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Canines and Cloggers

September 17, 2012

On Saturday I pretty much stuck around the town of Malone – I think it’s the first time since I began this adventure that I stayed in one place all day. Of course, part of the reason was my “rule” that I need to stay 2 consecutive nights in one place once a week, to catch up with writing and laundry and stuff. And I desperately needed to do laundry – I hadn’t done any since I left. So I found a laundromat and got everything started, and Tula and I walked a couple miles in town while the clothes were washing. It’s a good-sized town, and a pretty one, so it was good for walking. After the clothes were all dry and put away (a relief to have that chore done!), I went to Wal-Mart to do the shopping for the big animal shelter north of town, which was going to be my donation for the day. I got similar stuff like the last time I did an animal shelter donation – dry dog food, puppy food, cat food, and canned dog food and treats. We had to drive out of town a ways to the animal shelter, and it was along a pretty winding road that I was going to walk on, until I passed 2 correctional facilites with lots of shiny barbed wire and concertina wire, and little guard towers – so I changed my mind about that walk! We got to the facility, and it seemed to be busy – they were in the middle of a pet adoption (the kids getting the new pet were literally jumping up and down with delight!), and a dog was loose in one of the buildings, and the phone was ringing – busy place! I got all the food carried in – so that’ll feed a few of the critters for a little while.

The laundromat I was at in the morning happened to be across from the big local fairgrounds, and I could see they were having some sort of event there – it turned out to be their local Fall Harvest Fest, and dogs were welcome – not only welcome, but had been encouraged to participate in a “dog blessing parade” – but we did not participate in that because we were up at the animal shelter. I parked a good 3/4 mile from the fairgrounds to get in some more walking, and it was fun to wander around the different booths. Tula met a lot of new “friends” who were still around from the dog blessing, and there was a giant box of dog treats, so that was fun. Someone had set up one of those big black smokers and I got a pulled pork dinner with a side of macaroni/tuna salad for $4. That’s 2 Saturdays in a row I’ve had a good BBQ meal at a community event! Then I wandered around some more, and just before I was getting ready to leave, I saw a fundraising table set up by the Drew Crew Cloggers, who were doing raffles for raising money. Any dance group fund-raising effort is certainly going to catch my eye, so I stopped to talk with them about what they were doing, and it was fun to hear their story. Turns out the group has been invited to perform in Pearl Harbor in December in honor of all the veterans during the anniversary festivities, and the group is trying to raise some funds to go toward travel expenses. Well, I couldn’t resist this! Even though I’d already made my donation for the day, I decided to do another one, and it would take care of Sunday’s donation. But I didn’t have my stuff with me, and I told them I would be back. But I had parked a long ways away in order to do walking, and it took time to get back to the van to get my stuff, and they probably thought I wasn’t going to return. But I got back as things were winding down, and they were still there putting things away. We got to talking some more, and we each enjoyed the others’ stories! $56 isn’t going to help much with travel, but it’s still fun to be a part of it all, and I’ll be following them on Facebook! They were so gracious about the donation, and so supportive of what I’m doing that it really made my day!

I still had some walking to do, and decided to explore the area around the fairgrounds – it was a big one! I started walking up one of the side streets, and all the gates were open so I walked into the part with all the barns and arenas, and they even had a 1/2 mile racetrack and big grandstands! We walked up the row of barns – literally a whole street long, and still other barns for saddle horses, race horses (I’m curious what races they do on a shorter track – quarter horse maybe?), dairy cows, sheep, goats – it must be one lively place during fair season because there’s a LOT of barn space, and they’ve been having fairs there since the mid 1800s. We even walked around the race track – there was evidence of recent use, but no humans or horses on the track except me – and Tula running off-leash in front of the empty grandstands! She actually came back and nosed her leash rather soon – in new and strange places (which we are in every day) I think she likes the security of knowing I’m on the other end of her leash, even though she is always walking ahead of me. She’s very good on the leash and knows the distance she has with it, and the only time she ever pulls is if we see another dog. We finished up at the fairgrounds and walked through another part of town, and then called it a day. I walked 7 miles today, and decided to use the extra mile I had from Chimney Bluffs so that I could get some other stuff done at the motel. I ended the day with some microwave popcorn from my stash.

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  1. I just wanted to Thank you! I’m one of the Drew Crew Cloggers, Andrew could not wait to come to class and tell us your story! We enjoyed hearing it from him full of his spunk and energry it made it even more enjoyable.We have met and heard some amazing stories along our fundraising adventure, but I believe yours tops most of them!! Wishing you the best of luck on your adventure and please drop us a line on The Drew Crew Cloggers FB page we look forwaed to hearing from you!

  2. As Erin mentioned, We are truly humbled and honored to be a part of your journey. Wishing you all of the best and please keep in touch as we would love to hear more about your adventures! Thanks again!

  3. I really enjoyed meeting Andrew and hearing about your trip! What an experience it will be! Dance groups will always have a soft spot in my heart – I look forward to hearing about the big event 🙂

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