La Rochelle – Cascais


Editors note: As mentioned earlier in this blog the Captain is responsible for correcting Coach’s spelling and grammar mistakes.  As I can’t spell my way out of a paper bag please don’t waste your time pointing out any mistakes to Coach, he doesn’t care. 

I’ve got the boat cam up and running so the following reports are based on the unvarnished truth as told by the camera’s eye.
Hurricane Irma spared the old man’s previous boat, Batubara, in Porto Rico. However, a week later Maria hit his slip dead center resulting in his current adventure on Starsplitter III.

July 24

Well it’s been two weeks since the old man landed in Paris so it’s about time to update his progress with preparing Starsplitter III (SS3) for his up-coming voyage to the new world (although there have been reports from La Rochelle that he is finding enjoyment in the old world and may delay his departure indefinitely).

My scheme to have video cameras and live Wi-Fi (or wee-fee as they say in France) installed on SS3 by the Lagoon commissioning team (being a Brittany, I have a French Connection) has allowed me to keep an eye on the captain during his time aboard.  However, because he escapades ashore are often more entertaining due to his somewhat juvenile behavior I have succeeded in getting Joyce to program his new eye phone to transmit a live audio feed whenever the phone is on (we tried video but the only thing we saw besides the inside of his pants pocket were his obsessive google searches for news on the 2018 Jets draft class – he’s such a looser).

July 26

Today finds our captain and his crack crew of Joyce, Maury and Jim (last names withheld at the request of the crew) located half way between La Rochelle, France and A Coruna, Spain, steaming at 9kn for an arrival time of noon tomorrow.  The wind is non-existent today but is forecast to pick up later this evening.  They left LR yesterday at 12:29 and have motor-sailed the entire trip to date.

Crew member Jim Truman with is newly designed man overboard retrieval apparatus- no complicated hoisting system needed, just pull him up by the head handle.
Intended track to A Coruna, Spain. Completed in about 55 hours.

Based on my boat-cam observations, the Captain was born for life at sea.  He stays busy with the following activities: eating; sleeping; keeping a watch (when he can’t talk someone into taking over for him); staring at the stars (thus the boat name); jumping into the icy waters of the Bay of Biscay while SS III was stopped for oil level inspection; and more sleeping. He’s living the life while I’m taking care of his house and Woody, and that’s a handful of responsibility.

August 4

The captain and Joyce completed another successful passage from Vigo, Spain to Viana do Castelo, Portugal.  43 miles under motor for 85% of the voyage due to lack of wind.  Spain and Portugal are experiencing a stultifying heat wave with temps well over 100 degrees F in Lisbon extending north well into Spain.  The AC units on SS III are cranking out the cool breezes so the old man will stave off heat stroke as long as his generator works.  He and Joyce had no problem handling the boat for this passage.


The world’s oldest operating lighthouse, first constructed by the Romans 2,000 YBP. As you can see my person can’t orient the photo properly (he claims the little turning buttons in the edit mode were not functioning – another lame excuse for his lack of IT savvy).

My life in Annapolis is still pretty good considering I’ve been abandoned by my master for most of a six-month period.  Woody and a cadre of dog walkers (hats off to Hanna) have kept me fed and happy and I even snagged a bird the other day when Mark from “Time to Pet” was walking me in Eastport.  All I manage to catch when my person walks me are discarded chicken bones from the Royal Farms chicken outlet just a block from my house (what a great location; eight great places to eat and drink plus a fried chicken outlet within three blocks of our house) – life is good, if not short.

Back in Portugal, I see the old man working on our blog while Joyce is shopping in the old town.  According to Wikipedia, they sailed past the town where C. Columbus first made landfall upon his return from the Caribbean – so that must be true.

August 16

This cove is 200 meters from SS3’s slip.

 As you know my last entry was almost two weeks ago, clearly my person is way too busy to share his daily activities with my fans (he apparently turned off the boat cam) although I really don’t know why anybody would waste their time reading about some senior citizen’s daily activities which include going to the bathroom 18 times and monitoring his position on the waitlist for the “Golden Years” assisted living facility in Key West.

This is what the old man will look like if he remains in Portugal for another month.

He and Joyce, with the great help of Ann and Warren, successfully navigated the coasts of Spain and Portugal from A Coruna to Cascais, just 20 miles from Lisbon.  This voyage included a passage around Spain’s infamous Cabo Finisterre (aka “The Cape of Death” due to the many ship wrecks off its headland).  He made Joyce keep watch for the rounding as he was huddled in his cabin making sure he had plenty of rest for the remainder of the voyage.


With a menu like this who needs vegetables?

