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Long Haul Trekkers - Jen and Sitka

About Us

Hi there. Nice to meet you!

I’m Jen, the owner, writer, photographer and dog mom behind this blog. You’ll see a variety of dogs referenced in my photos and posts. My current adventure buddy is Sitka, a rescued Red Heeler from Hood River, Oregon.

Long Haul Trekkers was born in 2015 at the start of a two-year bicycle tour across Europe and South America.

In 2011, I attended a sustainable business school program, where I met Dave. Both of us were desperate to find a new way of life beyond the standard nine to five.

One year after graduating, Dave found himself in the same job he’d held for the past seven years and I discovered that even my dream job proved not so dreamy.

After an unsuccessful attempt at a start up business and a two-week venture in Colombia, we began to question the lives we chose.

We had a cute yellow house in a desirable neighborhood in SE Portland, two dogs, two cats, and two chickens, a beautiful garden that provides us with food throughout the summer and fall, and plenty of money to travel and play outside.

Only we couldn’t travel and play outside as we wanted. Our jobs told us where to be and when.

Our Australian Shepherd, Sora saw how work controlled our lives. She wanted to spend more time with us and see the world, so she convinced us to take her on a world bike tour. We thought it sounded like a great idea.

We began our adventure in Oslo, Norway in May 2015 and slowly made our way to Athens in December, via the Balkans and Turkey. In  January 2016, we flew to Ushuaia, in Patagonia, slowly crawling over the Andes toward Colombia.

A few years after that adventure, Dave and I parted ways, but one thing remains the same: If we go, they go. We never leave our dogs behind.

We hope to inspire you to leave your job if you don’t like it, take your dog along on your adventures, and show you that there are different ways to live than the prescribed American Dream.


Meet the Team

Jen

Jen is is a trail runner, mountain explorer, damn good vegan cook, and a fan of craft beer and dessert. She’s also dog mom AF.

Having grown up with cats, she always wanted a dog. To get her fix, she became the neighborhood dog sitter and walker. When she finally had the chance to have a dog of her own, she took that dog with her just about everywhere she went, wondering why anyone would ever leave their dog behind. She is always planning her next dog-friendly adventure.

A native of the Pacific Northwest, she developed a love for the mountains, waterways, and beauty of the region, aiming to explore as much as she can.

Jen is also a freelance journalist and content marketing writer and content creator for brands. If you’d like to work with her, please check out her other site at jensotolongo.com


Sitka

Sitka is a Red Heeler adopted from Hood River Adopt a Dog. He is a sweet boy with plenty of energy and spunk. A fence jumper in his first life, these days, he is learning the ropes of what it takes to be an adventure dog.




Dave Hoch

Dave manages the blog behind the scenes, running the technology and website side of things. He also used to write for the blog on occasion. Dave currently lives in Granada, Spain with his dogs Laila and Riia. He is a web developer and technology consultant for small businesses at DaveHoch.com.


Sora

Sora was the dog who inspired this blog. She was an Australian Shepherd adopted from Family Dogs New Life in Portland, OR in 2008.

She joined Dave and Jen on their two-year bicycle trip across Europe and South America. After a recurring battle with cancer, she went to the Rainbow Bridge in 2018.

Sora traveled to nearly 30 countries on her adventures, graced the cover of a magazine and served as the face of adoption for an animal rights group in Medellin, Colombia.

Sora was the original adventure dog of the pack and inspired this blog. She was Jen’s heart dog and the love of her life.


Laila

Laila is a rescued street dog from Spain. We are pretty sure that she is part hyena, African Wild dog, and a little bit kangaroo. She loves to cuddle, chase lizards, and will eat just about any vegetable you put in front of her.


Riia

Riia is a Border Collie that we acquired from our veterinarian who had to rehome her. She is a funny gal who lives for fetch and loves to run.

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