SEPTEMBER 2004 JOURNAL ARCHIVE


1st - Day #124
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR BAILEY .....

I missed yesterday's update from the road due to a conflicting deadline for another Fido Friendly article, so I'll bring you up to date now. Also, don't forget that you can subscribe to Fido Friendly - a wonderful dog travel magazine - and they will make a donation to Max & Bailey's Ride. Check out our sponsor page for more information. So many ways to give and only 94 days left on the road.

We left Kalispell, Montana on Tuesday and pointed the bikes west towards Sandpoint, Idaho. I can't say that the ride was all that scenic and we didn't meet many folks along the way. We did, however, stop at the very scenic Koontenai Falls between Libby and Troy, MT on Hwy 2. The Koontenai River is named for the Koontenai tribe that lived in this area in the mid-1800's.

So, the photos I'm sharing today are actually from yesterday. And, if yesterday's ride wasn't scenic then today's ride from Sandpoint, Idaho to Spokane, Washington (our 35th state!) was absolutely boring. And to make matters worse, there was a windstorm that filled the air with dust from the farms that lie farther south.

BUT -- today is Bailey's birthday. He turns ten today and we plan to celebrate with vanilla ice cream (his favorite), maybe a little cake and a small gift or two. We can only carry so many things on the motorcycles and his toy bag now has 8 different stuffed toys. Of course, like a small child, if you try to throw one away, he grabs it and runs. Anyway -- we hope you'll join us in singing happy birthday to Bailey. Our party will officially begin at 7:00 p.m PST (Did I tell you we changed time zones yesterday?).

We renew our school visits tomorrow with a morning stop at the Wellpinit Elementary School. If Max & Bailey are traveling your way, be sure to see if they can visit your local schools to talk about people living with disabilities and the dogs that help them. We have plenty of principals and teachers who can give you a recommendation about our visits. Learn more on the Hogs, Dogs & Kids section of the website.

Donor(s) of the Day: I'm shocked and stunned to report that we didn't receive any donations today. Perhaps you can make your donation today as a birthday gift to Bailey. We'll be sure to highlight your generosity here tomorrow.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Max & Bailey sporting their Doggles at Koontenai Falls (2) Janet and the dogs share a moment (3) Bailey relaxes on the swinging suspension bridge 50' above the Koontenai River (4) A postcard quality (I think) photo of the Falls


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2nd - Day #125
HOGS FOR DOGS TEAM SPLITS UP AFTER MECHANICAL FAILURE

Max & Bailey have parted ways for a couple days while the transmission on Janet's bike is repaired back in Spokane. Our fingers are crossed that the repair will b finished by late Friday afternoon or Saturday at the latest. They know what the problem is and are just waiting on parts now.

But even with repairs, the show must go on. So, Max and I spent today at the Wellpinit School on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Teacher Debby Peoni and her principal, Terry Bartolino, invited us to their school back in March and even though it was just half of our team, we were delighted to join them to talk about people living with physical disabilities and the dogs that help them. The photos from today were taken by one of the students and emailed to me - Thanks, Fallon!

I'll spend Friday morning with Kathie Brown's class at Monument School in Quincy, WA. Look for another update later tonight.

Donor(s) of the Day: Bailey received a $10 donation/gift from my mom, Irene Parks. And our friend Ann and Bob Todd bought some more logo gear to help keep them warm this fall. Thanks folks!

Photos-of-the-Day : Photos courtesy of Fallon at Wellpinit School. They are all from our school visit there today.


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3rd - Day #126
MAX VISITS QUINCY'S MONUMENT SCHOOL
BAILEY WAITS FOR HIS RIDE TO BE REPAIRED IN SPOKANE

Our dynamic duo - Max & Bailey - are still living separate lives until Janet's bike can be repaired back in Spokane. So, while Bailey enjoyed a day of leisure - smoking cigars, calling his girlfriends and watching TV in his room - Max and I headed off to the Monument School for another presentation about people living with physical disabilities and the dogs that help them.

The students in Kathi Brown's 5th grade class were waiting for us when we arrived so we got right to work. As a bonus, becuase of some confusion with another school, Max and I stayed around for an extra 30 minutes and talked with the classroom nextdoor to Ms. Brown's room.

The rest of the day was spent catching up on a very full email inbox and other administrative work. Janet finally got an update about her bike late in the afternoon. I wouldn't be done today (Friday), but would be out around lunchtime on Saturday. So, with any luck, Max & Bailey will be reunited for some Saturday night celebrations.

Donor(s) of the Day: Your NAME goes here when you make a donation today.

Photos-of-the-Day : Photos 1 thru 3 are courtesy of Monument School from our school visit there today. Photo 4 is a very special one -- it is your first chance to meet the Hogs For Dogs Dirty Dozen - the 12 puppies (from the same litter) that we hope to sponsor for Paws With A Cause. Look for the complete story soon -- Make a donation today to help transform these 12 cuddly puppies into super heroes for 12 people living with disabilities.


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5th - Day #128
SMOKING DOWN THE ROAD TO SEATTLE

Janet has a little bell attached to her front fork for good luck. Well, I'm beginning to believe that the little bell is broken because we spent all day Sunday limping her bike from Moses Lake to Seattle so that Seattle's Downtown Harley-Davidson could find and fix the leak from Janet's newly rebuilt transmission.

Richie - the assistant service manager - had been warned by the Spokane dealership (did the transmission work the first time) that we were coming. So, when we arrived they immediately had Janet's bike on the rack and were pulling things apart to find the leak. Thirty minutes later, Herb (today's technician) asked me to come back and look at what he'd found.

The gasket used to seal the top cover on the transmission had changed recently. The Spokane dealership used the old gasket (easy mistake) which meant that it could never seal properly. Herb quickly replaced the gasket with the correct one and did a thorough inspection of other parts as he put the bike back together. He found three loose magnets in our magneto, replaced them, and continued looking for problems. I think he solved two or three other issues before his work was finished. I wonder if Herb would want to follow us the rest of the way around the country?

