Tips for Holiday Travel with Pets

Tips for Holiday Travel with Pets

posted in: Nonfiction, On the Road, Our Work, Travel, Woof Trekking, Writing | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

With the holidays coming up, many of you will be traveling over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house. Pet lovers may be taking their precious pups and furry felines on the road with them, perhaps for the first time. If you are new to the ways of Woof Trekking (road tripping with your pets), this may cause some anxiety for both the humans and the pets. But have no fear, we are here to help.
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We have been traveling with our two dogs, Izzy and Nana, and one cat, Billy, for four years. We have gained a lot of knowledge to share with you. If you are new to our blog, you can take a look at our previous woof trekking posts here. We have also written a book about our experience with traveling with our cat and two dogs. You can get your copy on Amazon and Kobo.
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You may be surprised that we travel with our cat, however Billy is a pretty chill cat who does fairly well on the road. If you want to take your cat with you (or a skittish dog for that matter), taking them on short, little trips to see how they handle going in the car is a good idea. We actually have two cats, but Tyra doesn’t travel well and prefers to stay home and be kenneled.

We have previously talked about what to pack for both your dogs and your cats. Some important items include: food, bowls, and kitty litter box.

Safety is very important while traveling with your pets and we have some tips to keep everyone safe. First of all safety in the car is very important, both of our dogs wear car harnesses so they can be buckled in. Billy also wears a harness so he too can be buckled up while riding in a human’s lap. You can read more about car harnesses here.


Some dogs and cats travel really well on the road and have no problems. Nana is one of these dogs. She loves car rides and watching the world pass by. Izzy is the opposite, she loves getting into the car but as soon as it starts moving, she becomes anxious and starts to whine. When we travel, we give her Dramamine, per the recommendation of our vet, and it takes the edge off. (Always talk to your vet before giving your pet medication.) Billy on the other hand gets motion sick in the car. He also gets Dramamine to help him deal with this. You can read more about Anxiety and Motion Sickness here.
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The last point we would like to make is about hotel safety. Some hotels are better than others but all should be inspected before letting your pets loose. We have found some interesting objects hidden under the bed. Our biggest tip is to get down on your hands and knees with a flashlight to clear the floor of any dropped pills and other foreign objects.

Go forth and don’t be afraid to take your pets on the road with you. If you want to read more about our travels, get a copy of our book. Bringing your pets on your travels will make your adventures even more memorable!

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Our 200th Post!!! Woof Trekking Dispatch #15: Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, May 2013

Our 200th Post!!! Woof Trekking Dispatch #15: Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, May 2013

posted in: Dispatches, On the Road, Woof Trekking | 6 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

First, we’d like to mention that today’s post is our 200th! We love sharing our adventures and interests with you and can’t wait for the next hundred! Now, we are going to celebrate this anniversary with a post that is out of this world!

In our previous dispatches, we were visiting the East Coast and ended that trip in Savannah before returning home. Our next Woof Trek was to the West Coast, aka the best coast. We made a trip to Los Angeles and we drove up to Griffith Park.

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Griffith Park is located at the east end of the Santa Monica Mountains and is one of the largest urban parks, covering over 4000 acres. Earlier this year Griffith Park was in the news because a beautiful mountain lion named P22 made a koala his supper one March night. P22 first gained fame in 2013 after Steve Winter snapped an iconic photograph of the big cat with the Hollywood sign for National Geographic.

The land the Park sits on was originally owned by Welsh-born Colonel Griffith J. Griffith in the late 1800s, who made his money in the California Gold Rush. He originally used part of the land as an ostrich farm so he could sell the feathers, which were a popular addition to women’s hats. He also tried to sell the land to home builders but no one wanted the land, so he donated it to the City of Los Angeles in 1896.
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In 1903, after a heavy drinking session, Colonel Griffith shot his wife while they were on vacation. While she did not die, she did lose her right eye. He was sentenced to two years in jail. After he was released, he wanted to develop the land he donated to the city, but they rebuffed him and his money due to his criminal past. The rest of his life, he spent designing the park and investing in architectural designs for several building he envisioned on the land. Upon his death in 1919, he bequeathed his designs and money to the city. The city built the Greek Theater and the Griffith Observatory to his specifications.

