the falls. Next stop was the Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Center.

The roads were in much better shape, but we needed to purchase an all-day permit if we wanted to take a much-needed 15-minute break. Again, we passed and rode to the next stop: a relaxing ride through the Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest. That sounds like a good plan, doesn't it?

Well, see our photo #3 in our Photo-of-the-Day section and see if you can tell what's wrong with that picture (besides being a little blurred). I'll give you a small hint : THERE ARE NO TREES IN THE NATIONAL FOREST! Samuel R. McKelvie must have been the logging legend that cleaned out the forest or he had a great sense of humor.

At that point, we just put the camera away and gave up on sightseeing. Next stop - Chadron - where I'm writing this today. We were supposed to ride to Alliance, Nebraska to see Carhenge today, but after yesterday's sightseeing adventure, we thought we'd take a day of rest instead. Can you blame us?

Donor(s) of the Day: THIS SPACE AVAILABLE -- MAKE YOUR DONATION NOW AND YOUR NAME GOES HERE!

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) It was a beautiful ride (2) With lots of Black-eyed Susans lining the roads (3) National Forest? (4) Max and some more Black-eyed Susans.


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


13th - Day #105
MAX & BAILEY MEET SOME PRESIDENTS

The Hogs For Dogs team loaded up the bikes in Chadron, Nebraska and headed for the Black Hills of South Dakota. Our destination for the night was Rapid City, South Dakota where we would be staging for the 64th Annual Black Hills Motorcycle Rally - also known as STURGIS.

Before arriving in Rapid City, we had to make a special stop to see some former Presidents of the United States. It almost took an act of congress - and one very persistent volunteer named Lucinda - for Max & Bailey to see these guys, but with Lucinda's help, Max & Bailey we waved right past all the security. And before you knew it, there we all were: Max, Bailey, the sidecar chauffeurs and Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.

Okay, so we were at Mount Rushmore, but it was a very cool thing because dogs aren't normally allowed up onto the viewing. Max & Bailey, however, were whisked up onto the platform (past many envious dogs waiting outside) to have their picture taken with the Presidents. Lucinda, a summer employee at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial and a Paws With A Cause Field Trainer was instrumental in helping us past all the red tape. All we wanted was another icon photo of Max & Bailey's Ride Across America - and what is more iconic in America than Mount Rushmore's Presidents? Thanks Lucinda for making this possible.

Along the way, we also encountered our first Buffalo Jam of the trip. For those who've never seen one, it is where the buffalo either cross the roads or graze close enough to the roads that everyone stops and gets out of their cars, cameras in hand. I had seen many on previous hiking adventures in Yellowstone. Janet and the dogs, however, had not - so we stopped. So, we now have a gratuitous photo of Max and the buffalo for your viewing pleasure.

Before checking in to our hotel, we took a ride up to the Sturgis Rally to get a sense for the place. Max & Bailey - even among thousands of interesting sights - turned heads and were greeted by smiles, some scantily clad smiles, too. Welcome to Sturgis!

We motored our way back to Rapid City where we would be resting up for our next day's visit to the Rally. More about that tomorrow.

Donor(s) of the Day: Michele W. of Elgin, Illinois and Mark H. of Springfield, KY share todays honor as Donor of the Day for their $50 and $200 donations, respectively. Thank you both for your generosity and caring.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Max & the buffalo (2) Max in the Black Hills (3) Famous Faces (4) Janet and Bailey ride under a natural bridge along the way to Rapid City.


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


14th - Day #106
MAX & BAILEY PULL INTO THE BLACK HILLS RALLY -- STURGIS, SOUTH DAKOTA

The weather for the 64th Annual weeklong Black Hills Motorcycle Rally (Sturgis) was perfect, if you brought a fur coat -- Max & Bailey were in heaven with temperatures hovering in the mid-high 70's all week. Saturday's weather was a little warmer (80), but still perfect if you could find some shade. We did just that with the help of an old friend of Jay's - and a new friend of ours - David Vance.

David has been coming to the Rally's for several years and picked out a perfect spot for Max & Bailey to hang out on Main Street. By 9:30 we were in the shade, and stayed that way for the remainder of the day. That gave us plenty of opportunities to meet riders from around the country - and around the world. We gave out almost all of our remaining brochures and talked to the thousands of people walking through the Rally. We didn't attempt to solicit donations or sell any t-shirts because we didn't have the $700 vendor permit. But, we're already seeing donations and online logo gear sales trickle in from those we met.

