Day one, captain’s log………..the journey to Washington……………..(time warp – to three weeks ago)
So, the number one thing I figured out about blogging is that it’s really hard to do while you’re doing all the stuff that you want to blog about. When you finish doing all that stuff, your too damn tired to write about it. So I will try to catch you up on some of the things that happened on the way to the west coast, then I flew home for two weeks, and then back to Portland to begin the journey home. I’m sure that I have forgotten some of the truly funny things, but I’m sure I can make up for it on the way home…. I promise to be more diligent.
To any of my friends that think the RV’ing across the country is easy – guess again. I know, you’re thinking…how hard could it be to sit in a comfy leather chair and watch the scenery go by? That’s not how it happens!
It seems that once you reach the cruising speed or the appropriate velocity for travel and the captain has turned off the seatbelt sign, its game on! And by the way, the dogs know this too! It went a little something like this…… The captain has now turned off the seatbelt sign and passengers are free to move about the cabin. No worries about the turbulence or cornering
Bad Dog – “Next time you’re up, can you get me a coffee? I’m getting a little tired.
Me – with a book in my hands reading “Did I look like I was about to get up? But since you’re getting tired, I guess I’m getting up”
The Crew – “mom’s up” time to play and bite her feet to see if she can walk with us hanging on her pant leg” and by the way, a bone or treat would be appreciated.”
Me – “who farted?” as all three dogs lay back down……
So, as we started our journey, we thought it would be cool it get pictures of the “Welcome to the state of….” as we crossed each border. We planned our route to be….Delaware, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and finally arriving in Washington. Well, honestly, we really didn’t think of this until we were coming up to the Ohio line and I had the camera in my hands….. As we came up to the sign, I took my first state sign shot and thought I was pretty damn cool and then it all went downhill from there.
1. It took me 119 miles to get a good shot of the W70 interstate sign.
2. I missed the Indiana sign because I was downloading a book on my iPad.
3. I missed the Illinois sign because I was in the bathroom
4. I missed the. Minnesota sign because I was getting my laptop
Come to think of it, I missed most of the signs until Bad Dog took over as the official road trip photographer. Good thing because I suck at picture taking.
Since Bad Dog posted pictures along the way, I figured I would just talk about some of the things that didn’t make the pictures……
Day 1 – (Saturday) Driving…………We slept at the The Flying J in Columbus Ohio. Not a lot to say about a truck stop or day 1…..
Day 2 (Sunday) – Driving……We pulled in to Camp Clear Lake in Iowa because I was tired and I wanted to sleep in someplace other than a truck stop. I asked Bad Dog to find a place to pull over so we could get some rest. Obviously at 11:30 at night, we had few options. As we pulled into Clear Lake we could see the water (hence the name) but couldn’t find an RV park. Finally we found this little place tucked into the woods, but it looked closed. As I jumped out of the RV in complete darkness in the woods, it felt a little like Camp Crystal Lake. I was waiting for Jason Voorhees to come out of the woods. As I was reading the instructions for after hours check in (something I never knew existed until that moment) this little old lady came speeding up to me on a golf cart kicking up dust. As I choked my way out of the cloud, I paid our money and she escorted us to our spot. Golf Cart Lady kinda took a liking to Bag Dog because she was very pleasant to him. On the other hand, she wouldn’t give me the time of day and proceeded to cover me with dust as she took off into the night on her golf cart. The next morning when we woke up, we noticed that there was a very large church in the RV Park. Bad Dog swears that it was a meth lab and that we interrupted their cooking the night before. He said it smelled like cookies!
Day 3 – (Monday) Driving……We left Iowa and headed towards South Dakota. We knew it would be a long driving day, but we wanted to try and make it to Rapid City SD so that we could spend some time at Mt Rushmore and Crazy horse on Tuesday. After driving way to many miles in one day I was becoming rather antsy – or should I just say bitchy? At 10:00 pm I announced that I was going to sleep on the couch if we were not stopping right now! Bad Dog said he just wanted to make it to Rapid City and we would stop. FINE….to the couch I went. When I woke up we were pulling into a Travelodge. It was pouring rain. I mean torrential rain. Since I was still in my “I want to stop right now” funk, I told Bad Dog that he could do the hook up outside himself and he would walk the dogs too. He did……. I felt really bad because when he came back in he was totally soaked. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it rain that hard. As fate would have it, the minute Bad Dog walked back into the RV with the soaking wet dogs, it stopped raining. The next morning I walked up to the only breakfast spot in this Podunk town to get a bagel and it was closed. WHAT? Really? I then walked over to the Travelodge to see if I could get a bagel. The woman looked at me like I was crazy. Apparently they don’t know what a bagel is in South Dakota. Note to self – pick up bagels at the next Walmart stop. Still in my funk I walked back to the RV and Bad Dog was standing outside the RV. He asked if I had walked up to the lodge yet. I told him not to bother since they didn’t serve normal breakfast….. He told me to turn around and look up. As I did, I realized that we were parked right underneath Mount Rushmore. My funk left right about that time…….. I doubt that there are words that could describe the awe of the moment. Bad Dog planned this the whole time…… What a great surprise!
