This site began as a means of documenting my sidecar adventures with Barley, a remarkable golden retriever with social skills far exceeding my own. He loved people and would tell any stranger who expressed an interest all about his life in a wonderfully vocal manner. He was not without his faults. He was food motivated in the extreme. It was not uncommon for him to spot a person carrying a burger at three hundred yards and study them intently, willing them to approach and share. He was a hunter, a dog with an incredible prey drive that kicked in whenever my attention wandered. He instinctively avoided people who were not fond of dogs, and growled menacingly at people he didn’t trust. It happened only three times, and each time I had similar feelings about the person, but the way he stood before me protectively and uttered the most incredibly threatening sounds from deep inside his broad chest was most impressive! He was headstrong and territorial at times. Once he decided that something belonged to him he simply would not share. To enhance his comfort on our journeys I bought him a memory foam dog bed which he immediately claimed. But it was his turf, and he would accept no encroachment no matter how slight. I lost several bits of camping equipment – a cookstove, water bottles, and a couple of headlamps – when they fell onto his bed while we were underway. Barley would pick them up, give me the hairy eyeball, then heave them over the side where they shattered on impact with the road.
When excited, he grabbed at things that dangled in front of him. I found it endearing when he grabbed my collar and expressed his vocal pleasure at my daily homecoming, but not so cute when buxom women bent over the sidecar to fuss over him and found seventy pounds of dog hanging from a breast! I got around that particular hazard by keeping a tennis ball in my tank bag. If a woman asked to say hello to my dog, I’d stuff the ball in his mouth before assenting. I called this “Putting the dog on safe.”
We learned to embrace the things we both enjoyed, eliminate those things that bothered us, and compromised on several points to form a solid relationship that took us over 55,000 miles covering thirty-six states and six Canadian provinces, spreading smiles everywhere we went.
This is our story…
Welcome to our Webpage! Join us as we travel to some great places in the US and Canada, deal with the unexpected, meet some fantastic new friends on the road, figure out how to customize the rig so we’re both comfortable, learn the art of compromise, and form a bond of love and respect that has enriched both our lives.
Click the links below to follow our progress from clueless beginners to accomplished learners. (In motorcycling, as with dogs, one never stops learning!) Though Barley was lost to lymphoma in 2015, the adventure continues with Tulliver and soon with Glenlivet, who will start his training as soon as the snow melts! Both of their links are below.
- AN ODE TO MOLSON
- TUPPENCE THE WONDERBITCH
- BARLEY: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
- SHOT O’ GLENLIVET
- 2010: A SHAKEDOWN CRUISE TO NORTH BAY, ONTARIO
- 2011: AROUND THE GREAT LAKES
- 2012: SEDALIA, MISSOURI VIA THE OZARKS
- 2013: BARLEY’S OPUS: TO OREGON VIA THE SCENIC ROUTE
- 2014: MINNESOTA VIA OHIO AMISH COUNTRY AND MICHIGAN’S UPPER PENINSULA
- 2015: HINTS OF MORTALITY