I see that he just deposited his last crew members (Ann and Warren) at the fuel dock at the Cascais Marina and he is now alone on SS3 with absolutely no excuse for not updating his activities.  Joyce extended her stay an extra week at the request of the captain as well as Ann and Warren –  they all realized life on board without Joyce would be rather chaotic and unpredictable.  Worth a mention – Warren ordered sardines for dinner one night and had the entire wait-staff laughing at his poorly executed de-boning technique (sorry Warren, Ann reported this to me and promised to buy me a fresh chicken breast if I included it in my blog).

Cascais is unlike most seaside towns in Portugal, 20 miles from Lisbon, it incorporates the best elements of Monte Carlo, Palm Beach and Key West without the attitude of superiority characteristic of their citizens.  The architecture, beaches, great seafood restaurants and low-cost, high-end wine have combined to cause the old man to book a slip at the marina for the next 35 days. Visitors are welcome!

August 18

 Day three (or is it four) alone, and at anchor; I can hear the old man mumbling about how much he enjoys the solitude of life on the hook with no one around to point out his many missteps (it’s a good thing he is still not aware of the boat cam’s all-telling eye).

I saw him attempt some exercise activity yesterday as he donned his bathing suit (he thought about skinny dipping but there were too many women and children on the nearby beach and he wanted to avoid another incarceration – see last year’s Canada blog post). There is no gulf stream flowing off the Portuguese coast, so the Atlantic’s temperature here makes Ocean City water seem like the tropics.  His intention was to swim three laps around the boat and then drink some wine…he missed the swiming mark by 2.95 laps although he still drank the wine.  Swimming in ice water was how he described the experience.

As there are no public dingy docks in the area he is forced to pay the marina $10 for six hours of dingy-docking-time, including the use of the showers and laundry, although since his crew left I don’t think he has used either of these amenities. This may explain why, when dining on shore, his table for one always seems to in a breezy location.

August 19

Bill and Kay from Annapolis arrived in Lisbon yesterday and my person took the train into Lisbon to have dinner with them and check out their very spacious hotel digs.  As you know I only have audio capabilities when he is ashore so my reporting on his trip will not be the whole truth; because he mumbles to himself with increasing frequency it’s difficult for me to discern whether he is having a genuine human interaction or merely talking to himself.

I do know this, because he is alone at anchor he is required to remain fairly sober while ashore in order to successfully execute the following late night tasks: 1) find, board and untie the dingy, 2) start the motor, 3) identify SS3’s anchor light, 4) navigate to SS3 without hitting another boat or sea buoy, 5) secure the dingy to the retrieval system on SS3 and finally, 6) remember where he hid the door key.  Believe me, these may seem like simple tasks to most people but the old man is no spring chicken, so he feels a real sense of accomplishment when he is safely on board.

I remember when he told me about his good friend Andy (last names again withheld to protect the innocent) – who has a ton of boating experience and know-how – once boarded the wrong catamaran in a BVI mooring field after returning from a shore-side gig which included free drinks…“all cats look alike in the dark” was his excuse.

Photos from Cascais, Portugal

This restaurant reminded him of Wyoming.
His crack crew on shore leave. Joyce, Ann and Warren (the sardine slayer).
Fresh OJ every day (almost).
MRE and ARC flags flying high over Cascais on SS3.
The old man knows how to de-bone a fish!
Tall ship at his marina.
My person joined this group in Cascais, there is not enough beer to get the job done.
Great sandstone cliffs just outside of his marina.




Eclipse – Dubois, WY

8/12 – Granby – Grand Lake, CO

This statue caught more fish than the old man!
The remnants of his baby trout meal, somewhat pathetic, wouldn’t you agree…
Notice my Dumbo ears – wind was blowing 20 kts in my face but I was watching marmets and picas in the wild so life is good.
Another geological feature that gets the old man excited, looks like an unconformity to me.

8/13 – Grand Lake – Boulder, CO (Marge and Jack’s house)

Joyce (my favorite person) arrives from Baltimore – true to form the old man fails to pick her up at the airport and makes her take an Uber (he offers to pay) but this is going to cost him big time.  He had a somewhat logical excuse but of course she wasn’t buying it.

A small selection of the old man’s girlfriends. From left to right: Laura (Rick’s date), Joyce (his real girlfriend) and Marge (Jack’s wife and his Colorado girlfriend).

8/14-15 – Boulder

We spent three days at Jack and Marge’s place in Boulder where I got to play with Gizmo and some other dog whose name I can’t remember (after all I will be turning 70 in dog years in December).  We all had fun while the old man worked on editing this blog – as you can see it has taken him almost another three months to finally post it (can he be more of a slacker?).