There are so many articles and stories written about the Sturgis event every year that I won't begin to try and describe it. This was our first year and we had a great time. The number of bikes at the Rally and riding through the surrounding Black Hills area was staggering. And while we are a very politically correct website, the Rally has something for everyone whether you wanted to see it or not. But I will say that on one occasion, Max & Bailey stole the show from a young lady (?) who was posing on a bike for a large group of photographers. When we rode by, all cameras were turned on us and not her.

Unfortunately, the day didn't end so well. Janet noticed that her rear brakes didn't feel quite right as we left the Rally. Sure enough, she had no rear brakes for the 30-mile trip back to our hotel. Upon closer inspection, I found that she had a severed brake-line with brake fluid oozing out with ever depression of the brake pedal. So, off to the dealer we went, arriving with only a few minutes to spare. They were going to be open on Sunday, so we left the bike overnight and picked it up around noon on Sunday, allowing us to stay on schedule for our events in Cheyenne, Wyoming on Monday and Tuesday (check out our events page for details)

Donor(s) of the Day: Dusty G. from Nipomo, California holds the top spot today with a generous $30 online donation.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Welcome to the Rally (2) Janet and Bailey on Main Street (3) Blaine talks to the local Rally TV crew about Max & Bailey's Ride (4) Bailey refused to go topless.


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15th - Day #107
MAX & BAILEY LEAVE THE WILDLIFE OF STURGIS BEHIND

Whether you ride a motorcycle or not, the Sturgis Black Hills Motorcycle Rally is something to behold. Max & Bailey did their few days at the Rally and it was now time to move on. But, since a couple of you couldn't be there with us, we thought we'd showcase a few pictures that depict the 'Wildlife' surrounding the Rally. So, be sure to check out our photos of the day.

We were late departing from Rapid City due to Janet's bike having a severed brake line; I mentioned that in our last update. We can't complain, though, because Rapid City Harley- Davidson had us on the road by 11:00 am - ON A SUNDAY. So it was around noontime before we made our way south towards our destination for the night: Alliance, Nebraska.

It was a race to the finish with a late start and so much to see along the way. Our goal was to arrive at Carhenge - a version of the famous Stonehenge made out of cars - at, or before, sunset. But it was slow going with buffalo jams, prarie dogs crossing the roads and thousands of motorcycles making their way home from the rally.

We did arrive in time for some pre-sunset photos at Carhenge and, as it turns out, Janet's brake line repair saved us from being in a tornado with softball size hail! You read that right - hail the size of softballs! The storm rolled through Alliance around 3:30, which is the time we would have arrived without having to wait for the bike repair. Suddenly, that bad brake line looked like a blessing.

Cheyenne, Wyoming was the destination for the following day where we have lots of appearaneces and events planned with the Historic Plains Hotel and Union Pacific Depot Museum. Check out our calendar for all the details.

Donor(s) of the Day: Ellyn R., a service dog user from Miami, Florida, is today's Donor of the day. Ellyn donated $50 to help ensure that others have access to Assistance Dogs.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1 through 3) Black Hills Wildlife (4) Carhenge at Sunset


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17th - Day #109
CHEYENNE. WY PROCLAIMS AUGUST 17TH AS HOGS FOR DOGS DAY

Max & Bailey celebrated the half-way point of their journey at the Depot Plaza in downtown Cheynne today. As a special surprise, Cheyenne's Mayor Jack Spiker officially proclaimed August 17th, 2004 as Hogs For Dogs Day. The event, hosted by the Historic Plains Hotel and the newly renovated Union Pacific Depot Museum, was a great success. Donations and logo gear sales totaled over $1,350.

We owe a special thanks to Bob and Jill Jensen for hosting us at the Plains Hotel and for leading the charge with local Cheyenne events. Other than having to get up at 4:00 am for an interview on the local CBS affiliate, we had a wonderful time. But we won't hold them responsible for that. We hold Sandy responsible -- and she knows it!

Kidding aside, everyone (including Sandy) made us feel like family. We owe some special thanks to Lari Willett and the Cheyenne ABATE group for their escort into town on Monday and for their generous donations to Max & Bailey's Ride. Sandy arranged for all our media coverage, including two TV interviews and a live remote with Brenda and Brooke from Cheyenne's KRRR radio. The entire staff at The Plains Hotel and Pam Crochet from the Depot Museum made all our events possible.

