Big Announcement-type Announcement

Big things have been happening. Lots of things. It’s time we shared.

Kait and I will no longer be ending our walk in San Francisco. San Fran has been our end goal pretty much since the day we decided to do this whole thing, but we’ve gotten pretty comfortable going with the flow and rolling with the ever-changing, unpredictable landscape of time and space. Our route has changed time and time again, due to weather an whim and people-visiting and opportunities lost and gained. Because of a multitude of circumstance and positive developments, we have decided to end our walk to the Pacific Ocean in Long Beach, California.

We have been trying to get an event of some kind planned for our arrival in the West – a 5k dog walk, or a pet fair, or an adoption event – something to drive our mission home and end with a bang. We had no luck getting anything moving in San Francisco, and since we spend most of our time every day walking and trying to not die, we needed to find someone on the ground to help us put something together. On a whim, Kait called our good friend Lacie, who lives in LBC. She’s a dog owner and lover, and also a very supportive and motivated friend. We told her what we wanted to do, and within a week she got the Long Beach Dog Park Association to agree to host an event. It’s that easy.

With the opportunity to make something happen at the finish line that could take the energy of our project and amplify it, the decision to walk to Long Beach instead was a no-brainer. That, and it shaves about 300 miles off of our walk. And we’re tired. So that sounds ok. Ocean is ocean. So from here – we’re in Las Vegas, by the way – we now have less than 300 miles to go before we reach the coast. Our big finish day is going to be November 17th, come hell or high water or traffic or whatever. More details to follow.

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So long, Arizona!

Hello, Nevada!

Errazona, ya'll.

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So long, Utah!

Hello, Arizona! We’re only walking 16 miles of you, but we are excited nonetheless.

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the house of many friends

the Gunlock Reservoir

we found this little (GIANT) guy wandering across the road. this is why we zip our tents.

well said, heavy rock equipment.

The last few days have been nothing short of amazing. We walked to the small town of Gunlock, where we piled into the car for a very important detour. We drove across St. George and Zion National Park to visit Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, nestled in Angel Canyon of Kanab, Utah. For over 28 years, the Best Friends Animal Society has been working to bring about a world where there are no more homeless pets. They gained notoriety for their rescue efforts in hurricane-battered New Orleans, after hurricane Katrina flooded the city and left thousands of animals stranded. Best Friends organizes outreach and events all over the country, including low-cost spay and neuter clinics, adoption fairs, and fundraisers.

one of the 1700 (give or take) residents at the Sanctuary. don't let the bars fool you - Dogtown is an amazing place.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is the heart and soul of their mission. They house dogs, cats, horses, goats, rabbits, birds, and an assortment of wild creatures in the sprawling canyon paradise. At the Sanctuary, we met with Sherry Woodard at her home and dropped our dogs off in her private dog run. Sherry has been working with Best Friends for many, many years. She ran Dogtown for 9 years, and now works as a canine career consultant, placing rehabilitated dogs in career positions. She has helped train and place everything from service dogs to search and rescue dogs, and because of our passion for our own working dogs, she took a personal interest in our project.


Sherry spent her entire day taking us on a tour of the Sanctuary, meeting the animals and seeing some behind the scenes action. We toured Dogtown and the on-site medical clinic. Dogtown is a collection of buildings and dog runs, housings hundreds of rescued pups. The kennels are organized by temperament, age, and size. Dogs are given color-coded collars, letting volunteers know which dogs are safe for everyone to handle and which ones are only able to interact with staff.

green and purple collars are OK to handle, but red collars are for staff only.

Many of the dogs that Best Friends takes in are very damaged by their past traumas. They rescued many dogs from NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s dogfighting operation. He may be back to playing football, but the dogs he helped damage are still recovering. They bear the scars of their trauma on their faces and psyches, and their stories are a harsh reminder that no dog is born bad – they become whatever people want them to be. In any other shelter, they would have been deemed unadoptable and put down – but not here. In Dogtown, they get the time and support they need to become rehabilitated. Many may never leave the Sanctuary, but the goal is always to work with the animals and find them forever homes.

too many cutes!