I’m on the job 

8/16 – Boulder – Grand Lake, CO

8/17 – Grand Lake – Saratoga, WY


It’s people like this that put Trump into office – I’ll never use my AMEX card again
The remainder of him is in the meat section (bison burger) – this place must be intimidating for vegans…
Needless to say the old man logged some significant time in this establishment over the course of his visits to town


8/18-19 – Saratoga

Wyoming’s 20th Annual Brew Fest…the old man was happy to comply with the instructions.

8/20 – Saratoga – Shoshone, WY

The old man flanked by two of his frat brothers from Wittenberg, can you guess which one was nicknamed “large”?
Let’s hope they didn’t buy cheap eclipse glasses. Notice my favorite person on the right.
The old man taking a selfie during the eclipse – this way you can’t see the bags under his eyes.
This reminded him of his favorite Mexican beer

8/21 – Shoshone – Porcupine Campground, ID (Eclipse Day)

Joyce, my favorite person, hiking near Porcupine Campground in Idaho.
Once again I’m left all alone while my person does a 1.5 mile bike ride (his max range is 3.5 miles, pathetic).

8/22 – Porcupine Campground – Salt Lake City, UT 

Joyce flew home from here – SAD, VERY SAD, I wish it were FAKE NEWS but not so.

8/23 Salt Lake City – Station Creek Campground, WY (Bridger-Teton National Forest)

8/24-25 –  Station Creek Campground

View of the Snake River from our campground – he actually landed two trout via fly rod on this river (they were barely out of diapers so he had to throw them back).
Id’e rather be tied up alone behind the Jeep than inside that trailer during daylight hours. Let’s hope he remembers I’m here when he heads for the bars this evening.
The notch in the middle of Wyoming- a landmark for thousands of years to travelers of all races.
Always on the lookout for wild game (preferably small game)

8/26 – Station Creek – Jackson, WY

They put up this sign a day after the old man had to call 911 to get out of the bathroom ( he really didn’t make the call but it took him awhile to get out).
My person thinks this compilation qualifies as a wildlife experience.
The deck of our favorite wine bar in Jackson, WY – great happy hour and dog friendly, what a combination!
Silver Dollar Bar
Another bar with old farts like him…this is what the west is all about.

8/27 – Jackson – Gros Ventre Campground, Grand Teton National Park


The Grand Tetons reflecting in a glacial lake – can you see the normal fault at their base along which movement created the peaks? (neither could he).

8/28-29 – Gros Ventre Campground

8/30 – Gros Ventre – Grant Campground, Yellowstone National Park

Hot ground over the Yellowstone Volcano – he made sure I was on my leash for this adventure.
He told me he shot this fall in a kyak, really?

8/31 – 9/1 –  Grant Campground, Yellowstone NP – the following adventures all occurred in the park

Our next-door camping neighbors were a family of three from ….Washington State, Jonathan, Bridget and five-year-old Olivia. Of course Olivia wanted to meet me and tell me how cute I am (I hear this all the time but it never gets old) and the old man started chatting with Jonathan and Bridget.  I have noticed something of a pattern with this behavior – when he becomes bored with himself (which occurs frequently because of his dull personality) he scopes out the campground neighbors and ties my leash near the ones that appear most interesting and likely to invite him over for a drink.  If they have kids this tactic works 100% of the time and even with adults-only campers I am able to attract some positive attention most of the time.

My new friend Olivia

He hit the jackpot with Jonathan’s family as they invited us over to their campfire to roast marshmallows and make smors.  Red wine was also included in the campfire scene so everyone had a great time.  As we said our good-bye the next morning they actually shared their address and phone number with him and invited us to visit their homestead where we could park our trailer anytime.  (My person mentioned to me that during his bachelor days he would often get ladies to give him their phone numbers only to find that when he tried to call the numbers had been disconnected).

Old Faithful is just behind those trees, I guess the fire hydrant is there in case it drys out and starts shooting flames.
The old man is fishing in Yellowstone Lake, I’m bored with no expectation of seeing a fish.
I started barking when this guy passed our car, luckily he wasn’t interested in us.
One of the numerous hot springs in Yellowstone, which as you all know, sits on the planet’s largest volcano (see post from the Ash Fall Park in Nebraska for more information on this). When (not if) it blows next (the average period is every 600,000 years and it last went off about 700,000 years ago) I want to be close by to avoid a slow death.. The good news:  it’s been known to take up to 2 million years between eruptions so no worries mate, maybe.
This volcano has the potential to be more harmful to the environment than Trump.

The Fun Bunch

The Thursday afternoon “Fun Bunch” at the Old Faithful Lodge bar: Rocky, the President and CEO of the group; the somewhat overly talkative road construction guy who is 47 and has had two mid-life crises so far (no one asked for details); Beth, who makes a living as a musician in Madison, WI (symphony orchestra, salsa band and piano lessons) so she can put two sons through college without student debt; a gentleman from Montana who didn’t say much but was laughing along with everyone; and the retiree from Illinois/Indiana who didn’t want to drive west so he and his wife are on a bus tour.