We don't hold any grudges against the Spokane dealer. It was an honest mistake and they worked hard to help get us back on the road, paid all the bills at the Seattle dealership and were very nice to Bailey when he and Janet had to hang out there all day.

The day in Seattle wasn't a complete waste of time either. We made some great new friends, sold a few t-shirts and found another picture of Max & Bailey in ThunderPress magazine (part of an add for an event in Pittsburgh, CA).

With our arrival in Seattle, Max & Bailey have now crossed the entire country from east to west. How many dogs can say that?

Monday's plans -- I'm taking the day off to visit Seattle with my wife. We're staying in the heart of the City at the Seattle W hotel and will enjoy being pampered for a change. For the bean counters in the group, don't worry. The hotel is being paid for by us and not coming out of the charity's money. We just needed a day to let others worry about all the problems of the world.

Donor(s) of the Day: Your NAME goes here when you make a donation today.

Photos-of-the-Day : Only two photos today - one of the Columbia River Gorge and the other of Herb working on Janet's bike.


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7th - Day #131
MAX & BAILEY HAVE TRAVELED FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA

Seattle marked Max & Bailey's arrival to the west coast. After more than 14,500 miles, they finally arrived on the west coast for the first time in thier lives. Now we'll begin the long, but beautiful, ride down the west coast highways with the ocean coming into and out of view. Before we do that, however, we thought a trip to Mount Rainier was appropriate since it is one of the country's most recognizable landmarks. So, on our way to Vancouver (Washington), we detoured east again, using the snow-capped 14,410-foot high peak to guide our way.

Because of our timing, and our ultimate route to the south, we entered the Park through the southwestern Nisqually Entrance, made our way east to the base of Mount RaInier at Paradise and then exited the Park at the southeastern Ohanapecosh exit. Based on that experience, we would suggest skipping most of that route west of Paradise and entering the opposite way (through Ohanapecosh) and traveling towards Paradise. The views and pull-offs are much more dramatic from that direction - even when the peak is shrouded in clouds as it was for our visit.

Ultimately, we arrived in Vancouver, Washington 11 hours after checking out of our Seattle hotel. It was a long day with stops at the famous Pike's Public Market and Seattle's Space Needle before turning south towards Mount Rainier. We were all exhausted when we arrives, which explains our update to the website being a little behind. We'll catch up and we hope you enjoy the few photos we chose from the hundreds we took.

If you live in, or near, Yachats Oregon, join us on Thursday afternoon (September 9th) at Cummings Creek Park for a fundraising BBQ from 4-6 pm. The BBQ is sponsored by the local Lion's club and hosted by volunteers Eric and Cindi Clark. More information is available on our Events page. We hope to see you there.

Donor(s) of the Day: Your NAME goes here when you make a donation today.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Max at the Space Needle (2) Janet on a hike in Mount Rainier Park (3) One of the many gorgeous views at the Park (4) Max & Bailey with Mount Rainier in the background.


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9th - Day #133
YACHATS, OGEGON WELCOMES MAX & BAILEY

Max & Bailey enjoyed a down day in Vancouver, Washington with family friends Trey and Kris Caseber. On Wednesday, Trey acted as a tour guide, taking us on a beautiful ride along the Columbia River Gorge. I can definitely see a return visit to this area in the future - the natural beauty is spectacular.

We left Vancouver, this morning and pushed westward until we were running south along the Oregon coastline. Even with an overcast day, the scenery was enough to stop us every few miles. We didn't take as many pictures as we normally do because we didn't think the pictures of whales spouting in the distance would show up very well - but they reminded us of our time aboard Charbonneau - our sailboat - up in Nova Scotia last summer.

We arrived in Yachats just in time for the BBQ fundraiser, spearheaded by Cindi & Eric Clark and sponsored by the Yachats Lion's Club. The event raise $251 in donations and we sold another $372 in logo gear. Thanks to everyone who came out for the event and especially to Eric, Cindi and the Yachats Lion's Club. Without volunteer support for events like this, we could never be so successful.

Max & Bailey will visit the Waldport Elementary School tomorrow morning before making their way farther down the coast. Our next planned event will be in Sacramento at the Del Paso Manor School on Monday.

Donor(s) of the Day: The city of Yachats and the local Lion's Club -- thanks folks!

Photos-of-the-Day : So many pictures to choose from, so little space. Sorry we can't share more. (1) Columbia River Gorge Ride photo (2) Janet with the dogs at one of our many overlook stops today. (3) A favorite from today (4) Today's BBQ fundraiser


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10th - Day #133
WALDPORT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WELCOMES MAX & BAILEY

There's nothing like a school visit to end a good week. Max & Bailey were invited into Waldport Elementary School this morning to visit with about 300 students. The school's Principal, Mr. Smith, introduced the Hogs For Dogs crew and then turned the floor over to us for our presentation about the challenges facing people with disabilities and the dogs who help them. The students were wonderful, very attentive and full of questions about Max & Bailey's Ride.

We had to get moving after our school visit because we still had to travel 170 miles along the beautiful Oregon coast to Gold Beach - tonight's stopping point. The traveling is slow along Highway 101 as it snakes its way along the coast, tempting you to stop at every turn to capture its beauty in a photo. Yes, we took our share of those digital memories. Some are shared in today's photos

Tomorrow (Saturday) will find us sleeping among the giant redwoods of Northern California on the Avenue of the Giants, in Redcrest. So, be on the lookout tomorrow for some photos from our ride through these magnificent trees. There's even a nightly campfire where travelers gather to tell stories of their travels. I bet Max & Bailey will have the best stories!

We have another school visit in Sacramento on Monday, one in Fresno on Wednesday and then we're off towards the Bay area, where we have a full calendar of events. If you always wanted to visit San Francisco and the surrounding area, why not combine your visit with a few Max & Bailey events? See our events page for all the details. We'll hope to see you there!

Donor(s) of the Day: Today's donors come in the form of online store shoppers. We'd like to thank Hector O. (Harvey, LA), Cynthia Y. (Macomb, MI) and Melissa S. (Warren, MI) for all their purchased today. Enjoy your gear and thanks for supporting Max & Bailey's Ride.