We got a behind-the-scenes peek in the on-site medical clinic, where the staff offers spay and neuter services, surgeries, and intensive care for our furry friends.

in the medical clinic. kitty feels sick, but they're making her better.

Every year, thousands of people travel to the Sanctuary to volunteer and lend their energy to the mission. When we arrived at the visitor’s center in the morning, at least a dozen people were checking in for their volunteer sessions. We even heard a story of a family that came to the Sanctuary for their vacation, and spent 10 days working up a sweat in service of the animals. Apparently, things like that happen all the time. The Sanctuary absolutely overflows with energetic positivity, as passionate people buzz from task to task, tending to the animals and grounds.

the view from the Best Friends cafeteria. not too shabby.

Sherry introduced us to pretty much everyone on our way to Cat World. We didn’t realize it until we got to the kitten house, but we have been very cat-deprived since starting the walk. We love our dogs, but there is something special about the love of a kitty.

helping the kitties with balance and coordination. and snuggles.

one-eyed kitty isn't worried about it.

Cat World is a wonderland of climby-hidey cat stuff.

Much of the volunteer work that needs done is socializing with the animals. They need to be around people and be stimulated, in order to help them adjust from their difficult pasts and work towards adoption. Even though we were only playing with kitties, Sherry assured us that our time and passion was making a difference to the animals.

Our day at Best Friends ended with a hike to a nearby slot canyon for a photoshoot of us and our rowdy mutts. The Best Friends media department is going to put together a story about our walk! The staff at Best Friends is so passionate, so motivated in their work that we couldn’t help but feel inspired and empowered by the work they are doing. We left with our hearts full of love and our heads brimming with ideas for the future.

this is a slot canyon.

We stayed with our friend, Yelena, in Orderville. The house she lives in is full of inspiring, transient 20-somethings. Half of them work at Best Friends, and the others work at Wingate Wilderness Therapy, helping to rehabilitate troubled teens. The house was buzzing with activity, as music and food smells mingled with fascinating conversation and a whole lot of love. People were coming and going, and at one point I asked one of the residents how many people live there. He thought for a moment, smiled, and said, “I’m not really sure.” When it came time to sleep, Slater asked where he could crash. The answer was “wherever” as most of the residents took their sleeping bags outside to sleep under the stars. Kait and I have a dream of someday finding a way to bring animal rescue together with working with troubled teens – helping animals help people – and The House Of Many Friends filled our minds with inspiration.

The vibe was so positive that our other stray, Rob, decided to stay behind and set up shop in Orderville for awhile. We have spent a good amount of time together – almost 5 weeks on the road – and we are sad to see him go. But Rob is a free spirit, working to move with the flow of life, and he felt the energy of the place pull him in and went with it. Truth be told, we had a hard time leaving. We already miss you, Rob. Godspeed.

Rob and Jenny - not saying goodbye, just saying "see you later."

With many hugs, a few tears, and good wishes for the future, we left Rob in Orderville and drove our way back to St. George with our car a little less full, but our hearts overflowing.

driving through Zion National.

Back in the city, we headed straight to our therapy visit at the Red Rock Canyon School, a residential treatment center for at-risk youth.

This was by far our largest group yet for a visit. We told our story to 80 eager kids, while the dogs rolled around and acted a fool.

this silly thing is mine.

The kids had some really amazing questions for us, like “what character trait has been most valuable on the walk?” Patience, determination, and a positive attitude, we answered. One girl asked us how they can teach other people to be nice (it was clear that there were some interpersonal tensions in the group) and we told them that actions always speak louder than words – lead by example, and others will follow. Like the Fellowship showed us way back in West Virginia, you have to practice what you preach. We answered question after question until we ran out of time, and the kids got to meet and greet with the mutts.

Jenny did an awesome job with the kids.

After our presentation, Tami took us on a tour of the grounds and gave us a little history. Red Rock used to be a Four Seasons hotel, but the owner and his family wanted to do something to give back to their community. So they converted the hotel to a residential center for kids, and over the last 13 years the staff has transformed the hotel into an amazing place for kids to grow, learn, and flourish. Some of the kids are only there for a few months, but to many, Red Rock is home.