With the exception of Rocky and Beth, we were all meeting for the first time and yucking it up like a bunch of over-served millennials (this information was reported to me by the old man during our 17-mile driver back to our campground – he was right on 45 mph the entire journey which made me happy).  He said he wanted to meet Beth’s son when we got back to Grant Village as it was his last night of work and there was a big party happening in celebration.  Of course he did’t even come close to finding the party and was snoring up a storm by 9 – he wants me to add that he fed and walked me before he fell asleep/passed out (he’s not a full-blown slacker, just a partial).

9/2 – Grant Campground – Dubois, WY

9/3 – Dubois

Stylish guns on display at the local hardware store.

The old man last visited this town in 1971 when he spent the summer in a real life bunkhouse with 30 other student geologists all participating in a summer field camp.  They would spend the day tromping up and down the terrain hacking on rocks and pretending to be interested in the mineralogy and fossil content of the sedimentary and igneous strata of the Wind River region.  The rocks ranged in age from very old to quite young (he wouldn’t tell me the technical terms for the rock ages as he believes my audience is composed of many dull-witted unscientific people and he doesn’t want them to have to spend extra time googling the scientific terminology).

9/4 – Dubois – Some small town in western Nebraska

Heading home

At first I thought this said “EAT DOGS” and I was very scared, the old man thought that was funny and tried to get me to go inside…where is Joyce when I need her? Of course the BEER sign was what lured him here in the first place.

Season II – Coach Goes West


Although we departed Annapolis on July 2, my editor is such a slacker that he is just now (late August) getting around to posting my 2017 blog entries.  He has no job, no house chores, no volunteer work and no one to ask him to do favors except when Joyce joins us, and it still took him 6+ weeks to organize this blog.  I’m just lucky he remembers to feed me twice a day.

Just a reminder to all of you grammar, spelling and punctuation nerds reading this blog – I am a dog and my editor was a geology major.

Sincerely, Coach


I’m so excited to be on the road again

7/2 – Annapolis – Motel 6, somewhere in Conn

Motel 6! WTF are we doing in this fleabag place?  When we parked by the room here were two police cars with flashers blasting in the parking lot with officers banging on doors, probably looking for a serial killer or worse. On top of this, we were rudely awaken at 4am by the lady next door yelling to her drunken husband “leave this GD room or I’ll call the cops”. Needless to say we hit the road early that morning.

The need to stay in a Motel 6 arose from the refusal of the local Walmart to allow RV parking, we were not sure why but any Walmart lot would have preferable to M-6 experience.

7/3 – Motel 6 – Bailey’s Biker Bar & Campground, south of Portland, ME


He actually rode his mountain bike through this parking lot (without a helmet) – needless to say it was an embarrassing moment for me

Go figure…after an icky night in a Motel 6 room he books us into a biker RV campground complete with a very popular (among the Harley crowd anyway) bar, restaurant and music venue. There were non-stop bands all day and night not to mention the athletic looking biker lady who banged on his camper door wanting to borrow a hair dryer! I almost fell over laughing but since I was in my usual sacked out position there was no damage. Here is exactly how he answered the request:

First, he removed his hat to demonstrate his lack of need for a hair dryer and said, “I haven’t needed one of those since the 70’s but my girlfriend arrives tomorrow, maybe she will have one”. She flexed her tatted-up biceps and gave him a nice simile before retiring to her camper.

She and her friend (also an athletic looking female with several tats) had just ridden their bikes from Indiana to this campground in Maine. This is clearly a destination resort for Harley enthusiasts, most of whom were very friendly and having a great time dancing, eating, drinking and talking about their “rides” (when he mentioned that his Jeep had a V-8 Hemi under the hood, I quickly wandered off in embarrassment to visit the biker chicks for some good petting).

All the biker ladies were in the bar so this guy had to do
He leashes me to the parking lot barricades while he mingles with the biker people in the bar

7/4 – Wild Duck Campground, Portland ME – Joyce arrives

 His mission for the day was to pick up Joyce at the Portland airport around mid-day. In order to accomplish this important task he had to break camp at the biker place; figure out where the next campground was located; drive there; check in; set up the trailer and drive to the airport (a very stressful morning but one that he actually pulled off without a problem).

7/5 – Wild Duck Campground

So glad Joyce is here, now I can get the attention I deserve
Exploring the marshes of Maine

Hanging out in the greater Portland area, doing lot’s of tourist stuff, all very down east and nautical. I was fairly bored (I kind of missed the biker chicks) although it was really great to see Joyce (my favorite person), I feel so much safer when she is around.

