UPDATE, 22 October 2008

David and Chiva are taking a break from the Tour de Dog but are sure to plan another ride in the near future. A sincere thank you to all of you who helped David and Chiva in countless ways. The Tour de Dog would not be possible without your support. THANK YOU!

View a Photo Documentary of Tour de Dog by Jason Houge

Tour de Dog is past states: Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ontario, and New York.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bring on Spring!

Great day for a ride, huh Chiva!

After spending several days in Snoqualmie recharging with Tove, David and their 5 kids and 5 dogs, Chiva and I caught a mini-van ride over the snow-covered pass to Cle Elum. From here we headed to Ellensburg and then south into the scenic Yakima River Canyon. With nightfall nearing, I made a concealed campsite behind a pile of stacked picnic tables.

Following a frosty night in the canyon, we proceeded to Selah, Yakima, Wapato, and Toppenish. At the local grocery store in Toppenish, a friendly, 77 year old man invited me to stay with him and his daughter. I figured I had scored shelter, dinner and possible even a badly-needed shower. When I arrived at his address, it was nothing more than an outdoor shed for his collection of semi-trucks. Fortunately, drinking water and electricity were available, and Walt told me I could pitch my tent between the trucks or even have the privilege of sleeping in one of the truck bed cabins. With the temperature dropping rapidly and the wind howling, Chiva and I hopped into a dingy, old black truck. Although the space was even sprinkled with mice feces (and therefore mice), I decided the pros outweighed the cons and got some needed shut-eye. Definitely a night I will remember!

Traversing the Yakima Indian Reservation from Toppenish to Goldendale has been without a doubt the most demanding day thus far. The stretch of road includes 50 miles of desolate, infertile country (remember this is a reservation) that climbs Satus Pass. After mile upon mile of climbing, me, Chiva, and bicycle/trailer finally reached the pass and cruised into Goldendale where I treated us to a motel for the first time.

Quick notes:

Fastest speed: 33mph (and that was being cautious)
Coldest temperature: 23 degrees F, Yakima River Canyon
Combined weight of bicycle, trailer, luggage, Chiva, and me: 350 pounds
Number of flat tires: 1
Added a GPS tracking feature that updates our exact location (see top right corner)

Time to pack up and head to Hood River, OR. Here are some pictures:

Rack on trailer installed by David Warmerdam. Thank you!!!

Chiva curling up inside the truck cabin
Chiva staying warm and comfortable with her coat

Walt the friendly truck driver from Toppenish

Water? Check. Food? Check

Conditions on the Yakima Indian Reservation (Cultural Center in the distance)

Can you see the tent? Can you get pass the guard?

Staying warm and ready to rob a bank in the Yakima River Canyon

Walt's Dog, Bob

Desolate section of Route 97 between Toppenish and Satus Pass


Taking a break from climbing. A coyote was eyeing us in the distance.

Satus Creek

First flat tire right outside Toppenish

The hotel room for the night

Walt's 5 Star Accommodation Truck Shed

Glad to see this sign after a long day on Satus Pass

Lots of Basalt Rock in the Canyon

Enjoy the views Chiva...I'll do the work

Yakima River Canyon: ideal place for biking and rafting

Route 10 between Cle Elum and Ellensburg

Just south of Ellensburg

If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear them!


Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

Great pictures. I think we saw you on the WSDOT camera yesterday near the Yakima County line. Be sure to visit Maryhill Museum while you are in Goldendale. Great views of the Columbia River from there, plus fine sculptures and watercolors from French Master Auguste Rodin.



Dean Geddes said...

let the adventures begin big dave, looks like you have already had some interesting encounters. keep the pictures and the stories coming. looking forward to reading the next installment,


Anonymous said...

Great pictures and stories, Dave. Have a good trip into Oregon. Bob from Ballard

Miss Julie - Chubby Mommy said...

Ride on!

Great photos. This trip looks like a lot of work...

Tiffany said...

Looks like you are doing well!! Keep it up! Im always cheering for you!!

Queen said...

All The Best Pet Care on Queen Anne is rooting for you 100%!!!! :-)

Steve Shay said...

I need to know! Did you and Chiva make it up and down Mt. Hood safely? Let the world know ASAP please.


Shan said...

Hi David and Chiva,
This is Shan. I'm the guy from the adjoining booth at the Seattle Bike Expo. Just checked your blog and glad to see you're both doing well. Wishing you both awesome and safe adventures in your incredible journey!!

Anonymous said...

Pictures from your story! This is really fun to see.

Anonymous said...

Hello, my name is Danette Bremer. Walt, is my Grandfather and Toppenish was my home for many years. It is interesting to have stumbled onto your website. Ah, the joys of the internet. Sorry you had to sleep in a semi truck with mice feces. For clarity, I must let you know that the reservation land of Toppenish is very fertile and full of life even though it is deserty and desolate-y in appearance. Anywho,I hope you and your puppy companion are well and you visit Toppenish again sometime, some Yakama consider it Mecca ya know?