I received this e-mail today because I am a volunteer at the Humane Society, and I think it bears reposting. I wrote earlier this year about the 120 Burn's Dogs that were surrendered to the Humane Society by an abusive breeder. The Humane Society is trying to introduce legislation that will prevent abuses like this occurring by imposing stricter regulation on puppy mills. Here's the email:
You are getting this email because you are a very dear friend of OHS and we are concerned. Yesterday we sent out an action alert regarding some pending legislation. In the last 48 hours, the puppy mill breeders began an aggressive campaign of lies and fearful propaganda against our legislation as payback for regulating puppy mills. Some legislators have gotten dozens of letters opposing our bill, labeling us as a radical animal rights group and claiming abuse by our investigators. Unfortunately this smear campaign is getting some legislators attention and the pets of Oregon need folks who love animals, not to profit from them, to speak out.
If you haven’t done so this week, I am asking you to contact your representative immediately ask them to support three bills.
Using your personal email account, go to this link and instantly email your state Representative and Senator. Let them know you care about animals and you support the Oregon Humane Society.
Please do not identify yourself as an OHS employee. Your strongest voice is as a voting constituent in their district.
SB 303A Requires more training and uniform standards of conduct for OHS investigators, matching what is required for all law enforcement officers in the state. SUPPORT! This bill does not give Humane Special Agents more authority or broader powers. It only relates to training and certification, the Governor still appoints agents. Contact your State Representative.
HB 3348 Restores Humane Special Agents ability to apply for search warrants by first person testimony. Without this bill we will have to find a sympathetic police or sheriff’s officer, tell them what we know and hope they will follow through. Time is essential and without quick access to search warrants animals have disappeared and their fate is unknown. In two recent cases we believe the dogs have died because we could not get a search warrant fast enough. SUPPORT this bill. Contact your State Senator
HB 2470 Puppy mill regulations, while this doesn’t go far enough it is a major improvement for the lives of thousands of dogs in Oregon’s puppy mills. This bill has one more hurdle to become law, tell your senator you support humane conditions for dogs in puppy mills. SUPPORTthis bill
I've been wondering about how to keep in touch and get mail from people while I'm on the trail, and I just found out one way. The post office offers a service called general delivery.
This means that if someone writes me a letter addressed like this:
c/o General Delivery
Small town near the AT, State, Zip code
Unfortunately, I have yet to officially change my name to Adelaide, so, unless I get my stuff together and change my name before I leave, letters will have to be addressed to Shelly. I have to take a picture ID to the specified post office to pick up my mail. Handy, eh? I've also heard that some businesses along the way offer the same service.
I'll be e-mailing out a list of what post offices I'll be using and when.
I just heard about this story from Brazil. Here's what happened: a nine year old girl was raped by her stepfather and became pregnant with twins. Her mother took her to the hospital and the doctors, who were afraid that the pregnancy would kill the little girl, performed an abortion.
A horrible situation, and it gets worse. From CBC: "Upon learning of the abortion, the regional archbishop excommunicated the doctors, as well as the girl's mother. He did not excommunicate the step-father, saying the crime he is alleged to have committed, although deplorable, was not as bad as ending a fetus's life."
I don't know how to say strongly enough that this decision by the Catholic church is crazy, that the cruelty of excommunicating the doctors that saved this girl's life, but not the man who raped her is astounding. And I am disgusted and infuriated that the Vatican would support that decision.
Here is a map of the trail. I'll be headed North to South, starting in Maine in July. If you have time and you're interested, come hike part of it with me! E-mail me if you want rough guesses of where I'll be at different places.
I recently began training with Nikki Becker from Missfit Adventures. My reasoning: if I am going to tell everyone I know that I’m trying to backpack the Appalachian Trail, I better not come home a month after I started. Nikki trains clients in her “all women’s adventure club.”
If you want to read more about my preparations for the AT, I've started a separate blog for the trip. (Because you can't have too many blogs, right?)
Here's me trying to look buff for the camera. I'm not sure it's working.
I've been feeling frustrated for a bit about the loss of saturation in the photos I upload to the web. I've tried all kinds of things, even boosting the saturation to unrealistic amounts. Today in my photoshop class I hit upon the real answer: Facebook and Blogspot have been squeezing the life blood out of my pictures.
A lot of the pictures are oversaturated because I was trying to compensate for any loss. But loaded directly onto a server, they actually look pretty vivid. I may actually go back in an desaturate some of them.
I am mourning the loss of a yard as I prepare for this year's planting. Cross your fingers, I might be able to get a community garden plot.
In the meantime, here are my poor overcrowded starts. Mini-cucumbers, kale, basil, rosemary, and I have two flowering plants next to my other window. I have been trying to figure out how to give them more space when today I hit upon a brilliant idea.
