DENVER — A road trip is exactly as enjoyable as the company you keep on it, which is why it was very important to Stuart and Janell Clark to find some amazing companions for their decade-long journey around the world.
“I just, I couldn’t imagine doing it without our dogs,” Janell Clarke said, looking at the three rescue dogs resting around her.
“It’s like having home with you when they’re there,” husband Stuart Clarke added.
By their account, their former lives in Australia were comfortable — “really good,” in fact, according to Janell — but the two began to feel a gnawing desire for adventure. In 2013, the Clarkes gave in to the urge and hit the road, along with their dog, Skyla. Their goal was simple but daunting: to “see the world” on the backs of their BMW motorcycles.
Skyla’s adventure was impressive — traversing 14 countries — but sadly short. Six months into the journey, she died from cancer.
The loss of Skyla was hard on the Clarkes, but it didn’t deter their travels. And it didn’t take long for them to pick up new co-captains. Within the first year, they had adopted two stray dogs, and the four of them kept moving, seeing more and more of the world.
“Weeti was from Venezuela. Shadow was from Columbia,” Stuart explained of their two older rescue dogs. “They were injured, and they needed someone to look after them and give them one-on-one attention. So, we couldn’t really say no to them. So we adopted them, and took them with.”
Their crew of four gained a name, and an Instagram handle: the “Pack Track.” They also gained a mission, showing people that they could adopt new family members and bring them along wherever they went.
Eight years into their travels, their family grew again at the start of their stint in Asia after they saw a small brown puppy dart across the road in Turkey. They named her Azra.
“She was just this tiny little thing,” Stuart said. “We went looking for the parents and owners, but couldn’t find anyone. So we took her to a vet. We just expected to rehome her. But, they said, ‘The shelters are full and unless you take her, she’s got very little chance.’ So, we ended up with a third dog.”
The Clarkes have now been on six continents with their dogs, and met plenty of wonderful people along the way. Their hope is to repay their hosts’ hospitality with inspiration.
“We’ve taken [our dogs] on motorbikes to 108 countries around the world. And if we can do that, then people can take their dogs on holidays. They can take them when they move, and they don’t have to just abandon their dogs,” Stuart said. “We are very much about ‘adopt don’t shop.’ All of our dogs are rescue dogs, and there are so many dogs in need of rescue.”
Now that their adventure has spanned a decade and more than 100 countries, the Clarkes finally feel ready to return home. Denver was one of their last stops planned on their motorcycle adventure.
“We’re looking to go home and go to the next stage of our life, which we’re still not entirely sure what that’s going to be,” Stuart laughed. “But, we’re ready for whatever it is.”
“We’ve achieved what we set out to achieve,” Janell added.