Once again, it was a sad moment when we had to say our good-byes. If you ever need a special vacation spot, consider the Historic Plains Hotel. The rooms, food and staff are so good that you may never leave!

Donor(s) of the Day: Today's list is filled with names from Cheyenne, Wyoming. Thanks to all who made donations and purchased t-shirts at the Depot Plaza event.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Our Cheyenne hostess Jill Jensen and her KSDS Assistance Dog, Yankee (2) Brenda and Brooke talk up Max & Bailey's ride live on KRRR radio (3) Janet poses with Cowboy Jake (4) Our media mogul in Cheyenne - Sandy.


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19th - Day #111
COLORADO RAINS AND WYOMING SUNSHINE

Max & Bailey left Cheyenne, Wyoming heading for Steamboat Springs, Colorado on Wednesday. It was cold and rainy when the trip began and it was colder and still raining when we stopped. We had been looking forward to the scenic passes across the mountains from Wyoming into Colorado, but all we saw was mist, rain and low clouds smeared across the rainshields on our helmets. Rain or no rain, Colorado was the 31st state on Max & Bailey's Ride; only 17 more to go!

The Weather Channel showed clear skies on the radar screen for Thursday morning, but that didn't seem to matter much to the local clouds which continued to deluge us with rain as we left Steamboat Springs this morning. Destination: Rock Springs, Wyoming; one of our stops on the way to Jackson Hole, the Tetons and Yellowstone National Park.

Max & Bailey finally escaped their sidecar rain covers when we reached the Wyoming border. The skies still warned of more showers, but we were all tired of being wrapped up in our rain gear. And as we stripped off the layers of rain gear and took pictures at the Wyoming border, we received our first donation of the day. A couple from England who were traveling to Yellowstone via a rented RV stopped to take Max & Bailey's photo, learned about our mission & ran back to the RV for a donation. Maybe our next ride could be across southern England!

The roads stayed dry the rest of the way to Rock Springs with wide open ranges and very unusual rock formations lining both sides of the road. One road was named Red Desert Road, which was a very apt description of the area: desolate, sage brush, and huge red rock/clay formations. But don't mistake my words, it was absolutely beautiful. I guess this is what they call the Wild, Wild West.

Check out Max & Bailey's Route and Schedule to see when they'll be in your area. You can help keep down expenses by offering them a hot meal and a place to sleep. We're also looking for more educational and fundraising events. If you're willing to help with lodging or coordinate something in your community, sign up as a volunteer today!

Donor(s) of the Day: Today's donors are our new friends from England and young Brooke from Summerville, South Carolina who will turn 8 years old on August 23rd. A $30 online donation was made in her name.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Janet and Bailey at the Colorado border - all wrapped up! (2) Bailey sniffs the air for more rain near the Wyoming border (3) Blaine and Max - Welcome (back) to Wyoming (4) We passed the Continental Divide four times in the last two days, here's the first dry photo we could get.


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20th - Day #112
MAX & BAILEY ARRIVE IN JACKSON, WY - AT THE BASE OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK

For the first 100 miles from Rock Springs to Pinedale, WY, I thought we were in the deserts of the southwest. Long, flat, sandy plains held together with tuffs of sagebrush the occasional flowering weed were all you saw for miles. But off in the distance, the Rocky Mountains loomed large. At least when we could see them through the rain and dark clouds.

As we arrived in Pinedale, the oddest thing happened. We had rain to our left, lightening in the mountains to our right and sunshine directly above us. So, where did the dime size hail come from that was hitting us in the face? It was time for fuel anyway, so we pulled in for cover. If you didn't know before, hail really stings when you're on a motorcycle.

The good news is that during our stop in Pinedale, we met some wonderful folks, one of which called the local newspaper - The Pinedale Roundup. They came out, took photos, chased us down the road, took more photos and a short story will appear in today's Roundup.

We had 75 miles to go after leaving Pinedale, but it took us forever to get there because we kept stopping to put on rain gear and then take it off. Finally, the rains moved away and we were left with stunning views of the Rocky Mountains as we twisted our way through the passes to Jackson. Saturday will be a day to simply explore Teton Village and other natural attractions on the southern edge of Yellowstone. We'll explore Yellowstone more thoroughly on our return from Idaho Falls.