We made the drive up the mountain and spotted the iconic architecture of the Observatory. The park surrounding the Observatory is dog friendly, so we hopped out and took turns going inside.
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Izzy and Nana enjoyed investigating the park surrounding the Observatory.
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A large monument stands in the park area in front of the Observatory, called the Astronomers Monument. There are six astronomers on the Monument: Hipparchus, Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton, and John Herschel. Atop the Monument is an armillary sphere, which was added in 1991 to replace a copper covered concrete sphere which had degraded.
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We walked up the stairs on the outside of the building to look back at Mount Lee and the Hollywood sign.
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Here is a closer view of the famous sign.
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We turned around and looked out over the metropolis of Los Angeles.
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The Observatory was opened in 1935 and has this stylish art deco entrance.
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Above the entryway is this window protected by an awesome, decorative grill depicting different astronomy icons.
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Upon entry into the Observatory, you are greeted by this massive Foucault pendulum, which demonstrates the rotation of Earth. (In case you were wondering, admission to the Observatory building, grounds, telescopes, and parking is always FREE!!!)
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Here’s a GIF we made of the pendulum!

The main hall also has murals painted by Hugo Ballin which all have astronomical themes. One of the murals is on the ceiling of the dome and you can see the reflection of that mural in the pendulum.
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Here is a picture of the ceiling mural painted inside the dome.
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We enjoyed a brief tour of the exhibits from the Tesla Coil, to the Camera Obscura, and learning about the Sun. We didn’t have time to explore the lower level, which looks like lots of fun also!

We had a great time nerding out at the Griffith Observatory and especially enjoyed that it was completely FREE and dog friendly! We definitely recommend it if you are in Los Angeles and are interested in space!

Have you been to Griffith Observatory? What did you think about it? Let us know in the comments below.

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Woof Trekking Dispatch #13: Outer Banks, North Carolina, January 2013

Woof Trekking Dispatch #13: Outer Banks, North Carolina, January 2013

posted in: Dispatches, On the Road, Woof Trekking | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

We started going on road trips with our pets about four years ago and were total noobs at traveling with them. Our adventures have taken across the US and we have been sharing them with you in our Dispatch series. We have also published a book, Woof Trekking, about how you too can road trip with your pets.

Woof Trekking in North Carolina

In our last dispatch, we told you about our adventure around downtown Richmond, VA, and the history of the area. We made our way to the coast and travelled south. We entered North Carolina and decided to check out the Outer Banks area.

The Outer Banks is a string of peninsulas and small islands that cover about 200 miles along the northern part of the North Carolina coast. We were intrigued by this area because of its historical meaning and because of the lighthouses.


Our first stop was the Wright Brothers National Memorial, located in Kill Devil Hills, NC. Wilbur and Orville Wright tested their aircraft on this land from 1900 to 1903 and eventually had their first successful flight on December 17, 1903. At that time, the nearest town was Kitty Hawk, four miles to the north; Kill Devil Hills was not established until 1953.

The Wright Brothers chose this location because of its steady wind. When we visited in January 2013, the conditions were also windy and cold – a very authentic experience.
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The Wright Brothers Memorial Tower is 60 feet tall and sits atop the Kill Devil Hill, which is 90 feet tall. The Wright Brothers used the hill to perform many of their glider tests, including their most famous in December 1903. The dome on the top is marine beacon, like those seen in lighthouses.
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The inscription on the monument reads: “In commemoration of the conquest of the air by the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright. Conceived by genius, achieved by dauntless resolution and unconquerable faith.” Another angle of the Memorial Tower is pictured below.

When we arrived, we were just in time for a Flight Room Talk given by the Park Rangers. We learned about how the Wright brothers developed their planes and saw a demonstration of how the plane for their first flight worked. It was very exciting.

