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The road trip to Maine

I was able to ship one of the cars to Maine for a reasonable price ($1500). That worked out well, and only took about 5 days. Surprising as it's 3400 miles! Apparently the driver does not sleep.

But there was a problem, I have 3 german shepherd dogs. And they needed to get across country along with the SUV. So the family decided I was going to drive the car with the dogs. I called my good friend John up and asked if he wanted to drive across country - it would be fun I said, and weirdly, he said OK. 

The good news, only one of the dogs was with me in Pacific Grove. Sacha the white male GSD was in PG, the other two were in Salt Lake City at our dog trainers. If you need a dog trainer for sport or protection dogs, David Broderick at Innovative K9 is your man. Seriously great work, really nice guy. We've known him since before he was famous, and he is a magician with dogs. I can't say enough good things about David and his academy. 

So two weeks ago, I through the bullet rooftop carrier on the Land Rover and started our adventure. I drove to San Francisco and picked up John at his house. Left Pacific Grove around 6am, got to SF around 9am. 

Picking up John - he's even smiling! First 5 minutes in the car, so that's to be expected.

Sacha as the Car Dog. Sacha has been the car dog since he was a puppy and loves to sit right where he is. Frequently he puts his head on the armrest. And he's so fluffy that his head makes a nicer armrest. He doesn't mind. 

Not a great picture, but a great view of the Sunset district in San Francisco. The beach view (far upper right) was stunning that day.

Leaving the city...

Bay bridge. Really spectacular day, and the bay bridge is really quite pretty. Completely excessive price tag, but pretty!

Getting up into the mountains. No pictures of the fun traffic getting through Sacramento. I've been in worse, but this was a bit unexpected. After Sacramento, things thinned out quite a lot. I think I took over driving at this point so there are no more pictures until I was a passenger again. We tried to swap every 3 hours or so. That worked most of the time, and if we stuck to it, it wasn't horrible. Of course, we didn't on at least one day and that was not so fun. 

Going into Donner Pass

Outside of Reno on the long boring straight road to Salt Lake... Got to Salt Lake City around 830pm, got a quick fast-food dinner, got the hotel room, brought the dog in and crashed. Up at 530 to get the other dogs by 6am. No pics as it was still dark. 

After we picked up the other two monsters, we headed to Kearney, Nebraska along I-80. That's Adede (female, 6 yrs old) and Uli (big male) who is 8. Sacha (male, 10) keeps trying to be car dog and put his head on the armrest, but the other dogs make that challenging. 

Doesn't John seem thrilled? Both of us noted that while on the drive, the dog smell and fur didn't seem bad. Until we got to Maine and got out of the car. Then we noticed the amount of fur we had _everywhere_ and how special the car smelled.

Adede deciding she was going to be car dog. She's a sweetie, but also insane. 

Heading out of Salt Lake was pretty spare. We went through park city and really wanted to stop at High West Distillery, but it just wasn't the right time. It's a shame as the second day (SLC to Kearney, NE) was actually one of the easier drives. The speed limits were 80 throughout Wyoming and the roads were straight and clear. CRAZY weather tho - 85+F. Set the cruise control and stop every 3-4 hrs for gas and pit stops. We got in about 6pm, grabbed a nice dinner and a few cold beers, crashed for the night.

Stunning views, just nothing around. 

Not a great pic, but windmills as far as the eye could see. And more being trucked in all the time. I think I saw at least 5 on trucks during the day. 

Adede apparently wanted a bath. No we didn't give her one, I think she might have wanted to sleep there, but no. John made good friends with Uli, and Uli ended up sleeping on John's bed. I don't think John expected that. 

John wanted to hear the dogs howl, and they were a little antsy and squeaking/talking a lot. So we started a tradition of the sing-along. In the first hour or so of the drive, we'd get them to sing. And we found it really relieved stress for them. They stopped panting and went right to sleep. Plus it was fun to see all the weird looks we'd get. I swear we didn't sing along. Much.

Day 3 - Kearney, NE to Maumee, OH. One thing I didn't note was that we were trying to avoid staying in large cities, so we stayed just outside of large cities. I have no idea where Maumee Ohio is, but the hotel was fine. It was a VERY long day, got in about 1030 pm. 

On the way to Maumee, we visited my nephew Henry in Iowa City - great kid, took us to a local brew pub. We talked college and COVID. It was rough originally, but when they opened things up a month or two ago, most of the kids caught COVID and now it's a thing of the past. John and I wore masks and washed hands. Frequently. 

The final push, day 4. Out of Muamee to Maine. Through New York state and a few other states. I have no idea. I'm pretty sure we screwed up the EZPass system. Oh well. Got in to Maine about 830pm. Oddly the hurricanes made the weather really nice - a bit humid but in the mid-high 60s. Crazy for this time of year in Maine. 

Sunset from the front yard. This place does not suck. 


  1. Love the recap and pics. John is a good friend. :)

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