Rivers, Somewhere, Zeusy

Fastest man alive !

So all Sunday night it stormed like crazy. I was fortunate to be camped on the Turnbull ranch  (fascinating story itself will write it later) Thanks Turnbulls!

I had to pump water out of canoe, and sand as well that fell into it when the tops of the sandbanks kept collapsing into it. Wet, wet everywhere. Was up most of the night worried the canoe would float away even though I had two lines on it.

Regardless, got it taken care of and got going down river. Great day to paddle. Overcast and temps in the 70’s. Really felt great.

I later found us a place to camp on a cool sandbar. So I got out of the canoe and got too concerned about charging this phone off of the solar chargers.

Hmm what do you think happens next?

For the first time since I can remember I don’t stick with my routine and tie off the canoe, or stick by it.

Starting to get it?

So I am fiddling around with this phone and a charger when I look at Zeusy just as his ears go straight up with a Scooby-Doo, “Huuhh! ” expression !  He is looking right into the river.

Got it now don’t you !

I look up to see the canoe turn into the current.

I foolishly wandered myself behind a large pile of driftwood that I have to run around to try and cut the canoe off.

Now I have chased a lot of things and people down but this became the most important pursuit of my entire life! 

I drop the phone and the charger in my first few steps as I start saying to Zeusy “We got to get that! ” over and over again.

Zeusy was right by my side the whole way. I don’t even remember my feat touching the ground as I flipped off my hat and sunglasses.
“We got to get that! ”

I tore the raincoat from my body as I reached into every pants pocket tossing anything out. Knife,glasses, hand sanitizer, trash and gum, all making a nice trail as I kept my eye on my target as it picked up speed and went further from the shore.
“We got to get that! “

I approaching a 5′ sandbank with my loyal buddy by my side as we both jumped into the river.
Down we went into the water and you wouldn’t believe it. It was only ankle deep with a sand bottom.
“We got to get that! “

Only my momentum saved me from a perfect Youtube slow-mo faceplant.

So we ran until it was to deep and time to swim . In we went. We were so close. Then we were in the current and with a huge grab and…

I GOT IT !!!!

As I twist to change directions I look for the man and he is still with me!  Swimming like an Olympic champ! 

“This way Zeusy! ”  ” Come on buddy, come on” and we both swam as quickly as we could over to the bank.

I finally got to where we could stand and I pushed and shoved the canoe back to a good spot. I was drenched. It was about 65° by now as I started to shiver.

In no time I had changed and tied the canoe down with TWO lines as I went to gather all I ejected while I was running.

I noticed it was more distance than I thought it was and I did break the cord on the charger. 

A small price to pay for what would have been a very long walk to town. And yes town is on the other side of the river!

Yes your right ! I really goofed!
And I do know what the dog thinks of the whole affair!

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People in Montana, Rivers, Somewhere, Wildlife, Zeusy

Nathan and Zeusy’s new best pal Marshall

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While waiting at the James Kipp Rec. Area which is the end of the Upper Mo. river breaks, and into the Charles M. Russell Nationional Wildlife Refuge I had the most amazing campsite mates anyone can imagine. Marshall is from St. Coix, Wisconsin, and spends his summers with his dad a resident of Montana. What a great opportunity for them and for a few days for me as well.

Now Marshall is a first class kinda guy that has a big heart for dogs and others. Now if you talk to Marshall be ready to talk hunting, fishing, and dogs. He taught me everything I need to know about fishing that section of the river. Types of fish, and how to catch them. He also talked a lot about his four pawed pals Trigger and Bruto.

His dad is first rate as well, an experienced outdoors man and awesome father who spends a lot of his time with his boys. It shows in his son, a happy 13 year old who is glad to be in Montana with his dad.

Now Marshall would catch the fish, and his father would cook it with potatoes, carrots, and onions as well. They invited a waiting river traveler to dinner every night. It was an amazing meal !

I hitched a ride with them to Roy, Mt. To the Roy’s Market. While there Marshall made sure Zeusy would get a brand new rawhide bone. When we returned to camp Zeusy got spoiled with the new rawhide and ate it until one end knot was left.