A brilliant idea involving sunflower butter.
I save all of my leftover plastic jars because the grocery co-ops let you bring them in for bulk goods. Unfortunately, I don't live close to one anymore, and my plastic jars have been piling up a bit. Today I pierced holes in the bottom of a few of them to make mini planters. Then I put them on casserole dishes so that the water that drains through doesn't go anywhere.
Ted Tellefson in Burns, OR was recently arrested for 100 counts of animal neglect. Apparently, he was a breeder and things got out of control, and when the sheriff investigated, these dogs were cramped together in filthy cages. I think that "things got out of control" is a generous way of describing the situation, but the man has agreed to surrender the dogs. Usually, animals are kept in isolation pending investigation, but because Tellefson has admitted guilt, the dogs are now being socialized and given an opportunity to learn to trust humans again.
At least, this is my understanding of the situation. I recently started to volunteer at the Oregon Humane Society, where they are currently housing 90 of the Burns dogs. Very few volunteers are allowed to work with these animals because they have been so badly traumatized, and the people at the Humane Society want to establish an environment where they can feel safe an comfortable. I am feeling both angry at the way this man treated these dogs and grateful that Oregon has such a wonderful Humane Society.
The Oregon Humane society adopts out 98% of their dogs and 95% of their cats, which is pretty incredible. They are recognized nationally for excelance. It's a community effort; they have over 1,000 volunteers. During the orientation, I sat next to a woman who was recently laid off. She told me that she she has been struggling to get a new job, but because she has more time now, she's spending some of it volunteering. Apparently, one upside of the recession is that there are now more volunteers than ever helping out with non-profits. So, while these organizations are having trouble raising money, the investment of human capital is at an all time high. I think its wonderful that so many people, who are themselves suffering, have made the effort to give to those in need.
Backpacker magazine is holding open auditions for gear testers. One part is a written review and the other part is a 5 minute video. Here's mine. The quality is a little bit low, but it's my first try at making a movie, and I'm going to use a nice camera next time. Also, it's a bit cheesy, but it was really fun to do. My friends Jade, Steph, and Phil helped me out.
I think that the number of people who watch it will affect how likely they are to choose you. Also, if you have a youtube account, I'd really appreciate it if you rated the video or made a comment. If you don't have a youtube account, don't worry, we can still be friends.
The winter weather in Portland is pretty dreary and I had begun to get restless. I thought, Central Oregon gets 300 days of sun a year, odds are it'll be bright and warm there. I actually thought that. You might say, Adelaide, that logic doesn't really follow. It's still winter and you are going to the mountains, how could you delude yourself into thinking you could backpack there?
You might say that, and I would tell you to kindly keep your opinions to yourself.
Act One: Big Plans
Place Adelaide wanted to stay:
Well, not exactly. This photo is of Mount Washington, a volcano that last erupted over 1,000 years ago. I took this picture from the side of the road, after I climbed up a 4 foot snow bank created by the plows.
This is as close to nature as I would come on the trip.
It turns out that the trail I wanted to hike was impassable without snowshoes. I had anticipated some snow, but I thought I could park my car, hike to a covering, set up camp and enjoy the sunshine. No such luck. It wasn't just that there was snow on the trail, the entire parking place was snowed over and then the road had been plowed so that all you could see was the sign: Pacific Crest Trail.
Act Two: Reality hits
Place Adelaide ended up staying:
It's ok, I said to myself. So things aren't going to go as I planned, that's alright, I'll make new plans. So I drove through the city Bend and out into the Badlands.
About two hours into the middle of nowhere, I pulled my car over and got out. With no light pollution, the stars were amazing. I got my sleeping bag out of the trunk, opened the sun roof of the car, leaned back and watched the sky. I saw three shooting stars before I fell asleep.
Midnight: I awoke with the feeling of something falling on my face. It had started sleeting in the night. I turned on the car and shut the sun roof. I was wet and cold, and there were no stars. Suddenly, the idea of sleeping on the side of the road stopped being a romantic idea.
Act Three: Reality hits harder
Place Adelaide ended up staying the rest of the night:
In my mind's eye, I had at least expected that, if I couldn't hike, I could stay in a quaint country inn. However, there are no inns in the badlands, in fact, the only structure I saw was for A-1 Antelope taxidermy: Free Salt! And, as I was unsure how long things would go on like this, I drove back through the freezing rain hoping to not slip on any forming ice patches. I found this hotel late at night, and sleep-deprived and shivering, asked for a room.
Ah, well. It was a noble effort nonetheless. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for sunshine so that I can get outside again.