Wheelhouse Journey

Denali’s Passing and Where Do We Go From Here?

by Oct 20, 2017Travel1 comment

Last photo of Denali and me, 4 days before his passing

Three and a half, what seems like long weeks ago, we were in Yosemite National Park as part of our journey with our amazing dog, Denali. Being almost 14 years old, he was seeing sights that most people don’t get to see with their dogs. But, he was really slowing down over the past few months and had a health scare that worried us about two weeks prior to Yosemite. We were in the middle of northern California, but eventually making our way to the Bay Area by September 28 to get our trailer into storage. We planned to stay at Nancy’s brothers’ place for a month, give Denali a place to recoup and get him to the vet for a checkup. At the time, we saw his health scare as a sign that Denali’s time with us may be limited, but was looking for a sign of hope that he was ok to continue with us on our journey. He was too much a part of this to leave us now.

Denali’s first trip to the ocean

Denali’s Last Ride

On the evening of Friday the 29th, Denali’s health took a turn for the worse. We didn’t get much sleep that night, trying to comfort him and figure out how where we could get him to the vet early on Saturday morning. After riding in our rig as our amazing backseat passenger for the last 10,000 miles, we knew he was taking his last ride with us. The strange thing about this…it’s almost like he hung on for us, and he knew that in getting to Oakland he could get the care he needed.

Questioning Our Future On The Road

It’s been heartbreaking to lose a member of our family, and such a key piece of what, and why, we are doing this full-time. We’ve had long discussions of where to go from here – Should we go on? Can we go on? Should we continue traveling in our trailer where he was always with us? Should we do something different and travel internationally? It’s been so hard to get re-motivated about traveling, but 3 weeks after his passing we’re slowly figuring out our plans for the future.

Watching the solar eclipse in Oregon

Our Plan

As hard as it has been to figure out our plans without Denali by our side, we’re going to be taking some flights to see different parts of the country and world. On our immediate list over the next few months: Hawaii, Belize and New Zealand. With all of our questions about where do we go from here, the answer always lead back to us finding another travel partner during the springtime. It just seems like the natural thing to do.

Please see our Instagram post for our tribute to Denali. He was such a shining light for us and will be missed greatly.




Eric is a freelance engineer, self-taught web developer, photographer & adventurer. He loves the outdoors and exploring the country with his wife and pup.

1 Comment

  1. Martha Goudey

    Denali was a beautiful dog. As I read about his passing in a Starbucks in Phoenix, I am choking back tears, just as I did when you told me about him and your love for him. We lost Taz on September 11, a different kind of passing, shocking and sudden and way too soon. We, as you did before Parker, miss the companionship, but aren’t ready yet. I admire your courage to take on Parker and also look forward to following your travels.

    Your website is beautifully done.

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