The day Nathan and Marshall left Zeusy got a little down. It was obvious that he missed them. Why wouldn’t he ! Marshall would throw a stick for monster dawg in the river, at camp, and he always got a ton of attention.

That night Zeusy and I went to bed and he went into the tent and I followed. When I laid my head down I noticed that he fell asleep with the knot of the rawhide bone. He carries it around now not chewing on it.

I think he has happy thoughts about a first class kid who treated him like he was one of his own.

Thank you both gentlemen ! Your freindship I will always brag about having !

PS I dont have the means to download pics from the camera, but when I do I will add the Dixie chopper boat right here.

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Rivers, Somewhere, Storms, Zeusy

The Storm

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In Eastern Montana you can watch a storm coming at you from the middle of the river for a long time. You can see forever here. It is part of the beauty. Wide open spaces wherever you turn.

Zeusy and I was watching one for 45 minutes and as it grew closer a strong wind gust hit us right in the noses. The canoe was pushed sideways and the wind carried us 500 ft upriver. Time to hunker down.

The only landing I could find was a long mudbank. As I watched the lightning streak out of the sky and hit the ground the mudbank was all I had.

I steered in and Zeusy jumped out and headed for the trees. I got out of the boat and sunk to my knees in the most clingy hard to walk mud.

Then I heard a goose calling loudly from the bush. Then it came flying out and landed in the river. Followed by Zeusy who thought it wise to leap into the river and swim for the goose.

I screamed above the now high winds for him to return but could not chase him. I was still stuck in the mud with about three minutes until storm time.

He returned knowing I was mad. I made him stay on the bank while I struggled in the mud. I grabbed the gunwale of the canoe to bring it with me. I couldn’t loose it. The river is a long way off from any help.

Just then I looked down and saw four eyes. I had two mice in the form of stowaways. Looking me dead in the eye. Desperate, all I could do was to plead with them ” Please get out! ”

I pulled my left foot out only to feel the sandal rip. It was now only around my ankle. It helped!  Mud is best negotiated barefoot.

So I finally got on solid ground, put on my raincoat and backpack, staked down the canoe and walked exhausted in my one broken sandle, and knee high mud into the bush.

I sat down, Zeusy laying next to me as the storm hit hard. I had one hand on monster dawg as I bowed my head from the storm. It friggin’ poured!

I then smelled a familiar odor. I had sat in a mint patch!  Imagine the great luck!  I sat and chewed on mint leaves for the 30 minutes the storm hit us hard. Even small hail for the reminder of who was boss. The planet I love.

Zeusy did not like the mint. No ranch dressing I guess.

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explorers, Rivers, Zeusy

Wood Bottom to Coal Banks

Wood Bottom to Coal Banks.

I spent two days at Wood Bottom Recreation Area. This is where I was dropped off while my support crew headed back to St. Louis, Mo. Best support crew a guy could ever want.

The two days were spent sorting how I wanted all my gear, food, and water in the canoe. I also got my first water sample for Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation participation in the Microplastics research by

One of these two days Zeusy and I had to get under a tarp for the majority of the day. I recorded a temperature of 102° F and heard Loma, Mt officially declared the top temperature at 103° F. Way too blithering hot for a dog covered in black fur to lay in a canoe under direct sunshine. We would wait until tommorrow to launch. We may drive each other nuts sometime, but me and my pal haven’t hurt each other yet. No since in starting at this stage of our lives together. I mean outside of stepping on each others paws accidentally.

So the next morning I loaded up the canoe and had Zeusy get in. Understand that Zeusy did not take to lying down in the canoe as I paddled along. His 100 lbs of handsomeness would flip the canoe over in an instant. If I didn’t pay attention he And I would both be in the water with a sinking canoe full of Missouri river dreams. This was the start of his first canoe trip ever, and I am talking about a dog always on the move. Especially outdoors. It was a long day. But I had confidence that he would get it down in a few days because he always gets things down. I just knew he would.