Check out Max & Bailey's Route and Schedule to see when they'll be in your area. You can help keep down expenses by offering them a hot meal and a place to sleep. We're also looking for more educational and fundraising events. If you're willing to help with lodging or coordinate something in your community, sign up as a volunteer today!

Donor(s) of the Day: Barbara and the team at the Rock Springs Sonic get top honors today. We stopped in for a quick bite before hitting the road to Jackson. As we were about to leave, she came out to see the dogs. She learned our story and made a personal donation which was followed by almost everyone on her staff - most on roller skates - coming by to offer their support and donations.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Barbara - our donor of the day - poses with Janet and the boys (2) The scenery came alive as we entered the Hoback Pass. (3) Blaine and Max rest by the Hoback River. (4) More stunning scenery from the ride.


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21st - Day #113
MAX & BAILEY TOUR GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK

You know your making an impression on people when the Park Ranger says, "So, these are the two famous dogs I've been hearing so much about." It appears that almost everyone that had seen us at a stop before we arrived at the entrance to Grand Teton National Park. Max & Bailey received the celebrity treatment complete with tasty dogbones for their dining pleasure.

Being "famous", to use the Ranger's words, isn't the reason we came to the Yellowstone/Teton area. The goal was to reach as many people from all over the country - and around the world - about Max & Bailey's Ride. Well if the number of brochures we passed out is any indication, the word is getting out. Now, we have to wait and see who will help us make a difference in the lives of people living with disabilities.

As an all-volunteer, grass-roots effort, we rely on others - like you - to get involved by coordinating local fundraising events, inviting us to speak at your child's school or by simply making a donation or buying some Max & Bailey logo gear. If you don't get involved, who will? Make today the day that you decide to help others. It may just be the brightest day of your week.

Donor(s) of the Day: Christine G., from Oakland, CA, made a $50 online donation, and is our donor of the day. But, I also have to point out that Christine along with Jerry Emmert, Gary Naganuma and Jeanne McGinnis also made generous online purchases. We hope you wear your gear proudly. And, thanks for getting involved.

Photos-of-the-Day : Grand Teton is such a beautiful place. We took over 75 photos yesterday, but our program only allows us to show you four in the slide show. So, you can see four of the photos in our little slide show. PLUS, I've put another 6 photos in our archive for your viewing pleasure. To get there, simply click on the arhived photos link above the photos-of- the-day window. It will take you to a 'windows-like' directory. Click on the folder named 08AugPhotos and then click on the photos that begin with a 082104- prefix. You will find photos 1 through 10 there. Enjoy! And if you haven't been to Yellowstone - pack your bags and visit soon.

Max & Bailey are more than halfway finished with their Ride. The days are running out for your chance to purchase the super popular Max & Bailey t-shirts and other 2004 Hogs For Dogs logo gear. Your purchases help provide Assistance and Guide Dogs to people living with physical disabilities. How often can you look good and do good with the same purchase? Buy yours today! New bandanas and pins are on the way, too!


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22nd - Day #114
MAX & BAILEY ARRIVE IN IDAHO - STATE #32 OF THEIR RIDE

Today began with a breakfast of champions. Okay, so it was a quick bite at McDonalds, but who's paying attention. The important point is that we met some incredible people while we were there. You'll learn more about them later. And, yes, Max & Bailey had a little something to eat, also.

We had been trying to get to downtown Jackson for a photo with Max & Bailey under the town's trademark antler arches. We had been rained out or pushed out by crowds earlier. We tried again today and FINALLY got our pictures. You may not realize how tough it is to get a photo with Max & Bailey in a tourist town. As soon as we pull up we have swarms of people around us who keep begging us to keep the dogs in the sidecars so they can get a photo. Of course we take advantage of all the attention to highlight Max & Bailey's Ride, but we also had to ride the 100 miles to Idaho. So, finally we begged them to let us get the dogs out of the sidecars -- and it worked!

We headed west, and up, over the Teton Range for our next stop in Idaho Falls. The views were stunning, but scattered showers and some scary thunderstorms kept us moving along. We had just enough of a break of sunshine at the border to get our obligatory state-line photo before the rain and winds came in earnest. The rest of the ride was a 'hold on with both hands' kind of experience through wheat fields that went as far as the eye could see.

