Ode to Rocket

November 6, 2013

Today was a great day! The team continued to work on Jetpack projects, but we only scheduled projects for half the day. The second half was devoted to fun. The projects are going well and most people are just about wrapped up. I have a short amount to complete tomorrow and then my portion will be finished.

Our hike was on the opposite side of the island. We drove down the highway for a bit, then turned off onto a road that stretched and wound its way over a high hill. At one point we were over 2,600 feet in elevation. The scenery and flora of Puerto Rico can be stunning in their beauty. I tried to capture some photos from the car as we went but none turned out properly.

The ultimate destination of our hike was to a lake filled by a neat waterfall. To get there we had to cross two streams by low planks, and ford two others. Luckily the water is pretty warm in Puerto Rico. On the way back we got caught in a rain storm, however the rain here is also warm so it turned out to be almost pleasant to be in. Much better than the torrential downpour at our last meetup in Mexico City where it felt like each drop was like being stabbed with an icicle.


As we arrived at the park and opened the car doors we were greeted by a small friend ( If any of you know what type of dog this is *please* let me know in a comment ). A little dog that we lovingly dubbed Rocket ( Name trademark Richard Archambault ). Rocket was a sweet little dog that was starved for attention and starved for food. You could see most of her bones through her skin :(.  When we started on our hike little Rocket followed us. She followed us until the first stream we had to ford that is. There she sat at the waters edge and watched all of us cross. I was the last to cross. I enjoyed having a dog on our hike so I tried calling her across. She clearly wanted to come and ran back and forth trying to find a way. I had one shoe back on when I decided to cross once again and carry her over. I carried her over two streams. When we arrived at the lake several Jetpackers jumped in the water for a swim, but I did not. I watched Rocket and she sniffed at the ladies purses for food, but when someone told her not to she backed off and did not return again. She then roamed around the clearing to see what she could find to eat. She was a very well mannered dog. I asked our guide, Lucas, about the seemingly stray dogs we had seen near and in the park. He said that quite often people who do not want their dog any longer will drive up the road and drop the dog off somewhere. This was heart breaking as Rocket was such a cute and seemingly nice dog. I really wanted to bring her back home, however getting the proper vet papers and all the other requirements to fly with a dog was just not possible. After we got back to the van I pulled out some of the snacks that were in the back and walking a little distance away I unpackaged them and put them in a dry area for Rocket before we left. I hated leaving her like that knowing that I could provide a great home for her. Ryan dubbed the new Jetpack motto: Do it for Rocket. I like it.

When we arrived back at the house several of us decided to make a quick trip to play in the waves at the beach before dinner. Boy werewe surprised when we arrived! The waves were giagantic! Most of them were at least twice my height ( 6 foot ), with many being three times my height. And they were strong too! Getting out past the breakers to bob in the swells took many attempts and by the time I made it my lungs were so starved for air that I floated on the surface gasping like a fish rather than enjoying being in an ocean warm enough to swim in. When I returned past the breakers we all decided to see how much we could withstand of the waves crashing over us. It was pretty intense. Those waves were powerful. I wish someone had had a camera. They would have captured an amazing sight. We went back to the house when it became to dark to safely keep track of everyone in the huge waves.

And then dinner.

One thought on “Ode to Rocket

  1. Richard A. (November 7, 2013)

    This morning, the waves are equally strong and high. I got knocked over by one so hard that I hit my head on the sand underwater. So far, I don’t think I have a concussion 🙂 but yeah, that hurt!