7/6 – Wild Duck – Boothbay Harbor, ME

Joyce and Julie in Boothbay, they feasted on lobster and there were no leftovers for me

7/7 – Boothbay, ME

7/8 –Boothbay – St. John, NB Canada, Walmart Parking Lot

He tried to bribe me with massive amounts of salmon if I would ignore the most dramatic portion of this day which included crossing into Canada. I reminded him that when I agreed to write this blog I would not tolerate censorship; I refused the salmon, and now for today’s big adventure: “THE REMAINDER OF THIS STORY HAS BEEN REDACTED BY GOVERNMENT CENSORS”

7/9 – St. John – Annapolis Royal, NS, via ferry to Digby NS


They opted to take the St Johns – Digby ferry to Nova Scotia…what a crappy picture

7/10 – Annapolis Royal, NS

This town also named for Queen Anne, although she was only a princess when it was founded.  They ate dinner by the banks of the Annapolis River two nights in a row while I was banished to the TT with my dry dog food.

7/11 – Annapolis Royal

Lot’s of cool stuff in this place
Joyce loves the lighthouses – the tides on the Annapolis River are in the 30′ range.  The Bay of Fundy has tides as much as 50′ in range (they seem to think this is cool, it doesn’t impress me much)
The Hair and the Lighthouse

7/12 – Annapolis Royal – Kedgie National Park, NS

 Deep in the woods of Nova Scotia. Big events of the day include a canoe ride and supping with my person.

Not a very good photo but trust me, this place is very very nice

7/13 – Kedgie

 Same as yesterday

7/14 – Kedgie

I always manage to attract a crowd
Some very nice lake in Kedgie NP

7/15 – Kedgie – Lunenburg, NS

This was his favorite sight in the very picturesque fishing village of Lunenburg, NS – He’s so excited because the two seasons of Faulty Towers is now available on Netflix, he seems to laugh a lot when he watches the show
He sent this pic out to a small group of friends and the overwhelming response was…..YES

We are camped in an in-town RV Park operated by the town of Lunenburg, nice for J&J but no chance that I can go without a leash so I’m not so excited about this place. They get all excited about these scenic spots, not me unless there is wildlife to stalk.

7/16 – Lunenburg, NS

The local fisherman have a great sense of color:

7/17 – Lunenburg – Peggy’s Cove, NS

She takes much better photos than the old man

7/18 – Peggy’s Cove (Joyce departs for Annapolis via Toronto and Cincinnati)

I’m not very happy, Joyce left today and I’m stuck with him alone for at least a month….yikes
One of my favorite pastimes, sniffing on a beach…almost as much fun as sniffing dog butt
Scenic Peggy’s Cove, a wonderful place but the West beckons; after all this blog is named Coach Goes West


7/19 – Peggy’s Cove – Augusta, ME Walmart (Olive Garden for dinner)

We are off to Wyoming, 2,600 miles to the west and I make him do all the driving.

Heading west

7/20 – Augusta – Buffalo, NY (State Park just outside Buffalo)

 Spent the night is some NY State Park, lot’s of rules, left early.

7/21 – Buffalo – Elkhart, IN

This town is home to the RV Hall of Fame, I’m not kidding.

7/22 – Elkhart – Independence, IA (Amish country)

Our campground was in Amish country. We did an early morning hike along the dirt roads to see Amish horses and dogs. We had fun.

Our campground in Amish country.
The pool at our campground – everyone was having fun but of course I wasn’t welcome in the pool.
Amish horses – they do most of the work but seem very happy.
Amish barn with up-to-date Amish equipment.
My new Amish dog friend, notice I am on a leash but he gets to roam free, life is not always fair.
Sunset in Amish country
Sunrise in Amish country
He insisted we take a side trip to the “Ash Fall Fossil Beds” in nowhere Nebraska. He gets all excited about this geology stuff and I sort of enjoyed it as I could walk through most of the park looking a animals that died from a massive volcanic explosion 14 million year ago. The volcano was in Idaho and was so powerful that it killed these large animals in Nebraska. The same volcano is now located under Yellowstone National Park so watch out, it blows about every 600,000 years and it’s due to go off anytime. This baby could get us long before global warming has a chance.
The hot spot that may kill us all

7/23 – Independence – Lewis and Clark Lake Campground, NB

The following over-exposed photos were all taken in Nebraska – a lighthouse, a marina with a substantial sailing fleet, cheap beer and a 9 hole golf course – go figure.

You would have to be a really bad navigator to find yourself in Nebraska looking for a lighthouse.
A Nebraska marina, nice sailboat.
Of course we shopped here.
He played alone and I’m sure he broke most of the rules of golf in the process.