We added one more notch in Max & Bailey's collars to mark their arrival in the 32nd state of their Ride. Only 16 more to go - 16 BIG states.

Max & Bailey are more than halfway finished with their Ride. The days are running out for your chance to purchase the super popular Max & Bailey t-shirts and other 2004 Hogs For Dogs logo gear. Your purchases help provide Assistance and Guide Dogs to people living with physical disabilities. How often can you look good and do good with the same purchase? Buy yours today! New bandanas and pins are on the way, too!

Donor(s) of the Day: There's just something about a McDonalds' parking lot. The only place we've ever received $100 bills as donations has been in a McD's parking lot. It happened again today -- TWICE! First Linda E. from Jackson, WY made a $100 donation. Then a few minutes later, Marvin & Cookie W. made another $100 donation. Guess where we'll be eating tomorrow? Thanks Linda, Marvin & Cookie -- We appreciate your generosity.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Max meets Mr. Buffalo in Jackson, WY (2) Max & Bailey at one of the icons of Jackson: the antler arches around Jackson Square (3) Bailey - again (4) Our crew at the Idaho border.


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23rd - Day #115
MAX & BAILEY DO SOME MOON WALKING AT CRATERS OF THE MOON NATIONAL PARK

I think every little boy wants to be an astronaut when they grow up. I was no different. I remember my grandfather giving me a poster of the moon out of a National Geographic magazine and how I stared at it for hours wondering what it would be like to be Neal Armstrong, to actually travel to the moon. My grandfather and my dreams of becoming an astronaut are both gone now, but I had the chance to relive a little of that dream today at the Craters of the Moon National Monument.

The land for the monument was set aside in 1924 and protects a very rare volcanic landscape that has been formed by lava flows that began some 15,000 years ago, and reoccuring every 2000 years - give or take 100. And it looks very much like how I would imagine the moon's surface, minus all the scrub vegetation that has tried to get a foothold where dirt has settled in the cracks and crevices. I'm not the best photographer, but I did try to get a few photos to share with you.

The surprise of the day was our stop in Arco, Idaho for lunch on the way back to Idaho Falls. We stopped for gas about the same time our stomachs sent up a flag saying, "FEED US." But, Arco struck me as a town without much in the way of food possibilities, until we found Pickle's Place. We got some good advice in the parking lot: "Try the fried pickles."

Now, I'm not from around here - as they say - but fried pickles didn't sound like the kind of appetizer a man would order in a strange town. I was wrong. Not only were the fried pickles delicious, the locals were extremely friendly. I even learned what all the numbers painted on the side of the mountain stood for. It seems that every graduating class since 1927 has climbed the mountain, lowered a poor soul down on a rope and painted the year of their graduating class into the hills. You can see the numbers for miles away. Once again my first impressions were wrong: Arco isn't a small town, it is a town with a huge heart.

Max & Bailey are more than halfway finished with their Ride. The days are running out for your chance to purchase the super popular Max & Bailey t-shirts and other 2004 Hogs For Dogs logo gear. Your purchases help provide Assistance and Guide Dogs to people living with physical disabilities. How often can you look good and do good with the same purchase? Buy yours today! New bandanas and pins are on the way, too!

Donor(s) of the Day: Steven R. and Pauline L. are today's highlighted donors with both making generous online donations. Make your donation today and let us acknowledge your gift right here tomorrow!

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) A grown-up little boy in his space suit at the Craters of the Moon (2) Max on the moon (3) The desolate landscape (4) Max & Bailey lean into the wind at the base of a HUGE cinder hill. There are four more photos from today in the archive section.


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25th - Day #117
MAX & BAILEY ENTER MONTANA, THEIR 33rd STATE

We often get emails from visitors like you saying how much you enjoy traveling vicariously with Max & Bailey via this website. Well, today we would much rather have enjoyed traveling vicariously than making today's 120-mile ride.

I have looked forward to sharing Yellowstone National Park with Janet and the dogs since we left home in May. I have had the pleasure of hiking and visiting this area several times before; for Janet, it was her first. So, you can imagine my disappointment when we woke to driving rains, temperatures that never rose out of the 40's and that very special travel companion - HAIL! I guess that is appropriate since August 25th is the day they celebrate Christmas in the Park.