I forgot to thank the Silversurf Hotel in Yachats for hosting our visit to that area. They were wonderfully kind to us and we slept with the sound of breaking surf in our ears. How very peaceful. Thank you!

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Waldport Elementary School Students say good-bye to Max and Bailey (2) Group shot at one of our many stops along the coastline (3) Janet and Bailey work their way around the coastal highway (4) Another favorite shot of the scenery - Janet liked this so much that it is now the background on her laptop computer's screen.


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11th - Day #134
IN THE SHADOWS OF GIANTS

It seemed very fitting for Max & Bailey to travel down the Avenue of the Giants today, the anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon. Today's giants were redwood trees, some 18-feet in diamater and over 2000 years old, that stretched their limbs to the sky. But I was also thinking of the large number of ordinary citizens who made extraordinary sacrifices three years ago, and of the families who lost thier loved ones on that black day in American history. Those individuals are also giants in my book and I took my moment of silence while in awe of the giant redwoods. I hope you took your own opportunity to reflect.

I am going to keep this update short because I don't believe my words should compete with the thoughts and prayers of those remembering 9/11 in their own way.

We would like to thanks the nice folks at Wildcoast Vacations in Gold Beach, Oregon for the surprise - they bought our breakfast, but we didn't know that until they had left the restaurant. We also need to thank all the motorists who visited with us at each scenic stop along today's ride. Many made a donation to support Max & Bailey's Ride, with the money coming out of their vacation bugets, I'm sure.

We have another school visit in Sacramento on Monday, one in Fresno on Wednesday and then we're off towards the Bay area, where we have a full calendar of events. If you always wanted to visit San Francisco and the surrounding area, why not combine your visit with a few Max & Bailey events? See our events page for all the details. We'll hope to see you there!

Donor(s) of the Day: Wildcoast Vacations and the motorists who gave so freely today. Thank you.

Photos-of-the-Day : More photos than we have space for, so photos 5-8 are available for viewing in our September photo archives.

(1) Blaine & Janet dwarfed by a redwood log (2) Janet and Bailey on the Avenue of the Giants (3) Janet and Bailey driving THROUGH a redwood tree (4) Blaine and Max show measure a redwood (5) A look up a few redwoods from the ground (6) Max at an ocean overlook (7) Max and Bailey with Paul Bunyon and Babe (8) Welcome to California - our 37th state.


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13th - Day #136
MAX & BAILEY VISIT DEL PASO MANOR SCHOOL IN SACRAMENTO

I didn't get the chance to do an update from the road yesterday (Sunday), but I've included a couple more pictures from that day's ride through the south end of the Avenue of the Giants. I wish I had taken a photo at our breakfast stop - Knight's Restaurant on the Avenue of the Giants. Suzie and the entire staff made us feel very welcome and packed a special gift for Max & Bailey - three thick pieces of delicious ham - which they thoroughly enjoyed. We highly recommend Knight's for breakfast. Janet's 'short stack' of pancakes was larger than any 'tall stack' I've ever ordered. Maybe they think Giants really live on that avenue?

The ride from there to Williams - where we stopped for Sunday night - was one that started as a cool ride through the shady redwoods and ended in the desert valley to the east. As soon as we crossed the mountains from the coastal region to the valley, the air took on a hot, dry quality. It literally felt like we were standing beside a fireplace and someone was fanning the heat in our direction. Needless to say, our hotel room's air conditioner was a welcome sight.

Today - Monday - was spent with the students of Del Paso Manor Elementary School in Sacramento. Max and Bailey were joined by special guests Jackie Post and her Paws With A Cause demo dog, Libby. Jackie is a Field Trainer for Paws With A Cause and Libby often joins Jackie for school visits, so we invited them to join us at Del Paso Manor and I think it was a hit for the students to see all the things Libby could do that might be helpful for a person living with a physical disability.

We want to thank Del Paso Manor teacher Kitty Sherman for inviting us to visit and Principal Phyllis Westrup for all their preparations and hospitality. The students were wonderful and Max & Bailey enjoyed all the attention after the presentation.

Tomorrow, we'll head for Fresno where we'll be staying with our friend and the editor of Fido Friendly magazine, Susan Sims. Susan has arranged for us to have a private dinner with several other writers whom I've shared the pages of Fido Friendly with for years while we were sailing, and now while we're on this charity ride across America. We also have two school visits on Wednesday - one at Liddell Elementary in the morning and another at St. Helen's Catholic school in the afternoon.

Teachers - if you can't tell - we spend a lot of time in schools presenting information about people with disabilities and the dogs that help them. Check out our Hogs, Dogs & Kids section if you want more information about our visits.

Donor(s) of the Day: Nothing but dust in our donation mailbox today. Help us change that for tomorrow's update. Our proceeds from the ride are now in excess of $110,000.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Red heads next to redwoods (2) Janet and the dogs dwarfed by huge trees (3) Jackie Post, her PAWS demo dog Libby and our student volunteer Lindsey at Del Paso Manor School (4) Group shot outside of the school

The Hogs For Dogs' Online Company Store is having a storewide sale on independence. For as little as $11.95, you can purchase some great looking gear for you, your family or friends. And, as a special benefit, you'll be helping someone with a physical disability reclaim some of their personal independence by making more Assistance Dogs available.


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14th - Day #138
MAX & BAILEY VISIT ST. HELEN'S CATHOLIC SCHOOL

Quick update from Tuedsay -- a hot and dusty ride down Hwy 99 from Sacramento to Fresno. No photos or scenery to talk about, but the evening was spent with our good friends Greg and Susan Sims from one of our sponsors, Fido Friendly Magazine.

We were supposed to have two school visits today (Wednesday), but unfortunately one was cancelled due to a communication mix-up. So, we'd like to apologize to the students at Liddell Elementary. Max & Bailey are really disappointed to have missed meeting with you.

Our visit at St. Helen's Catholic School not only went as planned, it grew to include the entire school. The students were all waiting outside for Max & Bailey as we drove up, making it a very nice welcome for our crew. Teacher Claudine Randazzo introduced our team and we were off and running with our program.