7/24-7/25 – L&C Campground

 7/26 – L&C – Ollie’s Town, NB (Day’s Inn RV place)

This place is just off I-80 in western Nebraska – it’s founder hunted big game in the 1930’s and 40’s. His collection is displayed in the bar and restaurant. I wasn’t able to go in which is good because as an animal I would have been freaked out.
African game in a Nebraska bar
This guy is a Jets fan but they wouldn’t turn him around so he could watch the game, that’s usually a good thing if you’re a Jets fan.

7/27 – Ollie’s – Yellow Pine Campground, Medicine Bow National Forest, WY

Finally, we are officially in the west, and I’m a happy camper.

We stopped at a Wyoming Information center off of I-80 (as my best friend Joyce often says, “information is important” – epically when the old man is leading the way). This led us to Yellow Pine Campground about three miles from I-80 but light years away from civilization.

Being a Forest Service campground the fee is $10/night however with his “geezer pass” we paid only $5. With the solar panel and plenty of fresh water in the tank we can survive in relative comfort for at least a week. A local person told us that there are at least 56 miles of hiking and biking trails within easy reach of our campsite.


On the lookout for small game, my favorite pastime
56 miles of hiking trails in the Medicine Bow National Forest, near Laramie, WY
Laramie is the a big hub for the Southern Pacific RR. They even sell funky clothing on the pedestrian overpass, I guess shop space is limited
Downtown Laramie
Stuff along the many miles of hiking trails
Stuff along the many miles of hiking trails
The old man wanted to dance but the little kids were frightened when he busted a few moves so he backed off
They are big on dead animal heads in the bars out here, I’m a little concerned that I’ll see a dog’s head and so I don’t go inside
Got me a chipmunk cornered
I like getting wet and muddy (don’t I have a cute tail?)

7/28 – Yellow Pine Campground

Hiking and biking most all day.

7/29 – Yellow Pine Campground

We hiked on virtually empty trails for at least 6-10 miles each day, 3 of 4 days were cool, sunny and clear, one day of much needed rain, was spent reading (him) and sleeping (me).

After three days of relative isolation (no cell or internet service – yikes!) and camper-cooked meals (which featured Wyoming steak and Chinook Salmon – yum) the old man was getting antsy for some western cultural so we piled into the Jeep and headed eight miles west to Laramie to view the obligatory tourist sights (he was basically interested in two things: 1) the geology museum and, 2) bars with outdoor dog-friendly seating).

Since the museum was closed, we found a brewpub with a patio, complete with a guy drinking red wine with his Brittany at his feet. We immediately became good friends, the Brittany (I’m bad with remembering dog names, but what dog isn’t?) was two years old and Ron (the guy) had previously had two Brits that both lived to be 15; this fact brightened my day considerably. The old man might be slowing down but I’ve got another 35 human years to chase squirrels and birds.

Ron was born in Laramie but moved to New Jersey and was employed in a gun manufacturing plant. He learned his trade and moved back to Laramie and set up shop making custom guns. He hunts with his dogs and when I heard his stories I was hoping to get invited on his next adventure. That didn’t happen but I am allowed to run free on many of our hikes and that is just as much fun and without the loud gun noise.

After one or two wines we said good by to Ron and his dog and headed for the local farmers market. I’m happy to report that the only thing he purchased was a bag of homemade doggy treats (apparently there were no wine or beer vendors at the market). For dinner we ordered a pizza to go and dined at the campground. He only ate half, which is unusual for him, another sign of his advancing years.

7/30 – Yellow Pine

7/31 – Yellow Pine – Brooklyn Lake Campground, Medicine Bow National Forest, WY

We shopped at the Laramie Walmart (WM’s are great for one stop shopping) at noon and arrive at the Brooklyn Lake Campground by 1:30 pm. This place is in the Snowy Mountain Range of southern Wyoming, elevation 10,200’. Just a scenic as the more famous Colorado Rockies but far less crowded.

After he set camp the old man left me in the trailer so he could ride his stupid mountain bike (he prefers flat dirt roads to mountain trails, a wimp for sure) – I don’t like the bike because sometimes he locks me in the trailer when he rides; I hate being alone in the trailer.

He’s off riding his stupid bike while I’m cooped up in the trailer

I pulled him along with me on an afternoon hike to Glacier Lake, just over a mile from our campground, the photos tell the story better than a dog can.