After the talk, the dogs joined us (Dogs are permitted on the grounds if they are on a leash, but not in the buildings). We walked around in the cold, blustery wind. In the distance you can see the Kill Devil Hill and Memorial Tower.
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At the base of Kill Devil Hill there is a bronze sculpture garden that depicts Orville Wright on his first flight.
Orville Wright Statue at Kill Devil Hills
Once we were done investigating the Memorial, we decided to drive further along the Outer Banks and down to Cape Hatteras. We arrived at the Bodie Island Light Station, but it was closed for the season. It was still quite an impressive sight.
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We continued our trek along the ocean and it was slightly erie. There was no one around because it was freezing cold. It was peaceful, yet slightly spooky.
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Eventually, we arrived at the Cape Hatteras Light Station. This lighthouse was also closed, but we did get the chance to see it lit since we arrived at sunset. In 1999, the Cape Hatteras lighthouse and surrounding buildings were moved 2900 feet inland to protect it from destruction.
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When the buildings were placed in their new locations, they kept the same elevation and spatial relationships that they had when they were originally built.
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We hope you enjoyed this dispatch from the Outer Banks! Happy Thursday!

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Woof Trekking Dispatch #12: Richmond, the Virginia State Capitol, December 2012

Woof Trekking Dispatch #12: Richmond, the Virginia State Capitol, December 2012

posted in: Dispatches, On the Road, Woof Trekking | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

In late December 2012, we took a Woof Trek to the East Coast and our first stop was Richmond, Virginia. We arrived in the early evening and got to explore the heart of downtown Richmond without hardly anyone around. Although it was cold, we had a great time exploring the area.

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Capitol Building

We are a family of history buffs and exploring this area was a dream. Our first stop was the Virginia State Capitol Building. The idea for capitol building came to Thomas Jefferson and Charles-Louis Clérisseau while they were in France. Construction began in 1786 and was finished in 1792. In 1904, two wings were added and in 2004, the building underwent a major renovation to update the building.

Nana would have preferred not to have posed for this picture in front of the Capitol building and instead run after the squirrels that were playing in the trees.
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Here you can see some of the ceiling detail inside the Capitol Building along with an electric candle decoration for the holidays.
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Virginia Washington Monument

The area around the Capitol Building is known as Capitol Square. The centerpiece to the square is the Virginia Washington Monument, built in 1858. This Monument was quite the sight, it has George Washington sitting atop his faithful steed and below he is surrounded by six other historical figures including: Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Lewis, John Marshall, George Mason, and Thomas Nelson Jr.
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George Washington looking across Richmond.
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This plaque was on the side of the Monument, marking where Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as President of the Confederate States.
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Here is Thomas Jefferson pondering the future of America with a quill at the ready.
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The sculpture was very detailed.
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Old City Hall

We wandered around behind the Capitol Building and saw this huge gray Gothic-style building that took our breath away. The hulking building is the Old City Hall and was used from 1894 through the 1970’s. It was designed by Elijah E. Myers (1832-1909), who also designed the state capitol buildings of Michigan, Colorado, and Texas.

The architecture of this building was intriguing and in stark contrast to the Palladian-style Capitol. Since it was late, we did not get the chance to go inside however you can tour the first floor during operating hours.
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We did get a look inside through a set of windows and were impressed with the internal architecture as well.
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Here you can see the classic pointed arches of the Gothic-style and elaborate lamp to illuminate one of the entrances.
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The Old City Hall is a symmetrical building, except for this majestic 195-foot tall clock tower.
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Governor’s Mansion

This is the Governor’s Mansion, we couldn’t get too close due to security but it was still nicely decorated for the holidays.
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Our Friend, Edgar

Darkness fell upon us, but we continued around the Square and, perhaps fittingly, came across this statue of Edgar Allen Poe. It was erected in 1958 to honor Poe’s time in Richmond.
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We had an awesome time exploring the Virginia Capitol and we hope you enjoyed this mini tour!