After the program, the students all took turns looking over the motorcycles and visiting with Max and Bailey in their sidecars. At the end, we learned that the school's principal made a surprise presentation of a $100 donation to Hogs For Dogs from St. Helen's School. Like all our school experiences, we were very touched by the students interest and the teachers support for our program.

The day ended with a wonderful dinner at Greg and Susan's home with several other contributing writers for Fido Friendly magazine. Our entire visit with the Sims' has been so nice that once again we find ourselves sad to move on - but we know there is much more work to be done on this journey.

Thursday finds us moving north again to visit with some students at Campbell Middle School near San Jose before several members from Mt. Diablo H.O.G. chapter escort us into Contra Costa County for the first two days of events in the Bay area. Check out our Events page for all this weekend's event. We'll hope to see you there.

Donor(s) of the Day: St. Helen's Catholic School for their generous $100 donation.

Photos-of-the-Day : All four photos are from our visit at St. Helen's Catholic School


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16th - Day #139
MAX & BAILEY VISIT WITH CAMPBELL MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS AND ARE NOW IN CONTRA COSTA COUNTY FOR SOME BIG EVENTS ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY - SEE THE UPCOMNG EVENTS PAGE FOR MORE DETAILS

It's always a sad day when we have to say good-bye to friends who have opened their home to host Max & Bailey on their 48-state ride. So, it was with another heartfelt hug that we thanked Susan and Greg Sims for their hospitality and pointed the bikes northwest. Susan is the editor of Fido Friendly magazine, for which I am a contributing writer. The latest issue is just about to hit the streets and includes another article about Max & Bailey's adventure. Check them out on line at www.FidoFriendly.com. Your subscriptions - when you mention code HFD2004 - benefit Hogs For Dogs.

Our friend - and Vice Principal at Campbell Middle School - Sheila Walters met us at the door today as we arrived for our presentation. The presentation was only for a small group of students, but they were GREAT. They asked good questions and really got involved with the presentation. Once again, we were fortunate enough to have Jackie Post and her demonstration Assistance Dog Libby join us. Libby is always the hit of the show with the kids as she shows them how many tasks she can perform to assist a person with a physical disability.

As soon as we finished the school program, we were whisked away to Pacheco with a 10 motorcycle escort provided by Mt. Diablo H.O.G. members. It is always a treat when we can simply follow the tail lights of others and leave the navigating to them. Our arrival in Pacheco where Max & Bailey will stay for all our Contra Costa County events was marked by a BBQ dinner for us, our escorts and many of the volunteers who have made these events possible. We were also happy to see our good friend Jay Schwantes ride up on his rental Harley-Davidson. As our long-time friend, Hogs For Dogs Executive board member, and the website host and designer for our site, his face was a welcome site after so many months on the road.

But the day was not without problems. Our schedule has been overwhelming lately and only getting busier as the popularity of Max & Bailey's ride increases. Well, in all that chaos I missed two of the most important dates of the year. September 15th and 16th is my parent's wedding anniversary and my mother's birthday. It won't get me out of the dog house with my mom, but I would sure appreciate everyone sending my mom and dad a Happy Anniversary and Happy Birthday email to help me show them how much they mean to me. Their email address is HParks@aol.com. They mean the world to me, but I got so focused on this charity ride that I lost site of something even more important - Family.

Donor(s) of the Day: Today was a day when my friends really came through. Steve and Claudine Randazza made a generous $50 donation and Susan and Greg, our hosts, made a $100 donation to help support Max & Bailey's Ride. Another good friend, Gerry C. made an online donation of $50. Thanks to all our friends for believing in this ride. We won't forget all you've done for us - and our charity partners - this year.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Greg and Susan Sims pose with the Hogs For Dogs team (2) Blaine talks to Campbell Middle School students while demonstrating the limitations of being a wheelchair user (3) Libby opens the door during Jackie Post's part of the school presentation (4) Preparing to ride with our Mt. Diablo H.O.G. escort.


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17th - FIRST BAY AREA EVENT A BIG SUCCESS

Friday was our first large event in the Bay Area of California. This is your friendly WebMaster reporting, giving Blaine a break from his daily updates. I flew out here to be with them for these imjportant fundraisers this weekend. Today was the Corporate event at Wells Fargo Corp- orate Offices in Concord, CA. Throughout the day, employees and visitors joinedus in the main office courtyard for a fun event, including clowns, face painting, sno cones, glass blowing, a dunk tank, and representatives from Paws With A Cause to spread the awareness a bit further into the community.

Members of the Mt. Diablo H.O.G. chapter provided escorts through town and much needed manpower and will be on hand tomorrow for the Devil Mountain Harley-Davidson's Open House. We also went over to Contra Costa County Animal Services offices to visit with the staff there who had been such a huge help for the festivities over the past months getting ready for this weekend. Their we presented a brief educational opportunity to some local girl scouts who helped raise needed supplies for the shelter.

Todays totals look to be around $5200, with a much larger event to follow tomorrow. I'm going to keep this short - my ride to dinner is waiting at the door - but we DO need to mention that the Monday Morning events in San Francisco have been cancelled. More on that later,but we didn't want anyone going there looking for Max and Bailey.

We're also looking forward to the Sunday ride to Alice's Restaurant with the Dudley Perkins, San Francisco H.O.G group leading the way.

I promise Blaine will be back with his usual eloquent style... he's taking a needed few minutes rest tonight...

Pictures of the day: Photo-1 is the girl scouts and staff at the shelter, Photo-2 shows Blaine speaking to the crowd at Wells Fargo, Photo-3 is some friends we made along the way who provided a lot of entertainment all day, and Photo 4 is a group shot of the volunteers before the event got underway.

We had SO many donors today it is hard to pick, but certainly Wells Fargo gets the top spot. their contribution and support went a long way to making this a successful day.


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CLICK HERE for more Pictures from today's events.


