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

August 11th - Closer to a decision

Tomorrow, I will have a decision to make.  I will have to decide whether to spend the next 60 days in the predictable comfort  zone of my life in DC or spend it driving at least 12,000 miles, setting up and breaking camp every night in now-unknown places and God only knows what kind of weather, no newspapers, TV, or Netflix to entertain or inform me, with a 12-year old, 110-pound paralyzed dog and his sister as my only two companions, encountering yet-unknown problems that I know will occur, living out of  70 square-feet of space day (in my Defender) and night (in my tents), and dining on daily food rations that even prisoners of war might  refuse. And I will make that decision. Fortunately, despite the formidable obstacles that were thrown in my way as I started to plan (since 2003) and prepare (since mid-May) for this trip, I continued to pack so that once my decision is made, I would need only  one final day for  the desk work for this trip and for resting.

On Saturday morning, just when I thought everything was under control with Erde's situation, she started to shake her head again, meaning an ear infection.  The earliest the vet could see her for a recheck is Monday morning, and so I will do that at 7:25 tomorrow.  My hope is that the vet declares the infections gone so this pesky problem does not follow Erde for the next 60 days.

As I set up numerous packing stations around my condo  for the six pages of stuff that will go with us on this trip, I found that I could not find only one thing, a set of bolt cutters I bought for the trip in 2011.  Why bolt cutters?  Well, soon after my trip to Labrador in 2002, Leben stepped on one of those hooks that secures a leash to a dog's collar and it get wedged between the pads of his paw.  The more I tried to extricate him from it, the tighter the hook dug into his paw.  I had to carry him to my Defender and then to the vet hospital, where they had to anesthetize him and then cut the hook off with bolt cutters. I still shake to this day when I wonder what I would have done had this happened while I was along in Labrador, hundreds of miles away from the nearest vet, or people for that matter.  Now that I know this can happen, it would be a serious mistake for me to make this trip without them.  After spending 30 minutes looking without success for the cutters  I already owned, I gave up and bought a new pair.

Today, I will finish a bunch of chores with the Defender, pack my wardrobe and linen bags,  and get ready to do the final paperwork chores tomorrow after I return from the vets with Erde.  Then, at some point tomorrow, I will decide how I will spend the next 60 days. Then, if I decide to go, I only  have to brief the two secret service agents I promised could house-sit for me while I am away.

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