Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Road Less Traveled

I have not done more than 10 miles of interstate roads in the past two weeks. I prefer the back roads. Having my friend along for travel, means one of us can drive while the other navigates. Taking back-roads may often involve lots of turns and new routes, to get where we are going. I drove the first 7 days, my friend drove the last 3 days. Harley didn't drive at all. 

Somehow, I still manage to get lost, drive off the map, or end up somewhere different. I think my motorhome has a mind of its own, to go where it wants to go, rather than where I think I am going. 


A motorhome with a sense of humor. 

Most puppy dogs get super excited to go somewhere in a vehicle. My little poohuahua tends to sleep through the trips, then gets excited when we stop to camp.  At a NY State Park, the manager sent us on a tour of the campground, with a few limited open spots to check and choose from. We slowly circled the park, making a note of the good, better and best spots, based on our needs. Our favorite camp site, may not be your favorite spot. 

I look for a level spot (ha!  don't we all!) followed by a nice play area for the dog. He has to always be tethered when outside. He must be growing up. He will actually play outside by himself quietly with his toys. Occasionally he starts yapping, then I beging the "Shhhhh, it's OK" traning to try to coax and coach him that one bark is enough. I know he speaks Yappanneese, but I want him to respond to commands.

He has learned to give out one bark only, when he is stuck. He often finds whatever is around, to tangle up his tether. I hear the one bark, so I race to his rescue, which makes him immensely happy. Occasionally, he will even take a nap alone outside, but this is rare. He prefers to come inside to curl up in his cat bed. 

After we slowly circled the campground, we settled on one spot that looked rather nice for both humans and canine. Now we had to drive back to the office, to officially register and pay. Little Harley had keenly watched us creep through the campground, his tail busily wagging as he approved of first one spot, then the next. 

As we approached the office, which is of course at the exit, Harley began crying and fussing. He was so excited to see us in the campground after a long afternoon drive, yet inexplicably we seemed to be leaving out the exit, so he voiced his unhappiness quite vocally. 

How do you explain to a puppy we are going back to camp after we pay?

Minutes later, on our way again, Harley was greatly relieved when we re-entered the campground, this time parking in our chosen spot, after stopping by to top up the water tank. 

I enjoyed being the navigator and passenger for a few days. I can be a terrible passenger, getting frightened easily, but my friend drives sedately like me, so I was able to relax.  New York has a state wide speed limit of 55 miles per hour.We seemed to be the only obeying it on these rural roads.  Most of the scenic highways we took, rarely allowed us above 45mph, due to twists and turns plus hills and valleys. 

I discovered the passenger seat not only has comfy arm rests but also reclines so one can prop up their feet.  The dashboard has a wide area that is perfect for holding the Road Atlas.

The latest system, for Harley's quick fix tethering system, is a new 28 foot retractable leash, attached to a bungee cord that has carabiners on both ends. In this picture we are camped at King Phillip's Campground in the Adirondack Mountains at Lake George, New York.

Harley plays with his toys on the patio mat. It's a generous 9 by 12 feet, a lovely birthday gift, we both cherish and use at almost every campsite. It has two folding seams lenghtwise, then once it's in thirds, I layer it accordion style for storage. It's lightweight, woven of UV coated polypropylene material, is breathable, easy to sweep or wash, and doesn't kill the grass underneath, if you are lucky enough to have grass. 

In the picture, to the left of the door, attached to the RV is the red bungee cord and the blue retractable leash. Harley can run 28 feet, though in this picture, he only has about 10 feet of his leash out. 


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