18th - Day #141
DEVIL MOUNTAIN HARLEY-DAVIDSON EVENT IS HUGE SUCCESS

Our second event in Contra Costa County was a great success. Mike McGuire's new Devil Mountain Harley-Davidson included us in their Grand Opening Open House event. As part of the event, we had several Hogs For Dogs merchandise booths, silent auctions with gift baskets donated by local area businesses, a dunk tank run the by Dirty Dogs Motorcycle Club, food, drinks, face painting and a long, long list of other activities.

Max & Bailey made hundreds of new friends and the event raised several thousand dollars more to help people with disabilities recieve an Assistance Dog. We owe so many thanks that I'm sure to miss somebody in this update. So, I'll start with some thanks here tonight and add on as I get the full list of those involved -- there were hundreds who made this event possible.

Top billing for today's event goes to Tracey Stevens-Martin and the entire Contra Costa County Animal Services staff. She was the ring leader for all our Contra Costa County events and made some unbelievable personal sacrifices to make sure that the event came off without a hitch. We'd also like to thank Mike McGuire and the staff at Devil Mountain H-D for including us in their event and Mt. Diablo H.O.G., the Dirty Dogs Motorcycle Club, Jesse and Houdini from Biker Dogs M/C, and all the other riders who escorted Max & Bailey around town. Jackie Post from Paws With A Cause helped us with several educational presentations and still found time to work at every event this weekend - and all the other events in the area leading up to this weekend.

We also owe a very special thanks to Terry Osburn for opening up her home to the Hogs For Dogs team for the duration of our stay in Contra Costa County and for putting up with our late night planning and money-counting meetings. She is a wonderful host, a sponsor of Max & Bailey's Ride and lady we now call friend. Thanks, Terry!

Everyone involved gave their heart and soul to this project. And, I think when the totals are tallied, we will all be surprised at just how successful their efforts were. So, to all of you, thank you for a job well done. We'll post the totals as soon as all the counting is done.

It's been a long day and we have another long one tomorrow. If you live in the San Francisco area, we hope you'll come join us at Dudley Perkins Harley-Davidson for a fundraising ride to Alice's Restaurant. Registration starts at 10:00 and the ride leaves at 11:00. $10 gets you in the ride and a ride-pin to commerate the ride.

Donor-of-the-Day : How can we choose just one? Our hats are off to everyone who planned, worked at or made a contribution at any of the Contra Costa Country events. You're involvement made all the difference.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) The event's planning team (Jay Schwantes, Sabrina Martin, Tracey Stevens-Martin and Hadley Martin) (2) We had a big crowd at the event (3) Chris and Max - Chris was one of the key teen voluteers for the event (4) Heidi makes a $5 donation.


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CLICK HERE for more Pictures from today's events.


19th - Day #142
MOTHER NATURE DAMPENS DUDLEY PERKINS RIDE

There's nothing more disappointing than the steady drizzle of rain on a day when you rise early for a ride across the Golden Gate Bridge for a long anticipated fundraising ride to the famous Alice's Restaurant. But, that was just how the day started - dark clouds, steady rain and another emotional stab in the heart. So, after an hour's delay, we made our way from Pacheco towards downtown San Francisco.

It didn't matter that the sun had come out by the time Dudley Perkins opened its doors for the pre-ride registration. It didn't matter that today's ride was one of the most scenic with an incredible route led by an experienced San Francisco rider. None of that mattered when the time to leave arrived. The rains kept most people away with their shiny bikes safely tucked away in their garages.

There were about 15 riders who braved the morning drizzle and joined us for the ride. Gil & Lori from Dog City TV (www.dogcity.tv) and Paul from PDS Video stopped by to catch up with Max & Bailey's story. Paul's video showed up on a local station's (KRON-4) evening news broadcast. And we had a special visit from San Francisco Supervisor Alioto-Pier welcoming us to the city.

So while today wasn't a huge fundraising success, it was a great ride with some new friends. We need to thank Dudley Perkins for opening their store to host the ride, Jenny Lefferts from Mad Maps for helping organize the ride, Andy at Alice's Restaurant and, especially, those who came out because they believed in Max & Bailey's 2004 Ride Across America.

Folks, I'll be honest - we have our hearts set on raising enough money to sponsor the Hogs For Dogs Dirty Dozen - the litter of twelve Paws With A Cause puppies named after Max & Bailey's Ride. IN fact, I'd love to see this country sponsor 1200, 12,000 or 120,000 puppies - but I'll settle for at least 12 (this year). The cost for each Assistance Dog sponsorship is $18,000. Multiplied by twelve makes it a total of $216,000 for the entire litter. We've raised almost $125,000 so far, but with only 78 days left, we need your help. If you're here for the first time, please read through the site to learn more and consider helping us meet this goal. If you've followed us around the country through this website, you know how hard we and our all-volunteer staff are working. But we can't do it alone. Please help us now!

Make a donation, purchase Max & Bailey logo gear, host an event, tell your friends or call your local media to tell them about our ride. Help us do whatever it takes to help people living with disabilities receive an Assistance Dog today. Make Max & Bailey's Ride something we can all be proud of.

Donor-of-the-Day : In addition to their support with today's ride, Mad Maps (one of our many sponsors) made another $200 donation to the cause. Thanks!

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Hogs For Dogs at the Golden Gate Bridge (2) A ride along the beach (3) Bailey at Alice's Restaurant (4) Jay (aka Muthuh) was there on behalf of Hogs For Dogs and ThunderPress. His back seat and photographer for the day was JR from Mad Maps.


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CLICK HERE for more Pictures from today's events.


21st - Day #144
GOOD FRIENDS, GOOD RIDES, BUT BAD NEWS

ROUTE CHANGE NOTICE -- U.S. HOGS FOR DOGS WILL NOT TRAVEL TO SAN DIEGO. THERE WERE NO EVENTS PLANNED FOR THE AREA, DESPITE MANY ATTEMPTS BY VOLUNTEERS. WE WILL USE THOSE DAYS, INSTEAD, TO MAXIMIZE SOME EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES IN THE LAS VEGAS AREA. WE WILL UPDATE THE CALENDAR IN THE NEXT DAY OR SO.

