Tuesday, April 26, 2011

You can hear the whistle blow

Five hundred miles we drove today - actually 510, counting the offramp we missed on the freeway out of Ellensburg which took ten miles to correct. Brier, Washington to Caldwell, Idaho. The sun came out as soon as we got through the Cascades. Blue skies, mostly, with big puffy clouds, and a few showers along the way. We did see half a dozen freight trains.

This is my first road trip with Art. So far we're laughing more than we do at home, being silly. Like pointing out "see-through bridges" (when you're approaching an underpass you can see through it to the other side). I do most of the driving. Today's scenery was big valleys and huge hills - like God's laundry, I thought - mostly greening out. Lots of vineyards and farms and highway fences keeping things like tumbleweeds from blowing onto the freeway. A good first day on the road.

Our first destination is Omaha, where we'll attend the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting and I'll get to hear Warren Buffett speak (he's on my bucket list). Then about six days of family research in Iowa and Nebraska. Then six days in the Badlands/Black Hills area of South Dakota before we head for home.

As we unlocked the door to our motel room tonight, I could hear a small dog barking inside the door next door. I went to the lobby and asked for another room because I knew the noise would be a distraction. The lobby lady said this is a pet-friendly hotel, which I hadn't known. We probably would have stayed elsewhere if we had since Art is allergic to dogs and, even if they clean extra after pets stay, he's likely to react to dander left behind anyway.

She said the most interesting pet she encountered was last winter, when a guy turned up after dark, exhausted, with 20 guinea pigs. Apparently he traveled around showing them. The lobby lady said ordinarily the motel charges $5 extra per animal, but that night she and the guy stacked all the guinea pig cages on a cart and he was only charged for one animal. I'm sure our cat Larisa would hate to travel with us. She's happy to be at home with her paid companion.

We're in the Mountain Time Zone already.


16 comments:

marciamayo said...

What a great trip. I can't wait to hear more about it. Aren't you glad you aren't traveling with a bunch of guinea pigs - or one cat?

Teresa Evangeline said...

Most motels have pet friendly rooms, but not every room. Yikes. I hope your family history yields some fun surprises for you and say hello to the folks on Mount Rushmore for me. Have a great trip!

Out on the prairie said...

I can't believe you are driving all the way, but it makes sense for your explorations.

DJan said...

I'm looking forward to hearing about this trip as you go along. Five hundred miles was the max for me on trips, with some days being a little shorter. We always stop early so we can actually get some use out of our hotel room.

I also didn't know some hotels are completely pet friendly.

Deb Shucka said...

I'm so envious! Walt and I have done a couple of road trips - they're my favorite thing to do. The freedom and the adventure of not knowing what's around the next bend are intoxicating. Funny story about the guinea pigs. Looking forward to more travel stories.

Linda Reeder said...

Oh, I do get the "whistle blow" part. I can hear Peter, Paul and Mary singing now! There are lots of miles to cover where you are going, in the wide open spaces of the Great Plains. So glad you are having fun.

dkzody said...

I don't believe in traveling with pets, but I know lots of people travel with their dogs and the dogs seem to love it. I tried traveling with a cat once, and it was horrible. I like to be carefree when traveling, and you cannot do that with a pet tagging along.

Sightings said...

How cool ... going to hear Warren Buffett's shareholder meeting. He's one of my heroes, altho' recently tainted by the David Sokol incident. Bet there will be some questions about that! But still ... Buffett is a good guy, one of the few.

I myself have a dog, a cute, loyal, friendly dog. But I always try to stay at a non-pet hotel. Who knows what the previous guest let his dog do?

Retired English Teacher said...

This sounds like quite a trip. I'm glad you are having so much fun. I love to take road trips. I look forward to hearing about your adventures.

As far the dog friendly motels go, I just have to say that we have been grateful for them when we traveled with our dog. It is a lot of work for all concerned when pets are involved: the owners of the dog, the motel proprietors, and the other guests. Our dog never barked, so I never worried about him disturbing others, but I've been disturbed by other dogs. I hope you husband doesn't have a reaction.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

What an adventure! I love reading your posts, Linda!

Anything Fits A Naked Man said...

Oh, this sounds like such fun! Thanks so much for sharing! I've found that the great thing about pet friendly hotels is that EVERYONE who stays there usually has a pet! SUCH fun!

Arkansas Patti said...

I can't vouch for that motel, but when I travel with my pet, the pet friendly places put us in a pet only room. Trust me, it isn't nearly as nice as the rest of the motel so Art should have been safe.
Keep having a great time.

Grandmother said...

Pet friendly hotels made my life with two Alaskan Malamutes so much nicer as I traveled all over the country and Canada with them. I used to live in Omaha- enjoy!

Olga said...

My brother and his wife travel back and forth to North Carolina with two miniature donkeys, a dozen chickens, four dogs and a bird. They don't stay at a hotel with this menagerie, though.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Love me some good old fashioned road trip! Matt & I are pros at this point. Let me know if you ever want any pointers :-) Can't wait to get to see a new area of the country on our next trip all the way across it (almost!). Sounds like you're having a great time too, I hope Art didn't have any breathing problems at that motel at night, yikes!

CherylK said...

I've been backtrack reading your posts and when I got to this one I could totally identify with you. Jack and I have been traveling like this for several years and I love it. If we're not in a rush to get somewhere, we often take back roads. I can tell you we've found some wonderful little towns traveling back roads. Now I'm itching to get on the road, again!