We were overjoyed to see their art department and media center, where the kids are given the resources and encouragement to cultivate their imaginations and manifest creative energy into the world. Math and science are important, don’t get me wrong. But in a hard economy, art funding is often the first to get cut. Thankfully, Red Rock is doing things right. Like Mr. Rogers said, “you can grow anything in the garden of your mind.” All you need is a little light and a lot of love.

Art Department! We likey.

The staff led us to the cafeteria for some dinner, and while we were eating they called a local hotel and arranged for us to stay in some comfortable digs for the night! A great end to a great day.

So much has happened in the last few days – a lot of energetic shifts, connections are being forged, plans for the future of the walk – and our lives – are coming together. Thanks to a lot of exciting developments, we are discussing a serious shift in our final destination – instead of San Francisco, we are zeroing in on Long Beach, California. Don’t worry, there is an ocean there, too. We’ll have more details soon, but the LBC is looking more and more likely. We are feeling recharged and uplifted by all of the passionate, selfless people we have met. Now we have a 150- miles sprint to get to Las Vegas in time to see my parents. Sin city, here we come.

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sage and cedar

We’re still walking. Utah is still surprising us every day.

After staying in Bicknell (and scouring the map for two days) we walked up and over a plateau of open range, full of twisting dirt roads and possible wrong turns. Everything turned out better than expected, and we came out the other side two days later into the tiny town of Antimony.

sheep! there were a whole lot of them on the plateau.

We camped under the golden aspens

In Antimony, we met a group of brothers from Holland, camping in an RV during their yearly elk hunting trip. Two of the brothers live in Cedar City, and the rest come over every year for the trip. Marty told me that he has been coming over for 20 years, and has never shot a thing. They gave us beer and a fresh perspective on politics – and how we’re pretty much screwed all across the world. Their candid and welcoming attitude was very refreshing.

That was also the day I had a horrible headache. And I got stung by a yellow jacket. And then I walked my shin into a metal pole the next day. Fun.

Also, it got a lot colder at night. We slept poorly and woke up to frost and frozen water for three nights. As we passed through Circleville, a couple of locals told us that once we got up and over Dixie National Forest to Cedar City, the temp would be 10-20 degrees warmer. We hoped that was true, and tried to walk faster.

This is a coyote trap that Kait found. This is why we have to keep the dogs close on BLM land.

I can’t really find the words for the beauty of camping in the sage brush. In some places, it grows up bushy and high like a forest, and stretches out in all directions. It smells AMAZING. Well, the leaves and flowers smell amazing. The wood smells like a turd on fire when you light it…on…fire.

Bear Valley, Dixie National Forest.

Our walk up and over Dixie National Forest was a great day. The valley is wide and beautiful, all blue peaks and yellow-green sage. We walked through Bear Valley, marveling at the landscape and appreciating the great weather. We found ourselves on a section of the Old Spanish Trail – a network of old east-west trade routes. As we made our way up and over and out of the valley, the rock and foliage changed abruptly, back to the crumbly red and evergreen we have seen so much of in this state. Max and Jenny ran wild up and down the road. All. Day. We humans walked 25 miles that day, but those two probably ran an extra 5-10 just because they felt like it. Even Grace ran and played while she thought no one was looking.

a wild cow appears!

At one point, Max and Jenny dropped down a steep bank to the creek below for a drink and cool down. When we called them, Jenny sprang right up the steep bank, but Max couldn’t quite make it. He stood sadly at the bottom while we called encouragement at him, and suddenly I dropped my trusty Tilley hat down into the creek. I tried to get Max to bring it up to me, but he just sad-stood in place. I did a ninja slide down the bank, which of course ended with me standing in the creek. With wet boots and muddy hat in hand, I led Max on the treacherous climb back up to the road.

