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.

Monday, April 28, 2008

From a Class in Maine...

I would like to take time to answer some excellent questions 5th grade students in Maine have sent Chiva and me. The teacher, Pam Martin has put up a bulletin board and map so that the students can follow our trip and can learn geography and map skills at the same time. Thank you for being involved with Tour de Dog and please keep your questions/comments/suggestions coming. Chiva and I look forward to visiting your class and meeting you all in person.

Pam (Teacher) asks: How's Chiva doing?
Chiva is adapting to this type of life very well. It helps tremendously that she is a young, energetic puppy. She currently is lying by my side as I type. She must stay strong and healthy if we are to complete the trek. Keeping her happy is my number one priority.

Johnny comments: Have fun!
Thank you, Johnny. I will do my best! Having fun is what life is all about.

Vince asks: Is it really fun?
Hello, Vince. Great question. It is extremely fun, and I would encourage you to start planning your own bike tour. It is a constant adrenaline rush. What I like most is the uncertainty of it all. I never know who I will meet the next day or where Chiva and I will stay. Everyday is a new one with new views and places to explore. It’s a lot of work, but it is also the most rewarding and meaningful work in my life thus far.

Ciara asks: Is it getting warmer as you head south?
The weather is definitely warming up, Ciara. As we continue to head down the coast, it is important for Chiva and me to adapt to the climate. Chiva must drink water often, and her coat continues to shed. I keep a close eye on her behavior and take lots of breaks. I also must constantly drink fluids and apply lots of sunscreen. During really hot days, I will bike early and later in the day (when it is cooler).

Johnny asks: How do you connect to us while on the road. How does it all work?
Your teacher, Mrs. Martin, does a great job sending me emails and keeping me updated with you all. I carry a laptop and check email when I have time. I visit libraries, cafes, and schools to use the computer as Chiva and I travel. It is important for me to share the experience, and I enjoy the interaction.

Melanie and Vince ask at once: Do you have a laptop with you and if so what kind? I do have a laptop. It is a Dell Inspiron E1405 and is the first computer I have ever bought. With the laptop I can upload pictures, send emails, use the internet, and update the website. It enables me to stay connected with my family and friends as well as make connections with other companies and organizations.

Megan wants to know if Chiva likes this kind of travel? Excellent question, Megan! One I have given a lot of thought. My answer is definitely yes. Chiva is now living a much more active and dynamic life. In Seattle, I lived in a small apartment where she spent most of the day sleeping. She has made many new human and dog friends and continues to explore the country. If I felt she was not having a good, safe trip I would not be doing it. She loves to camp and to be in the DoggyRide trailer.

Many wonder: Did you have a really big dream like this as a kid? I like this question! I did indeed really have a dream like this as a kid although I never knew it would include a bicycle. My biggest passion in life has always been travel and animals. It was difficult to figure out how to make this all work, but I was determined to travel with Chiva and to live my dream.

Hannah wonders: How do you accomplish something as big as this? Thank you for a big question, Hannah. A huge part of this trip is the big network of people and companies supporting me behind the scene. Everyday I get text messages and emails of encouragement. More and more businesses are becoming involved and want to help. Family and friends are constantly checking in to see if Chiva and I need anything. People I meet along the way also assist us in many ways. I would be nowhere without a support team. Thank you to all of those who believe in the mission and who help Chiva and me.

One of my favorite quotes is the following:

“Man's capacities have never been measured; nor are we to judge what we can do by any precedents, so little has been tried. What people say you can not do, you try and find you can.” –Henry David Thoreau

I truly believe in this quote. When you give something in life your total commitment and dedication and are able to stay focused, anything is possible. I still have a long, long way to go, but I know in my head I can do it. The most important thing is to remain humble and to keep Chiva and myself healthy. Everyday is a new day and it does not matter what happened yesterday. Take it day by day.

There is also no way I could complete the trek without Chiva by my side. It would simply be too lonely. She is there every mile of the way.

Caleb wonders: How did you pick your route? All are wondering about your heel including myself! Hey Caleb! Very important question. I picked the projected route based on weather patterns at states at specific times of the year. I need to bike states such as Montana and North Dakota during the summer. For winter, I plan to be in the Southeast. My overall goal is to visit all lower 48 states and to climb the highest elevation point in all of them.
My heel got needed time off in Arcata, CA, and has been fine ever since. I must listen and pay attention to my body. A company known as OLA LOA gives me a mineral/vitamin supplement that helps to keep me energized and to maintain my joints and muscles.

Melanie thought of the water at Gold Beach. She wondered if it was cold or warm? Very cold. It rained a lot while in Gold Beach, OR. Luckily, Great Grandma Stump tended to Chiva and me and kept us warm and dry. She continues to regularly check in with our whereabouts. I stayed out of the ocean but Chiva went for a swim.

Thank you again for your wonderful questions. Please continue to interact with me. I also love to hear your comments and suggestions.

Best wishes and live it up!
David and Chiva


Anonymous said...

Hope your having an amazing time David,,,
Sarah,,your friend from Hatties

Tommy said...

Nice post man. What a great set of questions and answers. Maybe you'll inspire a future world traveler.

Susan said...

Saw your article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel & it reminds me of my husky mix, Chance, who also had wanderlust. If I didn't take her out enough she would go on her own trips by climbing over the 6-foot fence. She always came home again! Best of luck. We will follow your blog.