Today was so cold and miserable that I actually considered leaving Janet for a younger woman. Caitlyn - that was this young woman's name - is the National Parks employee that greeted us as we entered Yellowstone Park. And though she was attractive, that wasn't why I considered leaving Janet for her. It was the dry heat coming from her little booth that I yearned for with all my heart. But alas (don't you just love the word 'alas') I came to my senses and climbed back on my bike -- the one covered with hail stones -- and followed Janet into the frozen tundra of Yellowstone.

Now, for those of you who want to recreate this journey at home, here's what you do. First, change into three layers of warm clothes enclosed in a rain suit. Add a neck warmer and a tight fitting helmet so that you can barely turn your head side-to-side. If you feel like the Goodyear Tire man, you've done it right.

Next, fill the bathtub with two inches of cold water and add ice. Sit down in the tub, turn on the shower full blast with cold water. And when you can no longer feel your fingers or toes, have your spouse, significant other or friend hurl dry ice at your face to simulate hail at 45 mph.

When you think you've had enough, remember that you're going through all that discomfort to help others; specifically, to help those living with physical disabilities achieve greater independence through the assistance of a service dog. It won't make you any warmer, but you may begin to understand why we do it.

If you climb out before your lips turn blue - or if you refuse to do it all - you have to make a donation. Those are the rules; climb in the tub or open your wallet. Which will it be?

We hope it was warmer and drier wherever you are today. Unfortunately, tomorrow's weather doesn't look much better for our ride over the 11,000 foot Beartooth Pass to Red Lodge, Montana. Think of us while you're soaking in your tub. *smile*

Donor(s) of the Day: We need to acknoledge several donors today. Christine G. of Oakley, CA made a $50 donation, Paul L. from Cary, IL made a very generous $200 donation and Sarah P. from Colter Bay Village (where we stayed last night) added $30 to the totals. Thanks to them and to all our donors helping us make a difference through this ride.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Welcome to Yellowstone - notice the rain falling into the puddle where I'm standing. (2) Our Moose sighting from yesterday (3) A female elk keeping an eye on us (4) Max practicing international relations with this young man from Europe.


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26th - Day #118
MAX & BAILEY ARE RE-ROUTED DUE TO SNOW ON BEARTOOTH PASS

The day began a little brighter than yesterday's rain and hail, but it wasn't long until we were reminded of yesterday's misery. Our planned route for the day included the steep and beautiful climb over the Beartooth Pass into Red Lodge, Montana. As we re-entered the north entrance to Yellowstone Park, the rangers informed us that the Pass was closed due to snow. Now we had to find a new route to Red Lodge or change our plans completely. Based on the distance we would have had to travel to go around the Pass to Red Lodge, we changed our plans and moved directly to Billings, where we would have needed to be on Friday for a scheduled bike service anyway.

And, as if it knew a service was imminent, Janet's bike developed a potentially serious problem. Her bike began leaking fuel somewhere along today's route. It wasn't until we arrived in Billings that we noticed the leak. Fuel was dripping at a steady rate from somewhere under the tank, and it was dripping onto the red-hot exhaust pipes!

So, after a long ride in hit and miss rain showers, we spent several hours trying to stem the leak and ultimately decided it was beyond our skills and available tools. Instead, we siphoned the fuel from the tank to a point below the invisible leak. The fine folks at the local Harley-Davidson shop - Beartooth H-D - will have the chance to solve the problem when they service the bikes tomorrow.

By the day's end I had screamed and Janet had cried in frustration; then we were put in our place by the smallest of creatures - a sparrow.

When I came back inside to wash all the gasoline from my hands, I found this confused little bird outside our hotel room door. It was on the second floor, disoriented and scared. My first attempt to rescue the bird only succeeded in chasing it farther into the hotel. I tracked the little bugger down again, this time at the end of the hall. After a short discussion (with the bird), I motioned him (or her?) towards the lobby door. Silly bird flew right into a window and fell to the floor, allowing me to gently pick it up and carry it outside. It turned to look me in the eye and then flew away towards the sunset. A good omen, I hope.

It reminded me that our problems were not as great as they could be. We weren't fighting for our life like the little bird trapped indoors. Maybe Mother Nature will give us a few good days of weather for my good deed. If not, we're all back to sitting in the bathtub filled with ice-water. Did you try that experiment I mentioned in yesterday's update?