Max and me at the bottom of the thing

We camped the night in Parowan, before heading out to Cedar City the next day. We passed the Cedar Bowling Alley and Kait said, “we need to do something fun.” She ducked in, and came back out with 4 free passes donated by the owner. We walked on to the local KOA, before doubling back in the car for some good old recreation. We all suck at bowling.

Thanks to the whole staff at Cedar Bowl for the good times. we needed it.

After a good night’s rest, we took the mutts over to Emeritus at Emerald Pointe Assisted Living for a therapy visit. We socialized with residents in their common area, and told them stories from the road, while the dogs worked their magic and charmed everyone.

OBD hard at work.

Today, we walk out of Cedar City with the goal of reaching St. George in 3 days. From there, we have a very exciting detour planned. We are going to pile into the car and drive to Kanab, to spend a day volunteering at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. If you don’t know about Best Friends, check them out. They are doing amazing work, and we are very excited to help in our own small way. More updates coming soon.

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Help Fund the Walk!


As many of you know, back near Denver we launched a fundraising campaign on to help us fund the rest of the Walk. We set a goal that would carry us all the way to San Francisco, with some funds left over to donate back to pet therapy and animal rescue. So far, we have raised over $6,500 and it has been truly humbling. We are less than two days away from our deadline, and still $900 short of our goal.

This project has only been possible with the support of friends, family, and generous folks that we have met along the way. While we try to not fret the bottom dollar, funding is a necessary element of this endeavor. We know that we have had a positive impact on many people and communities that we have met – and some that we only know online. The work we are doing to promote pet therapy, animal rescue, community service, and living with passion is invaluable to us.

Like any business or service, this project only exists because it is valuable to the community at large. That value has been expressed in every smile, every wave, every warm bed and home-cooked meal, and every dollar that people have donated to help us keep going. Without your support, we would never have made it this far.

We only have 800 miles left to walk, and only two days left for our official fundraising drive. If you want to help, please donate or – more importantly – share our project with your friends, family, and co-workers. With your help, we will reach our goal in the next 36 hours! And to those of you who have supported us – with your kind words, your open arms, and your hard-earned funds – we cannot thank you enough. All we can do is keep working to spread love, light, and positivity to as many people as possible.

For now, we are in Cedar City, Utah getting ready for another therapy visit this afternoon. If I have time tonight, I will get another post up with some more stories and photos from the last week of shenanigans.

Again, thank you for your support. Thank you for reading. Thank you for showing us that what we are doing is valuable, and benefits our community.

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Wayne County Magic

Wayne County has been treating us very well. We took a zero day in Torrey to run errands and let our bodies rest after 8 straight days of walking. We bought groceries, filled water, ran laundry, and even got showers before heading to The Patio for a pitcher of beer and some serious bloggery on their wifi. Our waitress, Sherri, got to asking about our project, and later that night she offered us a place to stay at her house in Bicknell. We decided to land there for dinner, conversation, and comfy beds the next night. We got up and walked through Torrey, meeting wonderful people left and right. We met a young guy named Justin, who rolled up on a bicycle loaded down for the long haul. He just finished riding ocean to ocean to raise money for cancer research, and he blew our minds when he told us he made it in 38 riding days and 6 rest days. That makes me feel really slow. To top it off, his friends bet him $2000 that he wouldn’t ride all the way back, so now he’s heading back home to West Virginia. Feeling lazy yet?

After walking to Bicknell and giving the dogs baths, we drove up to Loa to make our first Pet Therapy visit since entering Utah. We arrived at Serenity Springs Assisted Living and let the dogs go to work, loving and entertaining the residents and staff.

"make a funny face!"

Slater got his guitar out and sang song after song while the dogs wound down and slowly passed out on the floor. Grace warmed a nice old lady’s feet.

music and a mushy Brown Dog

everybody got tired.

There haven’t been many opportunities for therapy visits in Utah, and it felt really good to get back into the swing of things. Serenity Springs has a very warm and homey vibe, and they were really grateful for our visit – they even gave us a card that thanked us for brightening their day. This is why we chose to not walk scenic highway 12 – if we had done that, we wouldn’t have opportunities to volunteer until the very western edge of Utah. Like Nate said, highway 24 is the place to be.

this is a bonafide dummy in a sheriff's car on the side of the 24 in Loa.

