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  • First Day Hike on the Walkway!

    Walkway over the Hudson State Historic Park - West Entrance

    We were invited back for the fifth year to participate in this event which is one of many being held across the state to support NY State's "First Day Hike" program. For our NYC members, this event is within walking distance of the Metro North Poughkeepsie station (however, to meet up with us, you'll need to first walk across the bridge to join us at the start (about 1 & 1/4 miles), or walk towards the middle and meet us mid-way). This event will be different than most of our hiking events in that I am not setting an attendee limit because I'd love to see as many members participate in this good program and to show the strength of our group. Our group typically represents the largest contingency attending and I'd love to continue that tradition. That can go a long way to leaving a positive impression in the public's mind on the value of sharing the walkway and trails with donkeys. Our members and donkeys have always conducted themselves so well that the Walkway administrators always make a point of conveying to us their appreciation and highlight how many positive comments they've received from others attending the event. Dress Warmly! I can not stress this enough. On the bridge, elevated, in the wind, and with no ground below to maintain heat, it can get much colder than you think. Heed my advice! Every year, several people turn back because they've underestimated the difference in temperature on the bridge vs off the bridge. After you've chosen the winter clothing you plan to wear, go back to your closet and add an extra sweater (or coat, etc) and gloves, scarves, and a hat if you are not already bringing one. And then repeat that process. :-) Unless it is unusually sunny and no wind, you will thank me. Presuming a lot of members show up, this is not an event I can guarantee any time leading a donkey and please plan on that. The actual event begins at 2:00pm. I will be there with the donkeys approximately 1:30pm for those who want to spend some time with them. We will be parking along the shoulder of the road and will be down there for about 15-20 minutes getting the donkeys dressed before we walk up to the west entrance.

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  • Happy Holi-Brays Get-Together

    Donkey Park

    Get into the holi-bray spirit with some donkey time! The herd is already making their Xmas wish lists and looking forward to gathering with their short-eared friends and going for a short neighborhood walk decked out in their holiday attire. For the short-ear members, we'll have hot beverages, egg nog, light holiday treats and a camp fire to hang out around. Although the donkeys will be present throughout for you to visit with, this is more of a social event for members and, aside from the walk, we won't have any donkey-specific activities planned. If you would like to contribute by bringing an hors d'oeuvres, dessert, or beverage, thank you(!) and please indicate in the comments so we can avoid too much duplication. Hope to see new and old faces!

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  • Santa on the Walkway

    Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park

    Note that this year the event is held on the East side of the Walkway (it alternates sides each year). This is not a meetup event per se, but I'm announcing it here in case some of the meetup members would like to attend. This is one that NYC members can get to directly from the Metro North Poughkeepsie train station. The Little Brays of Sunshine will be joining Santa and his sleigh on the Walkway Over the Hudson for pictures and to enjoy the view on what will most likely be a brisk Fall day. The donkeys will be decked out in their holiday blankets and hats. Hot chocolate and refreshments will be available for sale by Walkway vendors at the entrance to the Walkway. Note: We may end up walking across the bridge at the end if there are people and donkeys willing. However, most of the event will be gathering on the bridge for photos and visiting with the donkeys. Of course, you are welcome to break off and do whatever you wish. We use the rail trails frequently for this meetup, so this is our way of supporting their efforts to provide and maintain them. Photos from the 2016 Santa on the Walkway (https://www.meetup.com/Hudson-Valley-Donkey-Walkers/photos/27448212/)

  • Wednesday Short Walk from Donkey Park

    Donkey Park

    Please note that due to the time change this walk will start an hour earlier than recent mid-week walks. And we will need to get started on time to ensure that we finish before dark. This walk will be both for those regulars who need their donkey fix and for new members excited to get going. The distance is roughly one mile round-trip and will be on a quiet side-road. We won't have time to do a full orientation session, but there will be some experienced members present and we will be able to give on-the-walk training to the new members. NOTE: Even if there is not a waiting list, if you RSVP Yes and your plans change, please change your RSVP to No. We delay the start of our events to wait for everyone to arrive. For some previous events we have waited for someone who was a no-show and we would prefer not to do that.