Donor(s) of the Day: Today's donors are Mariana T. from Flowery Branch, GA and John E. from Minneapolis. Both made generous donations via our online server, though neither said if their donations were in lieu of performing our vicarious ride experiment. Either way, we are very grateful for their help and support for Max & Bailey's Ride

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Max at the Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces in Yellowstone. (2) Janet at Mammoth Hot Springs (3) Blaine and the dogs at the 45th parallel - halfway to the North Pole (4) A ride through Montana.


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27th - Day #119
WE SPENT THE DAY AT BEARTOOTH HARLEY-DAVIDSON IN BILLINGS, MONTANA

If you remember yesterday's post, you know that Janet's bike had a potentially serious fuel leak; a leak that was dripping gasoline all over her very hot exhaust pipes. Luckily, it never caught fire and we caught it before moving farther northwest and away from an easy stop at a Harley-Davidson service center.

The bad news came early from the Beartooth H-D service team - two stainless steel cables had worn a hole right through the steel gas tank, and gas tanks aren't something you just keep in stock in a variety of colors. After some phone calls around town, a place named Sprockets agreed to weld the tank and pressure test it. Just the thought of placing fire near gasoline had me nervous, but we needed a gas tank for Janet's bike.

Five hours later, we rode away from Beartooth H-D with both bikes having new fluids, new rear tires and a gas tank that didn't leak. If you're ever in Billings, stop by to see Bruce, his wife Helen, Scott, Donnie, David and all the great folks in the service department. They had a very full day already scheduled before we called to get squeezed in for a normal service visit -- when we showed up with a leaking gas tank, however, they went right to work and really went out of their way to get us back on the road.

Today (Saturday), we're heading northwest towards White Sulphur Springs. We have a few day's ride between Billings and Glacier National Park, where we will travel on the scenic Going To The Sun Road. After a few days of cold and rain, going to the sun sounds just fine to us.

Next week, we start getting back into the classrooms to speak with students about people living with physical disabilities and the dogs that help them. Our first stop will be the Wellpinit school in Washington on Thursday thanks to an invitation by Debby Peone.

Donor(s) of the Day: Today's donor is a real dog. NO, seriously, he is. Buck, a black standard poodle, is a longtime sailing friend of Max & Bailey's. If you didn't know, Max & Bailey have sailed more than 23,000 miles aboard our sailboat, Charbonneau. Anyway, Buck got online and used his owner's credit card to make a very generous $100 donation. We want to thank Buck and say hello to his owners Ann and Sandy aboard the sailboat WindWalker back in North Carolina. We miss you guys!

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) A happy crew with fixed motorcycles outside Beartooth Harley-Davidson in Billings. The rest are some favorite photos from previous days.


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28th - Day #120
MAX & BAILEY SPEND THE NIGHT IN WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS

Bob Seger's song, Against The Wind, played in my head all day yesterday as I bent behind my windshield and urged the bike to go faster. But with 15-25 knot winds blowing in our faces, our gas mileage was horrible and our ability to do the speed limit disappeared. We all looked a little windblown when we arrived in White Sulphur Springs.

The ride was fairly unremarkable in terms of land features, so there are no new photos today. Just imagine long (very long) stretches of open field punctuated by the Rocky Mountains and the Crazy Mountain Ranges to the very distant east and west. We had one opportunity for a photo stop. There was, however, a fully loaded 18-wheeler sneering at me from behind. So, a quick stop didn't seem like the right thing to do if we didn't want to get squished like a bug.

I wanted to share some good news from Summerville, SC. My parents, along with lots of their friends and local radio station (WSC FM94.3), held a community yard sale yesterday to benefit Hogs For Dogs. People came from all over the area to donate items for sale. The yard sale was truncated in the afternoon by rain, but they still managed to raise $453.00. All the leftover items were donated to the local Goodwill, so two charities benefited from their efforts.

Their success is just another shining example of how many different ways people are getting involved. Whether it is a motorcycle benefit ride, a local auction, fish-fry or yard sale, your participation makes a difference. Without your involvement, Max & Bailey are just on a normal ride across the country. Help make it something really special by volunteering today.

Today (Sunday), we're heading northtowards Conrad, where we'll begin tomorrow's ride up into Glacier National Park.

Next week, we start getting back into the classrooms to speak with students about people living with physical disabilities and the dogs that help them. Our first stop will be the Wellpinit school in Washington on Thursday thanks to an invitation by Debby Peone.