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this land is your land.

In the squares of the city, in the shadow of the steeple
near the relief office, I’ve seen my people.
And some are grumblin’ and some are wonderin’
if this land’s still made for you and me.

– Woody Guthrie

It’s been raining in the desert.


It started with clouds far off over the desert expanse, and then we had a midnight dash to cover our tents when the rain started coming down. The next morning, we watched the storms roll over the desert from a distance. The direction of the wind kept changing, and the powerful storms swirled and shifted around us.



It rained for four days. It rained hard for two. We barely used our rain gear for 2,300 miles, but we needed it in the desert. We were walking and watching, counting seconds between distant bolts of lightening and the rolling thunder that followed.


the old Thompson Springs hotel.

We paused over a small underpass to watch a storm the was crossing our path about 12 miles ahead. Suddenly, we saw a wall of dust rising across the desert, racing between small mounds of dirt toward us. The wind picked up and we took shelter. It came down from clouds unknown, driving in heavy sheets whipped hard and fast by the wind. The turbulent skies threw down pea-sized hail to pound us on the back as we walked.


hail in the desert.


After the storms passed, the muddy drainage paths overflowed with the tiny bits of ice and the sun lit up the towering rocks in the distance, reminding us of where we were in the world.


we camped here.

As the sandy soil turned into an endless field of mud and rock, I could see the real driving force in how this landscape was formed. The rock faces and shapes of the eroded hills and rolling landscape tells the story of a lot of water once past. The rock is carved and worn down, and with the right kind of eyes it is easy to see the flow of water and sun and wind and time playing out right before your eyes. The fledgling canyons carving slowly through the landscape eroded noticeably from the few days of heavy rain. Without more vegetation to hold the soil in place, the entire state turns into one big drainage and the rain washes the earth down, down toward the ocean.


Green River

We reached Green River on my birthday, and we restocked our food and water supplies before moving on. We met a fellow pilgrim at the local KOA campground – Rae is running across America, raising donations for Souls for Soles. She is running mostly barefoot, and we think that is insanely cool. We have been leapfrogging with Rae since Iowa, and it was a treat to finally meet her. Check her out, she’s doing a really amazing thing.


Grace found some bones!

We now face 50-60 mile stretches between services, and we have a pretty good rhythm down for how to manage our resources. Rob is helping us every day with food prep and management, making sure we are getting quality nutrition during the most desolate stretches of this entire walk.




Every day, our surroundings change dramatically. Across the empty desert, mountains and plateaus and strange forms of rock stand monolithic in the distance. Although we move slowly, there is a great deal of magic to the experience of walking toward a massive something for days and days, and then looking over your shoulder and realizing that it’s fading away into the distance. Kait and I keep pointing and saying to each other, “Remember when we were walking toward that?”


Down highway 24, we passed through Hanksville where we restocked once again. The road was quiet and the moon was full, and we decided to spend the afternoon catching up on laundry and showers, before heading out at sunset for a moonlight hike. Of course, the reflected light made an already surreal environment turn into a shadowy dreamworld, unimaginable and silent. We made camp late and hung out atop the tallest thing we could find, watching the moonlight play across the sand and sage and rocky sentinels that lined the road.


meet me on top of that thing out there


Grace watches everything.


camping on the moon

In some desolate canyon, we stumbled across a well-maintained farm with fields of cut alfalfa, greenhouses, and a little storefront advertising cheese, bread, veggies, and other farm-fresh goods. We caught the owner, Randy, as he was pulling fresh-baked artisan breads and cinnamon rolls out of his wood-fired brick oven.



Randy has been running the Mesa Farm for 18 years. He fed the barren soil, rotating goats and chickens on the rough pastures to nurse them back to health. Always, his goal is sustainability. Over coffee and goat’s milk yogurt smoothies, we dove right into a discussion of sustainability, conscious living, Hopi prophecies of the earth shaking, and all manner of existential dilemma facing the modern man. We love meeting people like Randy. He definitely inspired us, and I think we gave each other hope for the future.


the view from Randy's kitchen.

