Tag Archives: Camping

And So It Begins

This is basically where I spent the first week of my Big Adventure. Thankfully, My Family didn't get rid of MY bed.

This is basically where I spent the first week of my Big Adventure. Thankfully, My Family didn’t get rid of MY bed.

So this is the ‘Big Adventure’ Victoria and Jason have been talking about for so long? Well, I didn’t especially love how it began. They woke me up at 5AM to pull the last comfy thing out of our home, the mattress. Victoria and Jason were laughing the whole time, but I’m not really sure what was so funny. They emptied the rest of the house, which made me pretty anxious, scrubbed the house clean (Victoria kept saying it was “probably for no reason”) and put all of our stuff in the big truck and the comfy box.  I didn’t really get to say goodbye to my friends Beverly and Wickets, but their family came over to say goodbye, which made Victoria cry. Finally, Jason grabbed me up and we were off.

We spent the next three hours driving around while they ran errands and I waited in the car. This seems to be a common theme for this ‘Big Adventure’, and I DO NOT approve. After a few more stops we drove on, and suddenly our little blue home was far behind us. We drove a long time, and didn’t stop until it was almost dark. This was another one of those “campsites”, so I knew we weren’t going to stay long. We set up right by a big river that sounded more like the ocean. Apparently, this is the town of Sequoia National Forest, and My Family was all in a fuss. It seems there’s this thing called “the government”, which decided they didn’t want the forest to be open anymore. I don’t know how you can close a forest, but apparently it’s closed. Still, we got to go on a long hike up a mountain and sniff around our neighbors’ campsites. But when Victoria and Jason took me for a walk to the general store, the people there told us we were lucky they were still open. The National Forests are going to be shut down. That’s going to take an enormous gate.

Crossing the river to go on a hike

Crossing the river to go on a hike

We still had a lot of fun before we had to leave. Jason was worried about the fire ants, and Victoria liked watching him put the fire out with sand. Sand is one of my favorite things, so I definitely knew how she felt. We stayed in this place for two nights, before an old lady ranger with a nose ring told us we had to leave. Time to pack up and get back on the road.

Victoria was really worried we wouldn’t find a comfy home for the night, with this “government shutdown” going on. We didn’t get to see the sequoias, which Jason said would be the biggest trees I’ve ever seen. In fact, there’s a tree called General Sherman, which is one of the largest living things on the planet. That would have been cool. Instead, we left for the town of June Lake, in the Inyo National Forest. Victoria and Jason were both pretty relieved that the campground was still open.

I've basically spent the last week inside the camper because it's so cold outside of Venice.  This is my view.

I’ve basically spent the last week inside the camper because it’s so cold outside of Venice. This is my view.

It was beautiful, and really quiet. But I’m not sure why they wanted to come here. It was really REALLY cold. I took one step out of the camper and couldn’t stop shivering. I spent the whole time layered up in both my pink hoodie and my puffer jacket. When I did go outside I saw deer, which are pretty but don’t want to play. Victoria was pretty worried about bears, and kept shining the huge flashlight into the bushes and asking where the bear spray was.  She didn’t need to worry, I could smell that no bears were around, and we were totally safe.

So this is interesting… Did you know that when it gets extra cold water turns solid? It’s called ice. I didn’t know that, and apparently neither did My Family, because that night when they tried to wash dishes the water in the hose turned into ice, and the whole sink and stove in the camper flooded. It was a mess to clean up, and Jason was panicked that they had already broken our new home. The stove didn’t work after that, and the next day Jason called the people who made the camper to tell them what happened. They laughed at us for being from Southern California, but told Jason that everything would be okay in a few days. Right after that a different ranger came over and told us we would have to leave the forest. It was closed…

I'm pretty sure we've spent most of the last week driving.  It's not so bad because I get to sit on Vic's lap and look out the window.

I’m pretty sure we’ve spent most of the last week driving. It’s not so bad because I get to sit on Vic’s lap and look out the window.

We hopped back into the big truck and stopped by a “RV Resort” nearby. They had showers there, so Victoria and Jason finally got clean. I know I only have a bath now and then, but they were starting to smell. From there we drove around what Victoria called “the June Lake Loop”, which just seemed like more boring driving to me. An hour or so later we stopped in a town called Kernville, so they could get coffee and I could run around the big lawn for a while. I wanted to put up a blog post there, but Jason and Victoria were busy eating, drinking and hogging the computers.