Donor(s) of the Day: I've already highlighted the extra effort by the folks in Summerville, South Carolina. They shoudl all be very proud of their work. I would also like to highlight Ken Rockeman from Big Timber, Montana. We met Ken at a rest area along the highway yesterday and he was kind enough to make a $20 donation.


29th - Day #121
MAX & BAILEY EXPLORE THE LEWIS & CLARK NATIONAL FOREST

It wasn't long after leaving White Sulphur Springs that we entered the Lewis & Clark National Forest, which - unlike the National Forest in Nebraska - actually had trees within its boundaries (see August 11th update in the Archives). And, as many of you know, Janet has ties to the Lewis & Clark expedition through her Charbonneau family roots, so it is always exciting for us to travel in the shadow of those famous explorers.

Temperatures were all over the scale today. We were warm, then cold, then freezing before it turned warm again. It was a comedy of constant clothing changes as we clicked off the miles to Conrad, Montana - tonight's stop.

Conrad is a blue-collar whistle-stop town that just pops up as you are traveling through all the wheat and cattle farms along I-15. To put it in perspective, our hotel for the night (Super 8) has a 60' tall sign out front that screams Gas-Diesel-Motel-Casino, the railroad tracks are just behind the motel and the entire town seems to be in the casino at the moment. I spotted a large grain mill with an old General Mills 'G' logo on it, but can't confirm if it's still in operation.

The folks here are extremely friendly and I normally have a very open mind to new places. I just can't seem to find the charm in this one, however, and I'm sorry for that. It appears to simply be a place that is halfway between somewhere south and somewhere north of here, and this is just a place where folks rest until they move on the next day. People like us.

Tomorrow (Sunday), we're heading north into Glacier National Park. We have had so many people tell us about the beauty of the Park, and especially Going To The Sun Road, that I'm afraid my expectations might be too high. The good news is that we have a wonderful day of weather for the ride. Look for some photos here tomorrow.

Donor(s) of the Day: No donations today, but Jessica K. from Milwaukee bought a Max & Bailey logo shirt from our online store. Make your donation today and see your name scroll by right here tomorrow.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Max & Bailey at the entrance to the Lewis & Clark's National Forest (2) Max poses (or is he sleeping) at one of our rest stops in the National Forest (3) Janet bundles up while waiting for me to take some photos (4) Bailey sits not-so-patiently as Janet mends one of his favorite toys.


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30th - Day #122
MAX & BAILEY RIDE THROUGH GLACIER NATIONAL PARK

In his book, Road Trip USA, Jamie Jensen describes the 50-mile-long Going To The Sun Road as "a magnificent serpentine highway that is arguably the most scenic route on this planet." After experiencing that ribbon of road through Glacier National Park yesterday, we completely agree.

At ever bend and around every corner there was something more spectacular to see. Fortunately, there are a sufficient number of turnouts and pull-offs where you can stop your vehicle to take in the scenery. The trick was to pull off BEFORE you got caught up in the scenery and went off the road. I almost made that mistake as I was transfixed by the most beautiful waterfall spraying water on Max & I as we turned a corner. I quickly learned my lesson and pulled over for future viewing opportunities. The 50-mile route took us nearly 6 hours to complete - if that gives you any idea of how often we stopped.

One stop, however, wasn't for scenery. It was to fix, yet again, Janet's motorcycle. This time, her gear shifting linkage had vibrated loose and left her without the ability to shift gears as we were making our way down a steep hill - how comforting. So, I broke out the tools and went to work. Luckily all the parts were still there, the linkage had just slipped off a spindle. 45 minutes - and plenty of cussing - later, we were back on our way.

Today's ride has us going to Sandpoint, Idaho. Smile and wave if you see us on the road. And if you see us broke down on the side of the road, please stop -- unlike all the folks who drove right past us yesterday. I might not be able to fix today's problems.

Donor(s) of the Day: Our donors of the day today are some very nice people we met on our journey through the Park yesterday. Several unsolicited donations were offered and the totals are around $60. Unfortunately, there were too many to get all the names straight - but thank you!

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Our crew at the Glacier National Park entrance (2-3) Some of the scenery from Going To The Sun Road. (4) Blaine fixes the motorcycle. Enjoy.


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc

 
 
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