Athena (now nearly 11 months old) has finally gotten over her car sickness. We had postponed our big road trip from May until mid-August hoping that she would be ready for it – and she was!
Because our plans were VERY tentative (pending no drooling in the backseat) we weren’t able to reserve anything in advance for our trip. We winged it all but had a BLAST and are happy to share some fun pictures with you.
For our trip we did spend most of the nights camping, and yes, the dogs were in the tent with us. For the few nights we did get a hotel, we had zero issues finding hotels that were pet friendly. Some hotels charged an extra $10 per dog, which I think is fairly standard. It also seemed that most hotels only allowed up to two dogs. Our Tamaskans aren’t barkers and stayed very well behaved in the hotel.
While we were on the road we made sure to let the dogs out of the car at every rest stop we made for ourselves (about every two hours with my tiny bladder) and made sure to get some walks in as well. The dogs got very used to the routine of traveling in the car 6-9 hours each day and seemed to even enjoy it. We never ran into any trouble, but we did make sure to have both dogs’ TDR paperwork, proof of rabies vaccine, and UC Davis Hybridization test results. This was just as a precaution to anyone crying “wolf”.
The packing list for the dogs included some extra 20 foot leads (great for giving them extra room at campgrounds), extra food/water bowls, their pup backpacks for longer hikes (to carry food/water/waste), and for sure a set of tick twisters! Fortunately neither of the dogs picked up any ticks along the way, but we made sure to check them after every hike. We did pack kibble for the dogs, but they are used to eating meat daily so we also made sure to stop at grocery stores each day to get them some chicken.
The last tidbit I’d like to share with you is regarding National Parks. We visited four along our trip and all four had the same pet policy. Dogs were allowed in the park, and they were allowed in campgrounds and to be walked along the main roads. Dogs were NOT allowed to hike the trails in the National Parks we visited (there are some parks that DO allow it, Acadia National Park for instance). This did add a slight downer to the trip, but we enjoyed the parks from the scenic loop roads and instead chose to hike with the dogs in many of the National Forests along the way. Dogs ARE allowed to walk the trails in National Forests and in some cases can even be let off lead if that is something you enjoy. Similarly dogs are generally permitted in state/county/local park trails.
Now we’ll share some of our stops along our trip!
Our first big pit-stop was on the west coast of Michigan at Grand Mere State Park and the dogs had their first dune hike!
Next we visited a Minnesota park to get a trail view of the Mississippi River.