Extreme Adventurer That Suffers Crushing Accident Learns There’s Only One Way He Can Truly Heal

Few things in life provide the same rush as gliding down a mountain slope with only a plastic board beneath your feet. Well, riding through the eerie silent tunnel of a wave and hanging off the side of a vast canyon can pump endorphins, too. But an extreme sports junkie needs a companion, and there’s no better sidekick than a dog.

One man in Park City, Utah, turned his favorite wild pastimes into a career, and his faithful pup shared every single one of his epic adventures. Then a disastrous night changed everything, and he didn’t know how to pick up the pieces and move forward…

Andrew Muse has always been an extreme sort of guy. Since he was a young buck, Andrew chased adrenaline-pumping activities and topped himself each time he picked up a new sport.

Andrew Muse / Instagram

 Snowboarding massive mountains, kiteboarding waves and snow, slack-lining between towering cliffs — Andrew mastered it all. In fact, he turned pro.

Andrew Muse / Instagram

In the summer months, when he wasn’t busy “working,” or speeding down the slopes, Andrew fired up his car and traveled the country to find his next adventure.

Living, at first, out of his Volkswagen Gulf, Andrew preferred spending his money gathering experiences and seeing more of the world. All he needed was a car to sleep in and his loyal companion, his 5-year-old Golden Retriever, Booter.

Andrew Muse / Instagram

Together, Booter and Andrew climbed canyons and dropped down waterfalls. Their wild adventures, along with the Andrew’s gnarly photography skills, garnered a lot of attention.

He purchased a truck and a $500 camper, spent a few weeks remodeling his new home, and set out with his dog friend to begin a new sort of project.

Andrew Muse / Instagram

 Andrew debuted a show on YouTube called Tiny Home Adventure. During the first season, Andrew and Booter captivated an online community with their insane travels.

For six months, fans online watched Andrew and his best friend pup cliff dove, swung on ropes, and hiked some of the most breathtaking views in the USA. For a while, Andrew was living the dream.

Tiny House Tiny Footprint

Tiny home life was tough, but the rush of his exhilarating adventures with Booter was more perfect than he could have imagined. Then, the same night they filming the final episode of season one, a catastrophic event burst Andrew’s reality in mere seconds.

Andrew Muse / Instagram

 Tired from a day of shooting, Andrew dozed off while driving back home. Lost deep in his dreams, he was unaware of the dangers ahead — like the back of an 18-wheeler semi-trailer truck.

Andrew awoke only after he rear-ended the truck. In a haze, he examined the damage. It was bad: his home was totaled, his belongings were demolished, and his most beloved lifeline, Booter, had died on impact.

Tormented by guilt, Andrew didn’t know how to move forward without Booter. He “was not just a pet; he was my soulmate,” Andrew said. “I lost him because I was too stubborn to pull over and go to sleep.” 

Tiny House Tiny Footprint

Grief consumed Andrew, but he still had to grapple with the fact that he was without a place to live. Luckily, the online community who followed Andrew and Booter’s Tiny Home Adventure leaped into action.

Andrew Muse / Instagram

 Hundreds of fans reached out to support Andrew when he needed it most. Touched by the obvious bond between man and pooch, his following sent so many messages of condolence. But it wasn’t just words that they offered.

Andrew Muse / Instagram

Together, they raised $25,000 to help Andrew reestablish his life. He didn’t know how to possibly thank the people that helped him crawl out if such a dark place. “When I thought my life was over, it gave me hope that I might be able to rebuild what I lost.”

Andrew Muse / Instagram

 So, with the generous donations from his fans, combined with funding from a sponsor, Andrew was able to purchase a new live-in vehicle — a 1996 Ford E-350 4×4 van. 

Andrew Muse / Instagram

This time around, he decked out his ride. Andrew had learned a lot from his previous tiny house experience and took that into consideration on his new build. He and his friends gutted the van and designed a brand-spankin’ new home!

Andrew Muse / Instagram

Andrew’s vehicle problem was solved, but he was still not mentally prepared to continue adventuring. Booter’s absence took its toll, and he needed time to grieve.

In the meanwhile, a firefighter that responded to the accident had been particularly moved by the bond between Andrew and Booter and felt compelled to help.

Joseph Harris / Flickr

 After the tragic event, Paul, the firefighter, contacted Andrew. He sympathized with his loss, and coincidentally, his family bred pooches! They ran Red Canyon Retrievers and Copper Canyon Doodles, so Paul, too, had an affinity for the gentle tempered breed.

Red Canyon Retrievers / Instagram

When Andrew felt he was ready, Paul and his family wanted to give him a Golden Retriever puppy — not to infringe on Booter’s memory, but to help guide and comfort him through the pain of his loss. Sure, the offer was tempting, but Andrew was hesitant.

Andrew Muse / Instagram

 All of it was too fresh, and he couldn’t see how the hole that Booter’s passing left inside him could be filled. Yet again, another curveball flew into his lap, which made Andrew revaluate his decision. GoPro reached out with a proposition he couldn’t pass up…

Maxence Brierre / Flickr

The success of season 1 of Tiny Home Adventure piqued prospective sponsors’ interests. GoPro approached Andrew with an offer to fund the second season of his YouTube show!

andrew_muse / Instagram

A few weeks before, he had been financially wiped clean, and now a chance to earn money living his dreams dangled before him. How could he say no?