After they ate breakfast (and didn’t share any of it), we kept driving, eventually ending up near a town called Lake Tahoe. Jason didn’t know where we were going to spend the night, until Victoria saw a sign pointing towards a hot springs and campground. They thought that sounded good, so off we went. I never got to see the hot springs, as they left me in the car (again), but Victoria and Jason came back smiling and relaxed. I’m glad they had a nice time, but maybe next time they will take me with them?

Jason looking at the big trees.

Jason looking at the big trees.

We stayed in a really cool campground, with plenty of people to meet, huge pinecones to play with and lots of trees to sniff. But we were absolutely freezing. Look, I am not made for cold weather. My tummy is hairless! After that night, Victoria and Jason decided a change of plans was necessary. They didn’t want to keep going north, as they thought it would only get colder. It could get colder?! So instead, we drove for hours and hours and hours, until the sun had set.

That was the craziest part of the whole week for me. The road was all twists and turns, and we had to drive really really slow. The trees were HUGE. Apparently, these were Redwoods, and it seemed like they were leaning over us, wondering why we were there. Everyone was getting tired and grumpy after such a long day in the car. And where were my treats? We finally found a market, where I was left in the car (note the pattern) while Jason and Victoria went for food. At least I knew I’d get some treats after that stop. Back on the road, we looked for a beach campsite, but those were way too cold. Victoria saw a small sign in the town of Mendocino for a campground, and we finally pulled in for the night. We’ve been here for four nights now, which is pretty cool. It feels like home, except still way too chilly for me. Tomorrow we’re going to start heading south again, towards something called “the border”. I hope it’s warm there.

More big trees, Mendocino-style.

More big trees, Mendocino-style.

Some numbers from my first week on the Big Adventure:
Pieces of sausage eaten: 2
Pieces of bacon eaten: 2
Pieces of bacon eaten that Victoria and Jason didn’t know about: 1
Pieces of pate, brie, grilled cheese, and breakfast sandwich eaten: 0 (my family needs to learn how to share)
Dog fights: 1 (dogs on the road apparently don’t know what “get off my lawn!” means)
Hours spent waiting all alone in the big truck: 5

P.S. If you want to see some of the pictures my family took during the first week of the Big Adventure, you can check them out here!


08
Oct 2013
POSTED BY Neli
POSTED IN

USA

DISCUSSION No Comments

Home is where the couch is

Camp Dog5AM. My Family leaps out of bed. You have to understand, this is not at all normal. The alarm blared, and instead of Jason hitting snooze and Victoria tucking me back in I was forced to get up. A quick walk on freshly watered grass, and suddenly we were getting into that big white truck again. The mountain of boxes and bags that were taking up all of my carpet space in the living room were packed with us, and off we went.

1PM. Finally, a pee break! This place smelled way different.

12:32AM. (The NEXT day!) Apparently we were in a town called Colorado. I’ve never been in a car for that long in my entire life. The pressure in my ears told me that home, with the sunny spots, the sand to run in, my two beds and all of my toys was really far away. And my ears kinda hurt. I got to ride on this wheelie thing that My Family carried all our stuff on. They thought it was pretty funny, but I liked being rolled around, even though I fell off once. We stayed in a hotel called Comfort Inn. Victoria said it was “just okay” but I loved it. Our room had two giant beds to jump on, the whole room was carpeted and there was a special area in the backyard for dogs to run around in.

The next morning, at a place called Phoenix Pop-Up, I found out where all our things (and us, apparently) were going to live. This place was really hot, and me and my new friend Shadow could only really lay on the driveway, making our best sad eyes. Then My Family got really excited when a huge box with windows was put on the back of the big white truck. So get this, the box has a couch and even a place for my bowls. It’s going to be our home soon.

The comfy box, popped up.

The comfy box, popped up.

Victoria and Jason were pretty excited to spend the night in this comfy box. They drove us to a campsite, which was something like what we did at Expo. But this was way cooler. We were in a forest by a lake, with all sorts of bugs to hunt and other dogs to check out. The air felt different here, cleaner maybe. It was pretty hot during the day, and I smelled so many new things. When the sun went away I started shivering, so Victoria made me put on my pink hoodie (which I secretly love, but don’t tell anyone!). That night I discovered there’s also a bed in the comfy box. I had to be lifted into it, but it’s even better than our bed in the blue house. I think I like this so far.

