One of the things we all love about being part of the Ruffwear pack is meeting people and dogs enjoying grand adventures. We recently caught up with our friends Mallory and Baylor and they shared their stories from the road – read on to learn more about an adventurous woman, a cool dog and an awesome motorcycle with sidecar!
Tucking my dog Baylor into the sidecar, hopping on the motorcycle headed north, I still wasn’t sure if this was a good idea. Didn’t know if we’d be able to make it all the way to Alaska. If we’d enjoy riding thousands of miles, camping night after night, calling the road home.
Now, after making it to Alaska and living on the road for two months, I know the answer. This adventure – now known as Operation Moto Dog – has not at all been what I’d imagined. It’s been much, much better. Breathtaking landscapes, epic camp spots, endlessly kind people – and best of all, I get to share each day with my furry best friend.
Baylor loves exploring new territory everyday and getting lots of attention from strangers – he’s quite the celebrity on the road! Everywhere we go, people love snapping his photo, scratching his ears and learning about the sidecar motodog life. Here are answers to the most common motodog questions:
How did you train him to ride in the sidecar?
Prior to hitting the road, Baylor spent days lounging in the sidecar while I worked in the shop. We established a routine so that once he’s in the sidecar, has his Load Up Harness and goggles on and gotten a treat he’s not allowed to get out until I give him the okay.
He thinks of the sidecar as his “bed” and is completely content in it for hours. He can ride comfortably for longer than I can!
What happens when you ride through the cold and rain?
Between the windshield and the open compartment in the nose of the sidecar, Baylor is able to get out of the wet and cold for the most part. Tucked in he’s blocked from the wind entirely and stays impressively dry, too.
And when the weather turns we pull over immediately and bundle up. Baylor stays toasty in his Quinzee Insulated Jacket and dry in the Sun Shower Raincoat. And when it was cold and wet in the Yukon, we layered the two.
Does he like it?
He really does. When we’re slowly driving down dirt roads looking for a trail or a place to set up camp, he loves sitting up, ears flapping in the wind, sniffing the foreign air. When we’re cruising on the highway, he curls up and settles in for a nap. At camp sites he can’t wait to run around taking in all the new smells and at every stop along the way he turns strangers into friends.
What do you do when you want to go somewhere that doesn’t allow dogs?
Baylor’s been my sidekick for years, so I’m used to always looking for a lunch spot that has a patio or keeping an eye out for good parks and dog-friendly trails. Being a rather relaxed dog, he’s happy to wait patiently outside while I run in to grab a coffee or get directions.
Sometimes, though, the weather doesn’t cooperate, we can’t find a covered parking spot or there just aren’t any dog-friendly options, so I skip going to the market or wandering through a museum. It does take extra work to travel with a canine companion, but the love and joy I get from his company is well worth it. And luckily, most of my favorite activities – hiking, camping, exploring – are ideal for a dog.
I’m sure we’ll learn a lot more in the coming miles, and we can’t wait for the rest of the adventure to unfold. Summer is quickly turning to fall in Alaska, so we’re heading south for the winter – continuing with the goal of covering all of North America. Each day on the road is different, but no matter what I know it will be a good one with my best friend at my side.
Mallory Paige is a storyteller and adventurer with a powerfully simple philosophy: Choose Happy, Seek Adventure, Bring the Stoke. To learn more about the life of Baylor the motodog and join in the adventure, visit OperationMotoDog.com.