Car: 2000 2 dr Honda Accord EX, 4 cyl, 5 spd.
Occupants: Puff and me.
- reclined the front passenger seat back all the way. Kept the back seat clear for her to lay down.
Puff sometimes sat up front with her butt parked halfway up the back and her frontlegs splayed out on the seat cushion to brace her. She mixed that with a tight Coiled-C position on the seat, a stretched-out reclining against the seat back (like Cleopatra reclining on a couch), and various positions on the back seat which was totally hers.
- stopped every 2 hours to walk Puff at Rest Areas, let her pee and sniff, and both of us to get some stretching and exercise.
- bought an Igloo "MaxCold" (36 can) cooler; put in 10 lbs dry ice, regular ice; pre-cooked Irish steel cut oatmeal pkgd in individual serving 1 qt. Ziplock freezer bags; milk; juice concentrate It just fit on the floor right behind the driver's seat. The dry ice lasted 5 days and so did most of the "wet" ice, kept everything frozen or cold, and a supplemental recharge of 8 lbs. "wet" ice kept everything cold through the day after we got back.
- tented at state parks (advance registration sometimes needed) chosen because they were near Interstate highways and near a natural stopping point.
That provided good places for Puff (leashed) and me to walk early mornings. We used Carter Caves (KY) & Geneva (Lake Erie, NY). Regs say proof of vaccinations are necesary. We had that with us but no one questioned us. State parks differ a LOT in quality and convenience. For tenters, Carter was **** and Geneva *.
- mosquito spray, repellent for obvious reasons while camping and walking
- Garmin Nuvi Personal Travel Navigator this kept us on the right roads; I posted a comment and review of this in Odds & Ends.
- luggage tag- I attached a luggage tag to Puff's collar with instructions to contact several people if I was unavailable or incapacitated. Complete info was there (vets, names, phone #s).
- Pet Gear Home 'N Go folding crate Useful at 1 home with cats where Puff needed to be restricted to her room.
- Car -- I tried to keep the speed at a constant 68 mph on the Interstates (as measured by the Nuvi, not the speedometer) and we averaged 36.2 mpg for the entire trip.
IFFY, MARGINAL:, + & -
- 12V small pot (for heating morning oatmeal, making tea). I got this from CampMor. Advantage is that it can be used in the car while driving. Disadvantage is that it's terriby slow. The first morning I left the pot reheating my bagged oatmeal in some water while I went to the Rest Area bathroom. When Puff saw me returning, she was excited, jumping and wagging her tail and sent the oatmeal and water splattering all over the car's interior. Fortunately, we also carried a roll of paper towels and the oatmeal cleaned fairly easily off the leather seats. I should have taken my small single burner Coleman propane hot plate. It would have to be used outside the car but it would be FAR faster than the 12V. The best benefit of the 12V was to use it while driving to make a strong tea extract which I then diluted with water to make a drinkable potion. But it took at least 45 minutes to bring 1/2 qt/Liter to a boil using the 12V pot.
- Wenzel air mattress; I already had this and toted it around in a van when space/volume was not such a premium. This is comfortable in a tent under a sleeping bag but it has fibers inside that help it inflate as well as unfortunately pretty much defeating massive efforts to deflate it. Took up too much room in a small car.
- Wenzel 7'x9' tent a good size, easy to put up, good ventilation, fine for summer camping but the zippers for openings often jammed and were of poor quality. I may see if I can get the zippers retrofitted to Velcro. One should practice putting up a tent before using it. I did and had to invent some aids to single handedly bend the tent poles to the proper shape.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
I'm only half way through Steinbeck's book, but this post also reminds me of it I can draw many parallels so far (I hope the book has a good ending ) There are similarities in the way you both plan, describe, and explain things (pertaining to your trips). He descibes his dog as "a good friend, and traveling companion..."
"When Puff saw me returning, she was excited, jumping and wagging her tail and sent the oatmeal and water splattering all over the car's interior. "
Even on my much shorter (3-4 hour) trips with my girls, I learn a lot about what works and what doesn't. Seating arrangements, travel water bowls, etc. On our first trip Brigetta whined for at least an hour, on the second trip there was no whining, but she drooled the entire way (note to self- keep paper towels in the front seat). Prudence is a travel angel . She sleeps a lot, but will gladly look out the window when I let her know there is something worth seeing.
"One should practice putting up a tent before using it."
Teresa, mom to Brigetta and Prudence
That was a good read! I am envious of your trip. When we moved two years ago, hubby and I each had a vehicle to drive. He took the car, I took my truck but before we hit the road, we removed the passenger's seat and put it in the back. Then I stacked a bunch of Cooper's various beds (it was almost like the "Princess and the Pea"!) where the seat normally goes and he rode shotgun with me for 4 days. He was in LOVE. Within about 5 minutes of hitting the road, he was snoring. I'd reach over every so often and give him some scratches. He was/is a good travel companion. Never complains about my driving. And he loved all my Jimmy Buffett CD's. ;D