Andrew Muse / Instagram

Andrew accepted. Then he made a phone call. It took a few weeks, but Peter’s breeding group gifted Andrew the best tonic for a broken heart: a fuzzy, innocent puppy dog.

Andrew Muse / Instagram

It took a few days of quality time with his happy confident doggy for Andrew to decide on the right name, but he chose the perfect one: Kicker. The curious pup loved the snow from the start, and so he was named after a ski and snowboard jump.

Andrew Muse / Instagram

Three years later, Kicker and Andrew were still traveling the globe chasing down their next adventures. The dog’s passport had more stamps than most people get in a lifetime. Andrew even created an Instagram account for his photogenic pooch.

Andrew Muse / Instagram

 The tragic story of losing his pal, and his home, captured the attention of many on social media. But mostly Andrew drew attention for his strength. By getting back out traveling, with Kicker by his side, he intended to honor Booter’s legacy with action.

Andrew Muse / Instagram
Whether it’s seeing a captivating photograph or hearing about our friends’ recent vacations, wanderlust is a bug that we all catch from time to time. But to actually make the move to drop our comfortable lives and chase those travel dreams, is a whole different story. 

Rich East is a twenty-something-year-old, adventurous Australian with a go-getter attitude. In 2013, the young man felt unsatisfied with his typical suburban life in Hobart, Tasmania, an island state off the continent’s south coast.

“I used to have a career,” Rich said, “a house with a garden, lots of stuff, but what I didn’t have was happiness. I had felt over-stressed for a while, kind of stuck in a way, so I decided to make some changes.”

In 2013, sick of being trapped in the city, he began going on small off-roading and hiking trips around Tasmania in the company of a small stuffed lion — and another interesting companion.

He was in the company of his best friend Willow! While most cats wouldn’t make for the easiest travel companions, Willow loved to explore Australia with her human and didn’t mind the long drives at all.

“Willow is very curious and loves to explore,” Rich said. “She spends most of her days snoozing on top of the roof rack, under the van, or sleeping in her cat carrier. On cold days you will find her snuggled up in my blankets.”

“Willow and I have an unspoken agreement,” Rich continued. “She will always come back to the van, and I will always wait for her. She rarely wanders more than 100 meters from the van, but when she does, I can find her with her tracking collar.”

With his company sorted out, he started traveling a bit more on his days off from work; on those trips, he found a new passion: photographing all that Tasmania’s natural beauty had to offer.

“For the first time I felt free,” he said. “Free to design a new life for myself,” (and Willow!) In 2014, Rich quit his job, sold his house, and bought a van. “I threw away everything that didn’t bring me joy. The premise was simple: build a new home in which I could travel.”

Camera the ready, Rich documented the renovation of the van installing a ready-to-go bed in the back, a small kitchen in the middle, and a front seat that could turn around to make the most of his living space. Oh, and of course, a surfboard on the roof. 

Once the van was completed a year later, Rich bought a map of Australia, on which he drew the route he planned to take. He would have to take a ferry from Tasmania to the mainland and follow the coast all around the country. With everything packed up and ready to go, it was time to hit the road.

“It was hard to think about all the things that I was leaving behind,” Rich said, “so instead I thought about all I was taking with me and all that I would gain. I left my town and everything I knew for a new life and the unknown.”

The first few weeks he saw as many places as he could, surfed at different beaches, explored a variety of landscapes, and of course, met a kangaroo or two. “People travel for lots of reasons,” he said. “For me it’s simple: go somewhere I’ve never been before.”

As the journey continued, Rich slowed things down, staying in places for longer periods to truly take the time to appreciate his surroundings. He and Willow bonded on the road — and this gave him an idea.

Rich invested in several cameras, tripods, and drones to film their adventures. He dabbled in photography and put together short videos. Perhaps it was his creative skills that earned the adventurers so much online attention.

On the journey, Rich grew as a photographer. Aside from filming everyday tasks like driving, cooking, and hanging out, he captured all the breathtaking scenes that he and Willow stumbled upon almost every single day.

And of course, Rich’s favorite subject to capture was Willow. Every once in a while, he could easily snap a photo of her lounging around, but other times it took a long and careful set-up — and a whole lot of patience.

Once Rich started to post these photos and videos on social media accounts under the name VanCatMeow, the two gained thousands of fans. The public loved the photos so much they wanted to buy prints. Thus VanCatMeow began sustaining itself financially.

Rich’s other hobbies include surfing, reading, and woodworking, the last of which was another way he made a little extra cash for gas and MeowMix. 

By 2018, VanCatMeow’s Youtube Channel gained over 2,000 subscribers. People were absolutely in love with Willow and Rich. With his photography skills ever improving, VanCatMeow will surely continue to grow as long as the duo is up for more adventures.

At the end of 2018, after touring the whole coast of Australia, Rich and Willow were driving inland, even going off the grid for a month in the Outback. What the future holds is unclear: will Rich settle down again or continue his travels in other countries?

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