Here is proof that we actually did some hiking
Orange lichens, his favorite color
Notice I’m still on the leash – he’s deadly afraid I will get lost and he will have to explain to Joyce how it happened
Snowy Mountain Range, WY
The Opera House in Encampment, WY
Trail side mushrooms after a rain
Notice the U shaped valley, a classic sign that glaciers were responsible for it’s creation
Green quartzite, over 2.4 billion years old
We climbed 2,600′ on our hike today but failed to make the summit as I didn’t like walking on sharp boulders and the old man was really gassed
View from the top (almost)
He likes these rocks, I have no idea why
Chilling by the lake
I was gassed too

It’s 7:30 pm and we are both in bed; I had dinner but he was too tired to cook. The reason for this lethargy is our hike to the summit of Brown’s Peak, Elev. 12,013’, the highest peak in the Snowy Range (at least that’s what he tells me).

The hike started at 9,500’ Elev. that explains why we are so wiped out. The “trail” for the final 500’ climb consisted of large angular boulders with nasty gaps between them; I managed to get my leg stuck in such a gap, which freaked us both out (his main concern was that he would have to carry me three miles to the Jeep). No worries however, I was fine but he used this as an excuse to turn around just shy of the summit (he tried to blame me but he was happy to head down).

8/1 – 8/3 – Brooklyn Lake Campground

As you can tell by our length of stay this is a spectacular spot to camp, a glacial lake on one side and a view of Brown’s Peak to the west, Elev. 11,722’.

8/4 – Brooklyn Lake – Saratoga, WY

The Woof Hotel and Bar, Saratoga,WY – just what the doc ordered after 4 days of mountain living

8/5 – Saratoga Lake Campground

So Noah Charles Watkins was born 34 years ago today in Boulder, CO, roughly 150 miles southeast of Saratoga. We met our next-door camper neighbors this morning and they are from Boulder (nice touch Noah).


Where the hell did this animal come from?

Another day of adventure drove – 20 miles south to hike the Encampment Trial with follows the Encampment River for 15 miles upstream. We were limited to 3.5 miles each way due to the old man’s inability to keep pace with me (I was ready to go much further).

This is a great town for hanging out due, in part, to a natural hot spring which is nicely maintained by the city and it’s free to all (except dogs of course). I get to watch my guy luxuriate in the 104-degree pools, a nice way to end a hike. For the macho people, there is a pool known as the Lobster Pot, legend has it that at least one over-served college student never got a chance to graduate after visiting the “Pot”.

8/6 – Saratoga Lake Campground

Hanging out in Saratoga. He Purchased a Wyoming fishing license at Hack’s. He must be getting bored just hiking with me; I like fish so I hope he’s good at it.

Our campground on Saratoga Lake

8/7 – Saratoga Lake Campground – Silver Lake Campground, Snowy Range, WY

 He’s not.

8/8 – Silver Lake Campground

My person (aka the old man) is trying his best to become a passionate fisherman, let’s just say it’s not going too well. With $106 invested in an out-of-state license, he has accumulated enough ammo to utilize three different techniques to convince a trout to swallow his hook: 1) live/dead/manufactured bait, 2) artificial lures and 3) artificial insects i.e. fly-fishing. So far he’s landed two trout (using worms), he kept the small one and released the bigger one; he has a logical explanation for this behavior but basically he’s an idiot.

It’s raining now and my paws are covered with mud as a result of running free while he was “fishing”. We are riding out the thunderstorm in the comfort of his trailer; I’m a happy dog.

8/9 – Silver Lake Campground

We met the camp host Kim and her Australian sheep dog Bell when we checked in yesterday. She is a recent retiree from a very small town in western Kansas, so small that the old man didn’t recognize any of the three larger towns in its vicinity. She is camping in a small converted horse trailer with just enough room for a cook stove and her bedding and supplies. Since she has no heat and the temperature routinely drops into the low 40’s at night she informed the Forest Service that a transfer to a lower altitude is necessary for her to remain a FS camp host.

When we saw her last she was all packed up and heading for the visitors center for her next assignment. We toughed it out another night but an intense thunder storm with pea-size hail was enough to drive us back to Saratoga and it’s magical hot springs.

 8/10 – Silver Lake Campground – Saratoga Lake Campground

We are back in our favorite town. Dinner again at the Wolf Hotel bar where he met a couple from Ft. Worth, TX. The wife (Jenny Pace Dupree) was from Wyoming and inherited (along with her siblings and cousins) a working cattle ranch in the area. She offered to sponsor my person if he wanted to join the “Old Baldy Club”, a golf and trout fishing club on the edge of town which is somewhat exclusive so he may be making up the sponsorship offer (I of course wasn’t allowed in the bar so I can’t verify the conversation although he showed me her business card as proof of the offer). His lack of hair would make him a perfect fit at Old Baldy for sure.

