10 More Days

So the countdown begins! There have been changes to the original trip plan. First, we’ll be heading out west to see family and friends taking our time as we go, and then returning from somewhere out in the Heartland. Why? Only six weeks to work with, and we want to enjoy the trip. This doesn’t mean the ultimate road trip is not in our future. I foresee that it is. It means it’ll have to be on the back burner until we have the time to do it justice.

This shorter trip will shed some light on many uncertainties, too. I mean, Kenobi and I have not done any traveling. We’re coming up on our first anniversary, and the only riding in cars that we’ve done is a cab to the vet. He loved the car ride . . . But we’ll be in the car for up to nine-hour trips. We’re going to be able to figure out a lot of stuff about how long we can drive before we need to walk, do our “business,” and see if we can get that in sync. How much hiking will we be able to handle at once? Lately, Kenobi has been needing a cool-down rest fairly frequently. There are camping issues too, mostly mine. These are all unknowns, and this test run should help us iron things out before we can really take the ultimate road trip.

To start out, we’ll be heading to Niagra Falls. Never been there. It is dog friendly, and we’ll be able to hike trails. There are several dog-friendly hotels if your dog weighs 25 or fewer pounds. Why is that? I did call a B&B that is listed dog friendly, and the owner was very pleasant, and agreed to allow Kenobi to stay after a few questions: What kind of dog is he? Is he well behaved? Does he shed? We got the OK, but again there are some unknowns: How will Kenobi act in someone else’s house? Will he be on his best behavior? He’s trained and getting better every day, but there just no way to know about any one situation until we’re in it. Yikes! We may end-up staying in our car.

Then, we’ll be off to Allegheny National Forest for more hiking and a bit of camping. I’m not going to lie. I’m not a camper. But I did buy a tent yesterday at a very reasonable price. And therein lies my talent. So, we’re not going to be able to do any mountain-man type camping or hiking/climbing which would be cool. We’ll be at the campground next to our car. It’s a start.

Next, look out Windy City. We’re on our way to see family and friends, hang out, and get some swimming in at the beach. Kenobi’s first swim outing. Should be great! He’s such an athlete and muscular that I felt he needed a life jacket. Yes, they make those for dogs.

Not sure what our next move will be after Chicago, but we’re looking at including a stop at Des Moines, Kansas City, Manhattan, Omaha, the Badlands, Grand Canyon, and others. I want to mix it up–camping, motels, homes.

The entire car harness thing has my head spinning. Only one is effective in crashes: Cricket, and is sold out. It also works a lot like a child’s car seat and the dog cannot move around. The other harnesses or tethers did horrible in crash tests. What I’ve decided is a harness is going to help prevent accidents by keeping a dog in a certain area of the car. That is useful. And Kenobi sitting still in the back of the car for long drives, looking straight ahead? I don’t think so. I’d hear about if for the entire drive. And that’s the kind of thing that can lead to an accident.

We’re moving out of the apartment, and all of our stuff will be put into storage on the 29th. I sign a rental agreement for a car in place of the apartment on the 30th, and we’re off. There is still so much to do! We’re off to the vet today for a Lyme Disease vaccination and a discussion of flea control. We’re going to need more camping gear, I figure. Now, back to more packing and organizing.

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