Modi Memorial and Shakedown and Out for the Mighty Quinn

I’m a dry and well rested Quinn eager for a little activity as today looks to be better weather finally. It’s Patriot
Day which always lifts Dad’s spirits a bit but it’s also the 10 year anniversary of his saying Farewell to Modi. On
April 19 in 2000, Dad said goodbye to his then primary pal and he’s got a web page with some details here:

and also a bit on the Ostend page at:

Dad returned last night a little weary and one of the uplifting details we got to share with him was that the Modi
Lilac bush was in full greenery after the weekend of rain.

So let’s talk about this weekend of rain thing. Firstly it was the UNH shakedown weekend which meant we were going to
test our Wilderness preparedness for the Pemi traverse. All gear loaded and packed Dad and I headed out at 10:00 a.m.
with the infamous Sherpa John:

He is likely to have photographs and possibly a story at some point but in the meanwhile, he’s got an interesting read
and his kindness in picking us up was only a small sign of his quality. He was pretty marvelous during the coursework
and this weekend…the part of it to which I can attest.

At noon, we had a gathering point at NH Hall in Durham where the class picked up final supplies and made the car pool
expedition out to Mendum’s Pond:

I was pretty eager for adventure but rain falling on us steadily wasn’t my ideal. At Jen’s behest Dad had opted to
bring my “Dover Coat” which has water resistant nylon outer shell and a quick drying synthetic inner fleece. She was
awesome for the suggestion but as we’ll learn this would not be enough. I was glad to see all the folks from the class
and I have some favorites who seem particularly dog oriented to me like Kyle and Amy. Dad’s explained to me this is
part of the UNH KIN 551 coursework of which we are now an integral part. So we stood in the rain for roughly an hour
as we all got our things together and they did some briefing and teamwork things like the Sherpa pipe-cleaner beads. I
like this notion though I’m sad I didn’t get one, Dad told me I deserved all his beads several times over though so
that’s a little bit of a bonus. Basically everyone had ten beads and every time someone else did something
particularly noteworthy a bead was given to show appreciation. It was an interesting interactive dynamic but the
weather definitely got the better of it to some extent. It was raining but not too cold and before long we took a hike
with part of it on the trail and then an off trail hike to a ridge line where more standing around and conversing took
place. There’s no doubt I liked the walking and was proud of handling Dad through those woods. There’s similarly no
doubt I don’t like standing around in the rain and soon I was pretty well soaked despite the coat. We had a
presentation on LNT which is an essential first step in the process. Every student had worked on an educational
portion of our learning and Leave no Trace is an important part. The presentation was fine enough but still…sitting
or lying in the rain getting more and more wet is not a Quinn ideal. Learning Dad would have to dig a ‘cat hole’ for
me to relieve wasn’t thrilling either but that’s the reality in the camping world. Armed with this information the
group picked locations for camping, cooking and bear hangs. Normally a quick enough process the novice approach meant
a little time wanderring with less than ideal results. They got better but not this night.

I then stayed to the side while the group erected a pair of tarp ‘tents which would be our sleeping quarters for the
night. There was a lot of uncertainty and knot practice through this process and even the untrained camping eye of the
Mighty Quinn knew we were in a little bit of trouble. Guide Lines couldn’t readily reach the best support and the
ridge line was level and not tight enough. This would be a problem later. Some attempts to fix and then an acceptance
of the work took place but it was a longer than needed process…all with us steadily in the rain. The good news is my
dinner did get worked into this during the Bear Hang presentation. We had to wander a good distance away for me to eat
and relieve but I was happy enough and the mission was accomplished with some help for Dad as usual. Content with
Dinner I was a little rejuvinated before we sat around for the cooking and eating of everyone else, some slight tent
adjustment and then more courses and team building. The temperature also began to drop and while it didn’t snow on us
there was snow mixed into it outside of the trees. Brrrrr. When Quinn’s dry themselves they like to curl up, turn on
the heat engine and fluff the fur. This leads to warming and drying…unless we are still in the rain. So my coat
helped a little on core dryness but it also inhibits bur fluffing and drying. I was not at my best though I did curl
up with Courtney and that helped. We were all sitting under the cook tarp for this and that helped a little but the
ground was still wet and I was still unhappy. By 10 p.m. when we headed to bed and I found the true state of our tent
I was concerned. Dad had a sleeping pad which he mostly shared with me but the ridge line dripped water steadily on
all of us but in the middle particularly. One end higher helps alleviate this to drip outside the tent and more
tautness helps all of it. The fact it was so low it hit me at a stand also meant ever stand let contact water seep
onto me and everything near me…yuk!