8/11 – Saratoga Lake Campground – Granby, Colorado

After 40 nights sleeping in the trailer he finally springs for a hotel room in Granby, CO, just a few miles from Rocky Mountain National Park. I cost him an additional $35 to sleep in the room; he considered letting me sleep in the Jeep, however if Joyce found out he would have suffered considerable chastisement. Needless to say he paid the 35 bucks.


More on this in my next post (hopefully sometime this year)



36 Years ago today

The old man’s bachelor party, 36 years and 2 days ago . Judging by the drink glasses this was taken at the evening’s first stop, Pat O’Brien’s . The party ended with him and Korte and Truman toasting the sunrise over Lake Pontchartrain on the deck at Augies del Lago (long since reclaimed by Katrina).

Who are these people?  If anyone can correctly identify any 5 of his buddies (and one brother) you will be entered in the “Coach Goes West Sweepstakes” with the potential to win an all expenses paid vacation in the campground of your choice in our land yacht (as long as you don’t kick me out of bed).

Two days later he threw out his anchor and hooked up with Lilly Mix Wusthoff – what was she thinking?

Rehabbing in Annapolis

Why are these dogs staring at me? Maybe because I ate their food and peed on their bushes – big deal.

So the old man had his rotator cuff repaired 7 weeks ago and is in the Phase II stage of rehab (heavy drinking and eating and moderate drug use).  He’s not looking forward to stage III when the heavy lifting begins; I’m just hopeful that he’ll regain enough strength to continue our fun times out west in the spring.

Playing with Ellen’s dogs is sorta fun but doesn’t compare with chasing wild game across BLM land in Utah and listening to the old man’s fascinating campfire-side geology lectures under a blanket of pinpoint stars  (slurred speech and all).

Screw your shoulder – I’m ready to hit the road now

What are we doing in Annapolis?

This sucks, I never get to chase anything when he makes me drive the boat…I thought we were supposed to be in Montana by now.

The old man is falling apart.  After tripping while walking me across Bay Ridge Ave last March in Annapolis he finally realized that he made a stupid move by putting his right arm out to break the fall (tuck and roll is the way they teach old people to fall).

He was hoping it would get better out west but that never happened so it’s rotator cuff surgery followed by 6-9 months of intense rehab for him.  I only hope that Woody and Joyce will make sure he feeds and walks me after the surgery as he has pre-ordered some powerful semi-illicit pain killers to see him through the rehab.

We did have some fun in Steamboat Springs, CO with Ellen, Mike and Kelly over the 4th of July weekend although he left me at Ellen’s place while they partied in town (parade, rodeo, fireworks and free hot dogs were the featured activities).  He did take me on several great hikes although I had to remain on-leash due to fears that I would bolt after some game and get lost and never return – I had more fun in Utah with Korte and Sky who didn’t have similar concerns.

Nice example of Gneiss (a metamorphic rock with a banded or foliated structure…blah, blah,blah)
Me with my two best girlfriends, near Rabbit Ears Pass, CO

I’m also missing Marge, Jack, Gizmo and Cat, my Boulder, CO hosts for much of June.  I enjoyed chasing squirrels in the backyard, however I was humiliated when 13 year old fluffy-ass yappy little Gizmo actually caught one. I begged Marge not to tell the old man for fear he would tell all his friends and make fun of me (which of course he did).


Boulder, CO – Annapolis, MD

6/11 – Twin Harbors Community Beach – 10th  Annual Lilly Fest

 Editors note: Based on reports I’ve read in various doggy internet chat rooms (“Leash Laws Suck” and “Chihuahuas for Trump” are two examples – the latter one having only 2 members) Coach is having a high time in Colorado and has asked Marge and Jack for permanent resident status in Boulder. Joyce was devastated when she heard this news, however, I am confident that after a few more days with Marge he will be begging for a return to the old man and his rig.

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The Tiki Barbarians – house band of the Lilly Fest Photo by KC Guernsey
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Rurik, The coolest Tiki
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Tiki Tom, making us dance with his licks
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Andy, “what key are we in?”
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Keith, also the coolest Tiki, on the skins
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Andy (better known as captain volume) telling Steve to tone it down, this doesn’t make sense
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Mike Lange makes it all happen – always on the lookout for young ladies to join him on the piano bench
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Noah’s godfather, Jim Truman – playing one of his 20+ guitars

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This year’s Lilly Fest was another resounding success with over $10,000 in donations made to the Parent Project for Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) on behalf of Noah. The highlight of the evening occurred when the Tikis played “Like a Rock” and “Happy Birthday to Lilly” during their last set. Woody and I could feel the love that was infused into everyone that joined in this celebration. I’m certain that Noah and his mother were listening and smiling.

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Good times with good friends – Photo by KC Guernsey
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This is why we lived in Twin Harbors for over 20 years – Photo by KC Guernsey