My apologies for not getting an update yesterday. The ride from San Jose to Spreckels was pretty uneventful with the exception of Janet's visit to the Monterey Aquarium, while the dogs and I hung out in a parking garage working on emails. Janet had her heart set on seeing the aquarium from when I had told her about my visit there years earlier. Our schedule, however, just wouldn't allow us to spend a full day in Monterey. So, I watched the dogs and Janet went to watch the penguins, sea otters, tropical fish and the only Great White Shark in captivity. I'll get some of her photos uploaded for our archive, so look for them there soon.

The reason for not having an update was purely selfish on my part. I had the opportunity to stay with an old high school buddy of mine that I had lost contact with nearly 23 years ago. It took me 19 years to find him again (long story) and another four for us to finally get together. So, as you can imagine, Peter Sisson and I had a lot of catching up to do. No regrets for missing the update and I hope you understand. Best friends sometimes need time to visit with each other, so we took a few precious hours last night and he joined us for a great visit with the Marina Del Mar Elementary school and then a scenic ride along the coastline today. Which, by the way, was a perfect ride right up until the part when my bike developed an abnormal wobble.

Long story short - I limped almost 45 miles with a back wheel that was popping more spokes every ten miles. But, we did make it to our destination - Santa Maria - where the local Harley-Davidson shop will try to get us back on the road in the morning. Unfortunately, there is a strong possibility that we won't be able to get on the road early enough to make our Wednesday events in the Montclair (Los Angeles) area. Everything depends on how fast they can clear up this problem. Janet wasn't happy about the spoke-popping event, but she was delighted that it wasn't her bike this time.

But, let me back up to the school visit at Marina Del Mar. The students were all outside waiting for Max & Bailey when they arrived and were marvelous listeners during a presentation that was plagued with distractions (impatient dogs, projector failure, etc.). We all survived the ordeal and I think we got most of message across to the students - or at least they were very gracious. The teachers and students surprised us with a $105 donation made up from teacher and student contributions. Thank you Mrs. Deis for inviting us and to all the students and teachers who made us feel so welcome.

Donor-of-the-Day : We had several donations of note today, but I'd like to highlight one that was made in honor of 'Louie the Dog'. Louie was a 4-year-old Blood Hound that passed away suddenly after ingesting something harmful to his body. He is best remembered for his recent act of bravery in protecting the family home from burglars whom he not only chased out of the yard, but then tracked them for several miles afterwards. To honor Louie's heroic memory, a $100 donation was made by a friend of Louie's family - a donation in honor of one canine hero in the hopes of providing the necessary financial support to provide other canine heroes to people living with disabilities.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Marina Del Mar students greet Max and Bailey (2) Marina Del Mar teacher Sheila Deis presents a donation to the Hogs For Dogs team (3) Bailey at one of the many scenic overlooks near Big Sur (4) Janet, my friend Peter and I pose for a photo after 23 years.


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22nd - Day #145
MAX & BAILEY ARE STILL IN SANTA MARIA, CALIFORNIA

ROUTE CHANGE NOTICE -- U.S. HOGS FOR DOGS WILL NOT TRAVEL TO SAN DIEGO. THERE WERE NO EVENTS PLANNED FOR THE AREA, DESPITE MANY ATTEMPTS BY VOLUNTEERS. WE WILL USE THOSE DAYS, INSTEAD, TO MAXIMIZE SOME EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES IN THE LAS VEGAS AREA. WE WILL UPDATE THE CALENDAR IN THE NEXT DAY OR SO.

We had to cancel events today for the first time since leaving North Carolina on May 1st. Max & Bailey were supposed to be at Pomona Valley Harley-Davidson this afternoon, but Max's chariot was in the shop with a busted rear wheel. So, instead, we spent the day pleading with Santa Maria Harley-Davidson and driving 180 miles to pick up a new rear wheel from the dealer in Santa Barbara.

Tomorrow, we'll be back on schedule and are looking forward to our arrival in Anaheim for a couple school visits on Friday that were set up with the help of some folks with Disney and one of our charity partners, New Horizons Service Dogs.

I wish I had more to tell today, but it was a very challenging day that ended well. Thanks to everyone who wrote or called to offer support. It really does make a difference on days like today. You keep us inspired and focused on the reasons we're making this ride with Max & Bailey.

We still have plenty of Hogs For Dogs logo gear in our warehouse. Remember that all your purchases help provide the financial support for several Assistance and Guide Dog organizations. It also helps provide the funding for Max & Bailey's educational program in schools around the country. Every purchase counts!

Donor-of-the-Day : Cecilia D. from Pennsauken, NJ is our donor of the day today for her $30 online donation. Thank you so much for your generosity.

Photos-of-the-Day : No photos from today, but here are some scenic shots that you haven't seen before from our ride down the California coastline past Big Sur.


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23rd - Day #146
SIX LANES OF TRAFFIC, THREE DIGIT TEMPS, ONE LONG DAY

The ride from Santa Maria to Anaheim was a 200-mile race to try and beat the Los Angeles traffic. Well, we almost won the race arriving at around 2:30. But traffic started getting thick for the last half-hour of the ride.

My hat's off to everyone who drives in the traffic each day. At one point there were six lanes to choose from, all equally slow, and the heat was baking all of us. Max & Bailey may have caused a few slow downs with all the nice folks rolling by to get a good look at the goggle-wearing, motorcycle-riding dogs. If you saw us on the road today, drop us an email to say hello or make a donation to say you care.

I (Blaine) rode out to Pomona Valley Harley-Davidson once we got settled at our hotel. We felt really bad about having to cancel our first events due to a mechanical failure with my bike. I met Sam Jones - our local event coordinator - at the dealership to pick up all the logo gear that we had sent for yesterday's event. I made my apologies and met some great folks working at Pomona Valley H-D, including Linda who helped us immensely by shipping the logo gear on to another event. For all those who were planning to visit with us yesterday - I'm sorry. The mechanical issues were out of our control. If you were planning to buy a shirt or make a donation during our visit, please still consider doing so. Just because we couldn't make the event doesn't mean that your support isn't needed.