So off we went past Decision Point where the Corps of Discovery had to figure out which was the true Missouri. They took the right way after much recon and debate. The named the other river the “Marias.” Then past the Marias we went until we get to Coal Banks Landing.
Once at Coal banks I found a campsite with an interesting sign.
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Zeusy

Zeusy goes to the Doctor

So the big boy went and visited his Veterinarian Dr. Stacey Schaeffer of the St. Louis Veterinary Clinic located in South St.Louis City. As the weeks now have turned into days before our departure it was prudent that I have my partner as ready as I am.

I first met Dr. Stacey at the World Bird Sanctuary where she volunteers her time to care for sick and injured Birds of Prey in the wildlife hospital. I soon learned to pay close attention because I was going to learn faster performing as a wildlife rehabilitator by listening during her exams of the birds. I then put what she wanted for the birds into my brain as well as practice. Taking Zeusy to her veterinary practice in South St. Louis I knew I wouldn’t be let down .

Once in the clinic the exam began with the super amazing Page being the Vet. Tech who would handle Zeusy as Dr. Stacey performed her exam. I was concerned because I knew he was not going to tolerate being pushed, poked and prodded. He never does.

Before I or Zeusy knew what was happening super amazing Page had him muzzled and restrained in a hold worthy of any MMA victory. Zeusy would have tapped out if he could have. In 9+ years I have never seen the thrasher so held in one spot so safely. I am still impressed !

This allowed Dr. Stacey to perform her always thorough exam, while giving me the best advice for this upcoming trip. Everything from explosive diarrhea to snake bites was covered.  Zeusy is my best pal so watching him get the best of care just swells my heart and makes me happy.

Have an animal and want to go to the best veterinary practice ? Call St. Louis Hills Veterinary Clinic and make an appointment. Everyone there are great animal people and your pet will be well taken care of !

http://www.stlhillsvet.com/

And thanks Catamaran for making it happen.

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Zeusy

Need even more votes !

We made it into the top 15 finalists for the “Live Your Kurgo Adventure.”  We are elated !  Would you vote for us one more time?  It is easy. Click on the link to our Kurgo profile and click the like button. Super simple. So vote for us one more time !  Thanks !  Zeusy would like to shake your paw!

http://liveyourkurgoadventure.com/project/navigate-the-waterways-of-the-usa/

Some thoughts on sponsorship………

 Kurgo is sponsoring four different people, with four different dogs with their 2015 “Live your Kurgo Adventure” project. They have given these four different people with their four different dogs a fantastic opportunity to explore and complete their four different adventures. The plus side is they get the chance to photograph, video, and write for Kurgo so they can share this adventure with the World.

 

Sponsorship of adventures and exploration on our amazing planet has been occurring since man looked in the direction of terra incognita and has petitioned a more wealthy benefactor with a please and a thank you.

James Gordon Bennet jr, the wealthy heir of the New York Herald told his newspaper reporter Henry Morton Stanley to go find Livingstone on the African continent. Adventure for a news scoop, very common for the brash Bennet.

John Jacob Astor at one time the wealthiest man in the World sponsored an overland and naval expedition to what is now the Northwest United States to explore lands ripe with the furs so highly in demand in Asia and Europe. Astoria, Oregon is still named for him. A common gesture by adventurers to the financial backer of their enterprise. The expedition failed thanks to the war of 1812, but is an amazing story.

So why sponsor people and their dogs for an adventure? It makes sense actually. Only in the last century or more has the concept of cars, trucks, jeeps and airplanes as tools of adventure and exploration have come to be the norm. Before the horse became the beast of war and burden people traveled with their dogs. Indigenous people migrating with all their worldly goods packed on a travois that is strapped to their dog is well documented. Dogs are what pulls the sleds in colder hemispheres. Dogs got Amundsen the prize of the South Pole.

Some dogs are more well-known in the history of adventure and exploration. Seamus, Meriwether Lewis’s intrepid Newfoundland was the main dog of the Lewis and Clark expedition across America’s newly purchased territories from France. Robyn Davidson had her dog Diggity as she trekked across the deserts of Australia for over 1700 miles.

In today’s modern World the dog is still a daily part of life among their two footed friends. The lucky ones get to go explore the wilder places that seem to be a more natural fit for some dogs.

So Kurgo is giving four different people with their four different dogs an opportunity of a grand adventure. What a fantastic idea !

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