Me, at our first campsite, Lowry Campground

Me, at our first campsite, Lowry Campground

We got up pretty early the next morning and packed up. The big box is staying with us. It’s called a “pop-up camper,” and it carries all of our stuff. My Family says this means we can go anywhere we want to now, but we just got back into the big white truck and drove for hours and hours. When we stopped to go for a walk, I heard Victoria say this place was called Utah. It was dry, red and dusty, but really beautiful. We didn’t stay long, and I ended up back in the big white truck for a few more hours. I realized I could drink water out of my bowl and bury my food in my blanket if I got Victoria to let me sit under her legs. After that I never saw my travel bed in the back seat again.

Best Pee Spot ever

Best Pee Spot ever

When we finally stopped, it was like a whole other world! Nothing but big, red, smooth rocks everywhere. It was so dry but the ground was lovely and warm under my paws. My Family called it Arches, in the town of Moab Utah. I didn’t get to see any arches up close, because all the signs said that dogs were not allowed on the trails.

Lots of red rock in Arches

Lots of red rock in Arches

Look, an Arch!

Look, an Arch!

Our campsite was maybe the coolest place ever. Giant red rocks everywhere, and a field of bushes surrounded in red dust. This wasn’t sand; it didn’t squish through my paws, so it wasn’t great to run through. It was still pretty fun to lay on… until I realized that I could jump into the mushy chairs that fold up or, if My Family helped me, I could even lay on the super comfy couch inside the camper. That was definitely the place to be once Jason started cooking up sausages. They smelled so good that I didn’t even mind when that thing on the wall with the red blinking light started beeping over and over again. Victoria waved a towel at it, but Jason decided that it was bad, and it had to sit on the table without a battery until after dinner. It didn’t beep again, and I got to have some sausage. Whatever Arches is, it’s awesome.

Jason liked our campsite too... especially the cold beer.

Jason liked our campsite too… especially the cold beer.

The sky was big in Arches.

The sky was big in Arches.

The next day we got back into the big white truck and kept driving. They kept talking about The Grand Canyon. We stayed the night in Jacob Lake, but I didn’t see any lakes. I did see plenty of water because it was pouring with rain almost the whole time. I don’t like when it rains because my feet get wet but Victoria made me put on my raincoat and go for walks; she even made me stand outside in the rain while they got burgers from a restaurant for dinner. I didn’t like this town so much, but the next morning the rain had stopped and before we got back in the big white truck I got to run around in the forest. It wasn’t that bad after all.

I didn’t know what The Grand Canyon, or even what a Not-Grand Canyon was until I saw it, and when I did finally see it I almost ran the other way. I don’t know if you’ve heard about this place, but The Grand Canyon is the biggest hole I’ve ever seen. Giant. Huge. I can’t even imagine how many dogs it would take to dig a hole that deep. Jason was reading a sign and going on and on about ecology and erosion, but there was a nice Lady sitting near us who really liked me so I basically tuned it all out.

Seriously. Big. Hole.

Seriously. Big. Hole.

We got to a new campsite, which was right near the edge of The Grand Canyon. Don’t worry, we were totally safe. The big white truck was parked on a driveway, and our whole setup was pretty cool. I got to hang out with My Family the whole time, sitting in the mushy chairs, laying on blankets, going for walks and making new friends. The trees were so big that I couldn’t even see the tops, no matter how hard I squinted. There were plenty of new smells and strange noises, and I got to lie in the dirt for as long as I wanted to. Lots of people we didn’t know kept stopping by to talk to Jason about our new home, which was fun because I like making new friends.

Just like a living room, but outside.

Just like a living room, but outside.

Later Jason and Victoria hung big fabric-y ropey things between some of the trees, and before I knew it we were laying in them. They’re called “hammocks” and if you don’t have one you should get one. It was like being on a lap and tucked under the covers all at the same time. I think I’m starting to understand why My Family jumped out of bed so early the other day.

Seriously. Tall. Trees.

Seriously. Tall. Trees.

After a yummy dinner and a campfire we got back in the camper, and when the sun came up again we packed up and hit the road. Before we had driven very far, Victoria asked Jason to pull the truck over to look at some animals. I actually smelled them way before My Family even noticed them, but I wasn’t too bothered. They’re called Bison and they are sort of like the biggest dogs you’ve ever seen, but they have giant heads and aren’t that interested in playing. Jason took some pictures and we drove off, leaving The Grand Canyon behind.

Haha, look at his giant head!

Haha, look at his giant head!

Another long drive and we were in the town of Sedona Arizona. More red rocks, even bigger than what we saw before. I thought our next stop would be another campsite, but before I knew it we were walking into a place that smelled like only one thing: the vet’s office. I didn’t know why we were there, but it couldn’t be good. Suddenly the nurse was taking me away, and My Family was walking out the door! Believe me, this was not what I had in mind for the day! Where were they going? Were they coming back? Would I ever see my family again?!