Tomorrow, Max & Bailey will be at Ball Jr. High School to speak to a group of 8th-grade students who are preparing for some civic-minded projects next year. The visit was planned by local Disney representatives and with the support of Janet Severt, Director for New Horizons Service Dogs. There will also be a photo shoot at the Disney Land Resort - details are available on our Upcoming Events page.

Donor-of-the-Day : Julie Thorington made a $12 donation today - one dollar for each of the Dirty Dozen puppies we are hoping to sponsor. She wanted to challenge all other puppy raisers to either match or beat her donation. Now's your chance puppy raisers -- who will have the winning donation?

Photos-of-the-Day : No photos today.


24th - Day #147
MAX & BAILEY EXPERIENCE A LITTLE DISNEY MAGIC

You have to believe that all things are possible if you live near the Disneyland theme parks. So, it was very fitting for us to visit Dr. Diane Bethancourt (Principal) and the students at Ball Junior High School - where their school motto is "Believe, Achieve, Succeed!" If our experience here is any indication, these students will go on to greatness. The 8th graders that we spoke with will be involved in community service project when they enter high school next year. The community of Anaheim is fortunate to have schools and students so willing to get involved to better the lives of others.

And as a special treat for today's presentations, Janet Severt (Director of New Horizons Service Dogs) and her Assistance Dog Cypress joined us along with Lynn Houston and her Assistance Dog Chance. This gave the students a first hand look at how an Assistance Dog and their owners work together.

After the school visit, it was time for a little Disney Magic of our own. Matt Ouimet, President of the Disneyland Resort, made some special arrangements with the resort staff so that Max & Bailey could come onto the property for some very special pictures. Matt has a personal interest in Assistance Dogs because he and his wife care for Minnie - a breeding female for the New Horizons Service Dog organization. There was also a $500 check - signed by Mickey Mouse - presented to Hogs For Dogs on behalf of the Disneyland Resort Cast through their Guide Dogs Recycling Fund, a program where all the proceeds from bottle and can recycling go to Guide and Assistance Dog programs. Like everything at Disney, it was a magical moment and we owe many people our heartfelt thanks for making these things possible - people like Matt, Jill, Rhonda, Bob, Paul, Kathryn, Marilyn. Thanks for the magic.

Donor-of-the-Day : Mickey Mouse gets top billing for today's donations, but there were a few others that you need to know about. Robin came all the way out to the Disney Resort to meet Max & Bailey and make a $50 donation. Marilyn made a generous $100 donation to the cause. Kathryn P. from Palo Pinto, TX contributed $30 through our online donation system. And we had two donations sent in response to yesterday's challenge made by Julie Thorington's to all puppy raisers: Meet or beat her $12 donation - $1 for each of the Dirty Dozen.

Deb D. from Michigan matched Julie's donation of $12, one dollar for each of the Dirty Dozen. Jackie P. from Orinda, CA multiplied Julie's donation by five, making a $60 donation in honor of the Dirty Dozen. It looks like another challenge has been placed for the Puppy Raisers.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Blaine talks to students at Ball Jr. High School (2) Janet and Bailey pose with a Ball Jr. HS banner (3) Jill Bolton (Disney) presents a $500 check signed by Mickey Mouse (4) Bailey does his impression of Eeyore. (5) Lynn's Assistance Dog Chance demonstrates how he can pick up a quarter from the ground (6) Hogs For Dogs team outside Ball Jr. High School. (7) Maxie-the-Pooh (8) Bailey at the Mickey Mouse statue.


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25th - Day #148
MAX & BAILEY MAKE A LEFT TURN AND HEAD EAST AGAIN

Today was another of those milestone days on this 218-day journey. After a month long run down the west coast, we've made the turn eastwards again. Today we left Los Angeles and headed towards Las Vegas, our next stop on Max & Bailey's educational tour. But not before taking a few more Max & Bailey American landmark photos. Today, we added the Hollywood sign to their growing collection.

With our left turn, we've also had to modify our travel schedules. Instead of working for a few hours each morning and then hitting the road, we now have to leave at sunrise or wait until nightfall because of the desert heat. The Mojave Desert really warms up during the day, so we'll be looking for a cool place to hide during the middle of they day. Today, we hid at one of our sponsor hotels - the Red Roof Inn in Barstow, California.

Tomorrow morning, we'll visit the Hoover Dam on the way to Las Vegas where Max & Bailey will spend several days. We have two great educational opportunities and the bikes will get their well-deserved 20,000-mile maintenance service and some new tires. If you're planning to be in the Las Vegas area, keep your eyes open for Max & Bailey. If you catch them in the casinos, please send them back to their hotel room.

If you're still looking for a way to get involved with the ride, check out our volunteer pages to learn more. You can help us host events in your local area if the ride is heading your way. You can act as a Hogs For Dogs host home to keep lodging costs down. Or, you can simply make a donation or purchase some logo gear. It all makes a difference.

Also, there is still a challenge out there by Julie Thorington to meet or beat her donation to help sponsor the Hogs For Dogs/PAWS Dirty Dozen. She donated $12, one dollar for each of the puppies. At the moment, Jackie Post has the highest donation for the Dozen with her $60 donation - $5 for each puppy.

Donor-of-the-Day : We have two donors competing for today's donor-of-the-day spot. Susan A. from Oxford, MI and Sandra S. from Huntington Beach both made $30 online donations. Thanks to both of you for helping to make Max & Bailey's Ride a success.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) The Hogs For Dogs team pose for a landmark photo (2) A different look of the shot with just Max (3) Dog Days at Disney (4) One of my favorite shots of Bailey from our visit back in the San Francisco area.


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26th - Day #149
EARLY MORNING RUN THROUGH THE DESERT TO LAS VEGAS

Regardless of what time zone you live in, 4:00 am is not a normal wake-up time. But, if we wanted to avoid triple digit heat in the desert, we had to be on the road by 5:00 am. So, when the alarms went off, we begrudgingly rolled out of bed and began loading the bikes. Max and Bailey, however, just laid there and looked at us like we were crazy people.