This state is treating us very well. There aren’t a lot of opportunities for us to do our volunteer work (we have some coming up soon, though) but there is an infinite amount of time and space for deep, personal reflection. This is the part of the trip where we don’t have anything left to think about except the things we’ve been avoiding – the parts of ourselves that we don’t like. This is the time when we face our demons and decide how to work and learn and grow from this experience. It isn’t very fun, but it is important. It is probably the deepest, truest reason that we are out here anyway. If we want to make the world a better place, we have to start with ourselves.


see also: Capitol Reef State Park.

And every night, we walk right off the side of the road and make camp in the most amazing places imaginable. Much of the land out here is owned by the Bureau of Land Management. Most BLM land is open for public use, without the “stay on the trails” restrictions of many state and national parks. It is an astounding realization that all of this land – millions of acres across the country – is open and waiting for people to use. There is a real energy to such a place, where you can climb on rocks and explore the bounty of this land to your heart’s desire. Sure, you need to bring your own water and give up your flushing toilet – but there is no substitute for the feeling of absolute freedom that nature can bring us.


Castle Rock


This is all waiting for you! It’s easy to find, and right in your backyard. Just get in your car and start driving – or walk out your front door – out to where the sky is endless and the rocks all melt their ancient, endless melt.


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Good news for people who love good news

Today, we are the featured story on – an independent news site that believes in spreading positive and uplifting news. Please check out our video, and take a look around their awesome site! It’s guaranteed to give you the warm and fuzzies.

Dog Walk Across America on

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The Germanator

How rude of me, I forgot to introduce Rob! Back in Glenwood Springs, we stayed in the Glenwood Springs Hostel. They gave us a good deal – and we didn’t want to spend $30 on a tent camping site – so we stayed. It was my first hostel experience, and unfortunately I was too beat to really socialize and soak up the weird vibe. Before I retired for the night, I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow traveler named Rob. He was very interested in our trip, and asked if he could join us on our way to Moab – his next destination. After a team meeting we decided that he was welcome to join us for as long as it was pleasant for all involved.


Originally from Germany, Rob has spent the better part of the past decade stateside. He is an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast, living efficiently and comfortably out of his 40-lb. backpack. He has thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail (something Kait and I are very interested in doing someday) and spent a lot of time on the Appalachian Trail as well. Back when his accent was thicker, his hiking buddies dubbed him “Germanator.”

Germanator carries Grace to safety across a hurty-foot bridge

Rob knows trail life. He also knows how to eat well on the trail – something that we have struggled with since day one. Shortly after joining us, Rob agreed to help with groceries and meals. He loves cooking – really, anything that has to do with food – and clearly takes pride in helping others eat well. Since he joined us, every day is a feast on the trail. His cooking prowess and shopping strategy is also helping us save money by not eating out as often, while still keeping up with our caloric needs.

morning Max snuggles. For being "more of a cat person," Rob has really taken to the dogs.

Some days, Rob hikes with us. Rob’s perspective on road hiking is very different – on rugged trails like the PCT, he says, walking road miles is not something that anyone looks forward to. But we get up and do it every day. As much as we have in common, Rob brings a very fresh perspective to our daily grind. He is also very handy to have around. He has experience with natural building, living in cob houses, and has dreams for a future of intentional living with the land. He is also a proficient tinker, with an eye for repurposing discarded materials and upcycling them to new uses.

Rob teaching Slater how to make wicks for homemade oil lamps

We have had an “open walk” policy for the entire trip, but this is the first time someone has truly embraced our walk and adopted it as a lifestyle. We are grateful for Rob’s experience and willingness to help, as well as his cultural perspective. The energy and progressive movements taking place in the United States have kept him coming back. Big things are happening, and Rob wants to be a part of it. We have reached his destination of Moab, but I think he’s coming with us on this strange journey. As long as the groove is good, we’ll keep grooving on together.

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