Luckily, they picked me up a few hours later, after the vet did some weird stuff to my bum. I guess I hadn’t really noticed, but Victoria had been worried about me for a couple of days, but once she found out I could take some medicine and this thing called “giardia” would go away, she calmed right down. My Family let me dash outside and away from the vet’s office, and a little while later we were at another campsite. This one had huge campers, way bigger than ours. My Family was excited because we had air conditioning in the camper, thanks to something called an ‘electrical hookup’. I have to say, it is nice to have somewhere cool to go sometimes. We went on a walk, and Victoria made me jump into a river. I don’t really get that whole jump-around-in-the-water thing. It was cool on my tummy, but I much preferred getting wrapped up in a blanket and snuggling on the couch after that. Another yummy meal and it was time for bed.

My least favorite place, Sedona.

My least favorite place, Sedona.

The next day My Family seemed sad about going home. That’s just crazy. Our home is awesome. I think maybe they were sad because they knew we had to drive through a town called The Desert. I’ve never been somewhere so hot! Many, many, many hours in the truck and we were finally home. I was happy to have my beds back, and the rest of my toys. Now the camper has come off the big white truck and it’s sitting in the driveway. I love our home, but on the camping trip I got to spend all day and night with My Family… I’m not sure which one I like better. Maybe that was The Big Adventure Victoria and Jason are always talking about?

PS: If you want to see what My Family thought about our trip to pick up the comfy box, check our their photos on Facebook.


23
Aug 2013
POSTED BY Neli
POSTED IN

USA

DISCUSSION 2 Comments

Overland Expo 2013

Relaxing at camp

That’s me trying to relax at camp.

One day my Family made me get out from under the snuggly covers REALLY early in the morning. They put a bunch of stuff in the big truck and we hit the road. I didn’t even get to enjoy my standard two-hour lay about before actually getting out of bed. We drove for what felt like forever. When I did pop my head up by the window I saw lots of desert and not much else. Eventually there were mountains, and lots of trees, and a long, winding road that led us to some place my Family called ‘Overland Expo‘. They were pretty excited about it.

Overland Expo involved something they called ‘camping’. This seems to mean putting up a temporary house called a ‘tent’ in the middle of a hot, dusty, dirty, dried out lake filled with cow poo. Of course, I wasn’t complaining about the cow poo. When I was able to sneak some, it was fun to roll in. And delicious.

That was about it as far as fun was concerned. We got up with the sun and I spent the day being dragged from class to class, where other people said a lot of words that, honestly, sounded pretty boring to me. There weren’t many snacks, the water was warm, and the ground was covered with tiny pebbles that hurt to walk on. And yet they continued to drag me from place to place. I walked ALL DAY, more than any dog should ever have to. I mean, what happened to nap time? They even made me wait outside while they went into the Zane Grey Museum! I don’t know what that is, but Jason seemed pretty excited about it.

So many different kinds of trucks.  My people tell me we're getting a pop-up, whatever that means

So many different kinds of trucks. My Family tells me we’re getting a pop-up, whatever that means

The campground was filled with all sorts of trucks like ours, many of which had those temporary housing structures built right on top of them. Apparently, we are getting something like that, but ours will ‘pop up’. I guess that will be our home? There were bigger homes on wheels too, loud things with something called a ‘generator’. I hope we don’t have to get anything like that. Jason wants a ‘winch’, but there was some concerns about weight, so I don’t really know what’s going to happen there. Worst of all, I didn’t see any comfy couches to speak of.

This is where we lived.  It's called camping.

This is where we lived. It’s called camping.

It got really cold at night, but my Family seemed to want to stay up anyway, even when the wind was blowing so hard it actually knocked me over! I did start to like our tent, especially the puffy bed covered with blankets. And there were lots of friends to play with, of all shapes and sizes. There was a donkey that sang every morning to wake us up, and all sorts of horses, though they didn’t really want to play with me. And the other people there were so nice. Everyone gave me treats and bits of bacon, and all the kids wanted to pet me. Still, I was happy when we finally packed up to head home. Victoria and Jason seemed proud of me, and of how I did on our first camping adventure. But you know what? I didn’t see any beaches to lay on, or sand to dig in. If that was a preview of our Big Adventure, I’m glad it’s over for now.

PS: If you want to see the pictures that my Family took, they’re on Facebook.

 


21
May 2013
POSTED BY Neli
POSTED IN

USA

DISCUSSION 1 Comment