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  • Meet the author of "Running with Sherman"

    Oblong Books & Music [Rhinebeck]

    We are not hosting this event, but we are participating in it and it may be of interest to many in our group, particularly if you have an interest in running or rehabilitating donkeys. NOTE: If you plan on attending, this event is likely to be well-attended, so we recommend you follow the link below to register (free). https://www.eventbrite.com/e/chris-mcdougall-running-with-sherman-registration-73834913213 You can also RSVP yes to our meetup event so that we know you are coming. This Saturday, Nov 2, Flint and Cocoa will be at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck at 3pm to welcome Chris McDougall, donkey owner and author of the just-released book "Running with Sherman" which tells the heartwarming story about training a rescue donkey to run one of the most challenging races in America. (See "Synopsis" below for more). Chris will be there at 4pm to talk about the story of Sherman, the book, and to answer your questions. See below for a synopsis of the book. Chris is also the author of the best-selling book "Born to Run" and a former AP foreign correspondent who covered wars in Rwanda and Angola. Hope to see you! Synopsis: When Chris McDougall agreed to take in a donkey from an animal hoarder, he thought it would be no harder than the rest of the adjustments he and his family had made after moving from Philadelphia to the heart of Pennsylvania Amish country. But when he arrived, Sherman was in such bad shape he could barely move, and his hair was coming out in clumps. Chris decided to undertake a radical rehabilitation program designed not only to heal Sherman’s body but to heal his mind as well. It turns out the best way to soothe a donkey is to give it a job, and so Chris decided to teach Sherman how to run. He’d heard about burro racing–a unique type of race where humans and donkeys run together in a call-back to mining days–and decided he and Sherman would enter the World Championship in Colorado. Easier said than done. In the course of Sherman’s training, Chris would have to recruit several other runners, both human and equine, and call upon the wisdom of burro racers, goat farmers, Amish running club members, and a group of irrepressible female long-haul truckers. Along the way, he shows us the life-changing power of animals, nature, and community.

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  • Tuesday Short Walk from Donkey Park

    Donkey Park

    This walk will be both for those regulars who need their donkey fix and for new members excited to get going. The distance is roughly one mile round-trip and will be on a quiet side-road. We won't have time to do a full orientation session, but there will be some experienced members present and we will be able to give on-the-walk training to the new members. NOTE: Even if there is not a waiting list, if you RSVP Yes and your plans change, please change your RSVP to No. We delay the start of our events to wait for everyone to arrive. For some previous events we have waited for someone who was a no-show and we would prefer not to do that.

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  • Wednesday Short Walk from Donkey Park

    Donkey Park

    This walk will be both for those regulars who need their donkey fix and for new members excited to get going. The distance is roughly one mile round-trip and will be on a quiet side-road. We won't have time to do a full orientation session, but there will be some experienced members present and we will be able to give on-the-walk training to the new members. NOTE: Even if there is not a waiting list, if you RSVP Yes and your plans change, please change your RSVP to No. We delay the start of our events to wait for everyone to arrive. For some previous events we have waited for someone who was a no-show and we would prefer not to do that.

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  • Thursday Short Walk from Donkey Park

    Donkey Park

    NOTE: We are starting a half hour earlier this week than we did over the summer, both due to the earlier darkness, and to give us an extra half hour to work with in case of intermittent showers. This walk will be both for those regulars who need their donkey fix and for new members excited to get going. The distance is roughly one mile round-trip and will be on a quiet side-road. We won't have time to do a full orientation session, but there will be some experienced members present and we will be able to give on-the-walk training to the new members. NOTE: Even if there is not a waiting list, if you RSVP Yes and your plans change, please change your RSVP to No. We delay the start of our events to wait for everyone to arrive. For some previous events we have waited for someone who was a no-show and we would prefer not to do that.

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  • Wednesday Short Walk from Donkey Park

    Donkey Park

    NOTE: We are starting a half hour earlier this week than in recent weeks, both due to the earlier darkness, and to give us an extra half hour to work with in case of intermittent showers. This walk will be both for those regulars who need their donkey fix and for new members excited to get going. The distance is roughly one mile round-trip and will be on a quiet side-road. We won't have time to do a full orientation session, but there will be some experienced members present and we will be able to give on-the-walk training to the new members. NOTE: Even if there is not a waiting list, if you RSVP Yes and your plans change, please change your RSVP to No. We delay the start of our events to wait for everyone to arrive. For some previous events we have waited for someone who was a no-show and we would prefer not to do that.

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