If you have time to read only one posting, click the following link to read the entry for the last day of our journey.

New Estimated Date of Departure

Although I have been planning for months to set out on July  15, I have just moved that until July 22 for several reasons, not to mention that my to-do list seems to get longer and the non-trip but essential time-consumers seem to be popping up a little more than usual.

The first reason is that I will not learn whether I won the lottery to drive the 80-mile road into Denali national park until July 15th.  Whether or not I win it means that I have to prepare for different trips. If I win it, I could very well end up in some pretty severe winter -like weather during the weekend of he drive-in on September 12th or so.

The second reason is that I need to finish some physical therapy on my knee following the arthroscopic surgery in March after I tore both menisci in my left knee getting Leben into the back of my Defender in January. I also need to get a third shot of that U-Flexa fluid pumped into my knee to reduce the pain that seems to persist following the surgery.  The last thing in the world that I need on this trip is to have bolts of pain shoot out from my knee as I climb that stainless steel ladder on the back of my Defender at least four times a day.

The third reason is that I need to wait and see how the new course of antibiotics Leben's dermatologist prescribed for him is working. Two years ago, we had to abort our trip at Thunder Bay (ON) because of a  terrible skin allergy or infection that afflicted Leben.  It came back again last year, although we cut  that trip short because of his paralysis.  I think, finally, we got the right prescription as his problem has all but disappeared in just four days.  But in case it flares up again on the trip, I bought and will take along a Big Kahuna portable shower  (see below photo) to bathe him twice a week.  Because space is a premium in the Defender on these trips, I still need to figure  out what I will have to jettison in order to take this along. My guess is that I will use it for the dog's first-aid and grooming kit.  I have already given Leben several baths using this (it connects either to the Defender's cigarette lighter or to my portable battery charger) and it works beautifully. It holds 4.7 gallons of water, and to wash one big German shepherd it takes about 4 gallons. What a relief it was to find this.  Especially since in the campsites they do not allow washing pets at the water spigots.

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