We spent the day at Rushmore and Crazy Horse and then we were heading to Hill City SD to roam around the town where Bad Dog grew up with his grandfather, the town Sheriff, Frenchy Tyler.
Day 4 – (Tuesday) We played in Hill City all day and visited all the places Bad Dog played when he was little. Things had changed a lot. We had breakfast at the Hill City Café. The owner, Mike, who was 83 years old, actually knew the Grand Dog Sheriff, as did all the friends he was sitting with in the diner. He sat down with us and told stories that Bad Dog had heard when he was a little pup. He told us about the Lion that Grand Dog Sheriff shot to save a man in town. He told us so many great stories that I could just see Bad Dog swell with pride and great memories. When he went back to his table after sitting with us, Mike and his friends continued to tell stories about Grand Dog Sheriff. I would like to think that the best part of the visit to Hill City was the next morning when everyone at the diner was told that Grand Dog Sheriff’s grandson ate breakfast there the previous morning
We walked around town most of the day and had a great time. We had dinner at the Chute Rooster. The restaurant is named for all the cowboys that are getting ready to ride the bull and think that they know everything. I’m pretty sure it’s a derogatory term to describe them…… Anyway, since it was late, the waitress was nice enough to ask the owner if we could overnight in the parking lot. The owner was nice enough to say yes and the provided us with electric for the night as well.
Day 5 – (Wednesday) We spent most of the day driving through Montana. Bad Dog came up a little lame since we walked around so much the day before. Along this part of the drive, I wish I would have seen a park ranger along the way because we would have had a nice chat….
Me: Excuse me Park Ranger I need to report a theft.
Mr Ranger: A theft – well Bad Pup, what was stolen?
Me: Your buffalo……………… we only saw two in the whole state.
What’s up with that? We saw lots of deer. In fact, we saw more deer than people, but damn buffalo!
We made it to Devil’s tower at sunset and it was amazing! We have some great pictures. We stopped at the little convenience store by the tower and Bad Dog had to purchase a six pack of Devil’s Tower beer. He said it was pretty darn good.
I was getting a little bitchy again and asked that we find the next place on the planet to pull off for the night. Bad Dog obliged and we pulled off into this DARK place in the middle of Montana. We took the dogs out to take care of business and I remember thinking, this is a nice little place and that it must be a post office because there was NOTHING else around and it had a little picket fence and flowers….. The Crew, Bad and I crashed for the night…..
Early the next morning Bad Dog came back in the RV after taking out the crew. He woke me up slightly and told me that we were leaving NOW. We had parked at Custer’s national monument! The nice little yard where the crew left their business the night before was a historical marker! Awesome, The Crew had defiled a national monument! The Crew – (3) / National Monument (0). Signs that we did not see the night before stated that there would be a $1,000 fine for overnight parking and $1,000 for animals on the premises. I wonder if they have parking lot video and if we are going to get a picture in the mail asking that we pay the fine?
Day 6 – (Thursday) Driving……….. We spent most of the day driving through Montana. Stopped at Thunderbolt Harley Davidson to pick up a shirt or two and then back on the road. Since I did most of the driving today, I decided that it was time to pull off at a reasonable hour and wind down with a few beers and a nice home cooked meal. We stopped at Jellystone RV Park in Montana – complete with a big Yogi Bear at the entrance. We cooked steaks, booted the crew outside in the play yard and relaxed for the evening. I’m looking forward to more days like this, rather than hauling ass all day and crashing at midnight. In the morning we headed out to have lunch with Kent’s Aunt Penny in Idaho.
Day 7 – (Friday) Driving…….. We stopped in Coeur d’ Alene Idaho to have lunch with Aunt Penny and George. Damn, that woman can cook. We also met her HUGE bulldog, Gus. He was like a freaking fire plug. He was the biggest bulldog I have ever seen. The Crew played in the yard while we had lunch and then it was off to Vancouver.
We pulled into Vancouver around 10:30 pm on Friday night. We were exhausted. We spent a little time with Mama Wanna and then decided to spend the night at a RV park nearby in Orchards, WA.
Day 8 (Saturday) – We went to see the Honeybees play soccer and had dinner with Daphne and Glenn.
Day 9 (Sunday) – We went to Xander’s football game and froze our butts off in the stands. Kane made a new friend at the game. A friend of Kent’s played dog whisperer and tamed the beast. I was AMAZED!!!!! It’s never happened before. Usually when someone wants to make friends with The Beast, it’s an epic failure. Steve walked up, took The Beast’s leash and walked him around the field. When Steve stopped walking, The Beast lay down at his feet. Dog whisperer Steve scored many points that day. Sunday evening, Bad Dog took me around Vancouver and through Portland to show me the sights before driving me to the airport for my flight back to Philly……
I spent two weeks back in Delaware before flying back to Portland on the 29th. I missed The Crew and was happy to be back in the Northwest!
Over and out!