Dad tried fleece pants for a base for me and his super water’proof’ coat over me. Wet from below and above was too
much and I even tried to share the mummy bag with some success at making myself a bit better but still mostly
miserable. It was a long night and neither Dad nor I slept as we tried to fight off the cold for me. He promised me
that by morning he’d have a solution but it was an unpleasant night which was true pretty much for everyone in both
tarp tents.

Early the next morning, Dad solo handled my trip for my relieve and then shortly afterwards we met Courtney out and
about. She helped us find a spot for Dad to tend his business and then very late we got to my breakfast because all my
food was subject to the bear hang principles as well. Sure I don’t want bears in our tents but I don’t like breakfast
so late either and I didn’t want to drink much water when already cold and wet but Dad says that was part of my problem
since I was burning water in trying to warm up. Still raining we packed up minimally and made a trek to a Pavillion
where dryness was found for the first time. It wasn’t warm but it was better and my shaking subsided as the group
talked about how to handle me. Everything from suggestions like warm water for me, better tent fixings and of course my
going home. Dad had undertaken side discussions with Tracy by text and Sherpa and Becky as the TA leaders.
Ultimately it was clear that to ensure my best safety and comfort Dad needed to get me home. The new question though
was would Dad stay behind. There was a lot more involved in that than may seem obvious and it would have a significant
impact on all aspects of the class as a result of whatever decision was made. To some extent this is all beyond my dog
responsibilities but I did understand when Dad decided he would stay. Everyone was pretty cold, wet, tired and
miserable that morning and probably many folks might have liked the easy out to return to comfort. Dad stayed and he
says it made a tremendous difference in his own experiences as well as those of the group. I missed him but I really
needed warmth and dryness. Tracy took good care of me and I only moped at the door a little…after warming up fully
in my own doggy beds. I got some good play which I needed and ultimately had some time to reflect. When Dad came home
on Sunday I was elated to see him even in his wet and dirty state. He said the group had really grown from the first
experience and applied a lot more skills and focus on making all arrangements better for the next night. He slept
mostly dry(er?) and well plus had great support from the entire class on all things. From the Hungarian Dance, to
trust falls; water purification to stream crossings, Lightning, self-care, Orienteering, Creepy Crawlies, history and
more team sharing and building events were all part of the experience. Leadership development inside the group and
bonds of friendship and trust for the bigger experience ahead at the end of May. He should probably blog but we have a
busy day off to NHAB for an Advocacy Meeting at noon before really addressing the 2020 Vision Quest work ahead for him.
We have already begun considerations for whether the Pemi is right for me. Could Dad do it without me? At what cost?
Could we prepare better to ensure my full comfort? We have thoughts on each and a lot of decisions to be made by the
end of this month and early next month.

For now though, the Boston Marathon is being run on Patriot Day and I’m back with my Dad. The weather looks to be
beautiful and there’s some time for emotional reflection on one of my predecessor’s passing. Dad often says Modi
taught him a lot on how to be a better Dad for me and overall I’d say Modi did a great job because I am well tended and

Be Well!
Mighty Quinn
Shook Out at the Shake down


  1. Stefani says:

    Dear Quinn,
    Thank you for the update. I am sorry to read that your night was not fun – and I am terribly sorry it didn’t go as planned….but I am glad that you had Tracy to care for you and allow your dad to finish his expedition. Training here is slow going, busy as ever. We need to do another playdate soon…..I’m quite bored….
    Licks and Wags

  2. Paula Ravaioli says:

    XOXOXOXOX to Modi, Ostend and the Mighty One and thank you Modi and Ostend for being such a wonderful friend to Randy and to Quinn for Randy and Tracy.

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