Ollie's 2023 Itinerary: He Made it!!!
Ollie Update: Friday 2pm 8/18. Ollie made it!! He did GREAT!!! Thanks! More updates as we have them on his FB and IG. (Also we'll catch up on social posts ASAP. Thanks!)
Ollie's 2024 Itinerary is be finalized and posted here soon!
Ollie will pass through 12 dams on his trip. It’s actually called “locking” through because barges, boats and Ollie’s Jet Ski enter a “lock” (a large chamber in the dam that "locks" on both ends) where they lower the water to match the level on the other side of the dam then open the doors for Ollie to pass through. The Army Corps of Engineers runs the dams and they're great people. We've met a lot of them. They have strict safety rules to ensure safe passage: (Barges First, Boaters Wait, which can mean delays.) Safety First. Always.
Speaking of Barges
Barges stay in the Barge Channel, in the middle of the river, clearly marked with red and green buoys. Ollie rides close to shore, far from the channel. We’ll use phones and GPS to track Ollie’s location, also the dams and barges. There are mile markers, just like on the freeway shown on the map below. Mile markers indicate how far West you are of where the Ohio river starts in Pittsburgh, at Mile Marker 1.
Safety First. Always
On the Jet Ski, we have all the latest safety gear including life vests with extra floatation, Paddles, an anchor, 2 cell phones and a GPS locator so the chase vehicle is always just a few minutes away. Chase boats and Jet Ski’s will follow us. All boat ramps are mapped just in case Ollie needs to get off the river due to weather. Also Ollie is connected to Michael and Michael is connected to the Jet Ski with a safety strap on his wrist. Michael hasn’t fallen off the Jet Ski in 10 years, but if he did, Ollie will fall off with him, the Jet Ski will stop and they'll climb back on. No problem. Safety First. Always.
Day 1 Sunday August 13th
On Sunday, as shown on the map below, Ollie will focus on dams that are close together near Pittsburgh. Sunday will be the waviest day with lots of boats making waves, but nothing Ollie can’t handle! 😊 He'll cover as many miles as possible with stops at local marinas, etc to meet people, sign “pawtagraphs” and pose for pictures and lock through a few dams. All weather permitting of course.
Day 2 Monday August 14th
On Monday the water will be smoother. It’s a weekday and far from Pittsburgh. He’ll Jet Ski 20 to 40 miles between dams, stop to meet people, sign “pawtagraphs” and do pictures. He’ll be doing media interviews and “Meat and Greets” where everyone can feed Ollie a little bit of his regular food to feel like a part of his trip and set a world record for most people to feed a dog in one day! He’ll have a shady spot to sleep on the Jet Ski. He'll also spend time with his mommy when he's on shore.
Day 3 Tuesday August 15th
Weather permitting, he'll cover 100-125 miles or more in pretty smooth waters, at an average speed of about 15-20 miles an hour. He’ll stop for interviews, pawtagraghs, pictures, “Meat and Greets”, Naps and time with mom!
Day 4 Wednesday August 16th
It’s possible that Ollie may be nearing Cincinnati on Day 4. He’ll be “Keeping it green on the bottom and blue on top.” This should be the best day to cover a lot of miles and stop at various river towns because the dams are much farther apart. After his last dam, Meldahl Dam, he will have locked through 12 dams with a total drop in water level of over 250 feet since Pittsburgh. That's how much water the dams hold back. The river averages 25 feet deep. Without dams, we'd call it the Ohio Creek! Barge travel would be impossible. As usual, he’ll make stops for “Meat and Greets”, pictures, interviews, and Naps!
Day 5 Thursday August 17th
This is the day Ollie should arrive in Cincinnati. He'll be nervous because he'll have the ring ready to surprise his girlfriend and propose to her. As we say, Ollie can’t control his licker. It’s a dog thing 😊) and he loves licking her mouth and snoot. It’s a Dog Thing. He’ll arrive at the Public Landing in downtown Cincinnati which coincidently is right across from, you guessed it, the mouth of the Licking River. He thinks it’s fate! Or maybe it’s just a Dog Thing. 😊
Day 6 & 7 Friday August 18th and Saturday August 19th
Very unlikely, 2 extra travel days, only needed if we have really bad weather. Safety First. Always. Michael gets safely off the river before any storm can come close. We travel with the latest weather radar at our fingertips.
At the end of Ollie’s trip, we'll thank everyone, humbly expressing our gratitude for the help and all the good this trip will do. All those whose lives will be made better in so many ways.
Ollie's mom and dad are excited! More importantly, he’s excited to do good. After all, he’s Ollie The Do Good Dog.
Thank you so much to ALL those who donate, volunteer, sponsor and participate. Many lives will be changed. Thanks to you.
Ollie, Cammy and Michael
And we'll back with a new project next year!