It felt funny to be bundled up in all our leathers that early in the morning when we knew that the temps would push 100 degrees by noontime, but it was only 60 degrees before the sun came over the red desert hills. So, after a Denny's breakfast of champions we headed east in the early morning darkness in search of Las Vegas, some 200 miles away.

Max and Bailey stopped by the Hoover Dam for a quick look and then stopped traffic in downtown Las Vegas as they rolled into town wearing their Doggles. Lucky for all our charity partners, we didn't follow the advice of a good friend who said, "Put in all on red and let it ride!" While exciting, I'm not that lucky a fellow.

Tomorrow finds us at the Las Vegas Harley-Davidson dealer for a full-day of maintenance on the bikes so that we'll be ready for our next 5,000 miles.

I'm happy to report that the people are responding to Julie Thorington's challenge to meet or beat her donation to help sponsor the Hogs For Dogs/PAWS Dirty Dozen. She donated $12, one dollar for each of the puppies. The challenge had reached $60 ($5 for each puppy) and has now been beat by two new donors. Cindi Clark, a puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence was the first to raise the bar with her $72 donation. A few hours later, Jean Helfer also 'raised the ante' to $72 in honor of our Vegas location - $6 per puppy. Do I hear $86?

Donor-of-the-Day : Cindi Clark and Jean Helfer share those honors for their Dirty Dozen donations. If you want to learn more about these puppies, check out Bailey's new View From A Sidecar entry.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Sunrise in the Mojave Desert (2) Rattlesnake Country? (3) Bailey at the Hoover Dam (4) Las Vegas Strip


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29th - Day #152
MAX & BAILEY PREPARE TO DEPART LAS VEGAS

After several days in Las Vegas to have the motorcycles serviced and new tires installed by the very capable staff at Las Vegas Harley-Davison, Max & Bailey will be heading northeast to Cedar City, Utah tomorrow morning. Outr time in Las Vegas was fairly uneventful despite lots of hard work by volunteers. Sometimes, the stars just don't align for these things.

We did, however, have a great visit with the Henderson District Public Library today. The staff at the library, led by Florica Hagendorn, had worked hard to garner media support for Max & Bailey's arrival. And, she had the media's confirmation of their interest in the story. Yet, the media cited 'breaking news' as the reason they failed to show. Instead, we spent our time speaking with several wonderful volunteers who bring their Therapy Dogs into the library for a Reading to Rover program that encourages children to read by having them read to some very friendly pooches.

One of the Therapy Dog volunteers, Judy Schutt, invited Max & Bailey back to her home to cool off with her dogs, Percy and Louie, by swimming in their pool. Max & Bailey didn't have to be asked twice and, before long, they were lounging like movie stars in a fancy swimming pool.

Tomorrow will find us on the road to Southern Utah University in Cedar City, UT where we have several educational opportunites with university students and a local elementary school. If you're in the area, come out to meet Max & Bailey at the university quad from 4:00-5:00 pm on Thursday.

TEACHERS -- We've finally had some success with adding lesson plans to our Hogs, Dogs & Kids Teacher's Corner section. Two resources are there now with several more coming in the near future. A special thanks to Jackie Post for helping us put these together.

Donor-of-the-Day : First, I need to announce another Dirty Dozen donation by puppy raiser Mildred Simpkins from yesterday. Thank you Mildred for making your contribution to help us provide the funding for our Dirty Dozen -- Check out Bailey's latest View From A Sidecar article to learn more about these puppies.

We also need to thank the Henderson District Library staff and Therapy Dog volunteers for all their donations and logo gear purchases today. They provided another $262 to help people with disabilities.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Outside Las Vegas Harley-Davidson (2) Max, Bailey and our friends from the library (3) Dog's Day at the pool (4) Max shows off his nose balancing skills the Hoover Dam (4) Las Vegas Strip (5) Florica Hagendorn and the Hogs For Dogs Team (6) Meet Louie (and look at that stylish hair!) (7) Bailey puts smiles on the faces of Las Vegas visitors.


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30th - Day #153
MAX & BAILEY ARRIVE IN CEDAR CITY, UTAH

Utah is the 39th state on Max & Bailey's 2004 Ride Across America. And with our arrival some very welcome cooler weather. Although Cedar City is still considered high desert, the average temperatures are much cooler because of the elevation. As you'll see in today's photos, the high desert geography is also much more scenic, with dramatic cliffs and sunset colored canyons. It was a real feast for our eyes after the barren, low lying Mojave landscapes.

We were met in Cedar City at Southern Utah University by Dr. Genell Harris who teaches elementary education at the university. Max & Bailey rolled right onto the quad behind the library and were greeted by students wondering what was up with these two goggle-wearing dogs.

After the university visit, we had dinner with Dr. Harris and her family before rushing off for a night out to see Macbeth, tickets courtesy of the Shakespere Festival. The Festival is well renowned for their performances and has previously won a Toni Award. Needless to say, it was a delightful night out.

Tomorrow, we'll spend time with elementary school students and Dr. Harris' students talking about Max & Bailey's Ride and sharing highlights of the program with the university students as part of their learning to use web-based learning in their future classrooms. We consider it an honor that they would consider our program worth talking about.

TEACHERS -- We've finally had some success with adding lesson plans to our Hogs, Dogs & Kids Teacher's Corner section. Two resources are there now with several more coming in the near future. A special thanks to Jackie Post for helping us put these together.

Donor-of-the-Day : Today's donations come by way of our online store. We'd like to thank MaryAnn Tormey, Marlene McFall and Linda Miller for their generous purchases.

I'd also like to remind you about the ongoing challenge for the Dirty Dozen donations. You can check the archives for the details, but the challenge is still there and waiting for others to combine forces with puppy raisers around the country.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Welcome to Utah! (2) Janet and Bailey pose at the entrance to Zion National Park's Kolob Canyons (3) Blaine and Janet in a rare photo together (4) Even Bailey is amazed by the views (5) A ride through the canyons (6) Max and Bailey near Kolob Canyons (7) closer shot of photo #6 (8) One of Blaine's scenery photos


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