Happy Thursday!

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Woof Trekking Dispatch #12: Madera Canyon, Santa Rita Mountains, September 2016

Woof Trekking Dispatch #12: Madera Canyon, Santa Rita Mountains, September 2016

posted in: Dispatches, Living in the Southwest, Nature, On the Road, Woof Trekking | 2 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

A couple weeks ago, we decided to go on a spontaneous Woof Trek. We hadn’t gone Woof Trekking for several months and everyone was ready to hit the road. We hopped in the car and traveled across the valley to Madera Canyon.
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Madera Canyon is about 30 miles south of Tucson and is located in the Santa Rita Mountains. The Canyon is part of the US Forest Service. When some people think of the desert southwest, they think that it is just a flat desert, however that is not the case. Madera Canyon is a perfect example of this.
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Tucson itself is surrounded by four different mountain ranges, with the Santa Rita’s being the one to the South. Madera Canyon is big birding location as it is a stopping point during migrations north and south. We missed the migration this year, but will be returning in the future to see some of the unique birds. We packed a picnic lunch and drove up to the highest paved area, called the Mt. Wrightson Picnic Area and Trailheads.
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The elevation at this point was 5400 feet and it was slightly cooler than the valley but not by much. Izzy and Nana were itching to go explore the Canyon, but had to wait for us to eat lunch first.
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We brought a little battery operated fan because Izzy runs warm temperature-wise due to all her fur. We needed a bigger fan – like one of those on the sidelines at football games. But she stayed hydrated and that’s most important.
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After lunch, we set out on a couple of the trails. There are an abundance of trails in Madera Canyon, but we are amateur hikers so we didn’t go too far. Our first little hike was at Madera Canyon Picnic Area. We walked over to see the creek that runs down the canyon.
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Nana wasn’t a big fan of the running water, but Izzy was fearless.
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She hopped up onto a giant boulder and smiled.
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We drove up around the camping area and saw a couple of plants we don’t normally see in Tucson. We saw an agave with these crazy looking seed pods growing out of the center. It was unlike any agave we had ever seen.
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We also saw these pretty bottlebrush flowers.
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Our final stop was the Proctor area, near the entrance/exit to the Canyon. At this stop, we hiked around a paved loop that was about 2 miles long.
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When we were eating our lunch earlier in the day, we saw some blue colored berries on the ground and we didn’t know what kind of tree they were from. On this trail, we found a sign that said that the area has a lot of Alligator Juniper trees, thus solving the mystery of the berries. If you look at the bark, you can totally see why they named them Alligator Junipers.
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Another interesting feature of this trail were these boxes on posts. They are houses for bats! We knew that Arizona had a lot of bat residents but from informational boards on the trail, we learned that of the 45 bat varieties that live in the Unites States and Canada, 28 can be found in Arizona. Wow!
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As we walked further on, we found a wooden bridge that crossed the river.
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Sun’s out, tongue’s out.
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Overall, Madera Canyon was great fun! We will definitely be back!

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Woof Trekking Dispatch #10: Longmire in Las Vegas, New Mexico, January 2016

Woof Trekking Dispatch #10: Longmire in Las Vegas, New Mexico, January 2016

posted in: Dispatches, Entertainment, On the Road, Television, Woof Trekking | 1 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

The newest season of Longmire premieres this Friday, September 23rd, on Netflix. We were devoted fans to this show while it was airing on A&E, but we might be one of the few people on Earth that doesn’t subscribe to Netflix, so we haven’t seen Season 4.

We did have the pleasure of seeing Robert Taylor, Lou Diamond Phillips and Craig Johnson at the Tucson Festival of Books last year.

Please Be Seated

You can see our blog post about their panel here. The show is based off a book series by Johnson based in a fictional town in Wyoming. However, they film the series in various locations in New Mexico.

This past January we were on a road trip to Colorado and we stopped in Las Vegas, New Mexico for lunch. On a whim, we decided to take a detour into the Old Town and see where some of Longmire is filmed.

The town of Las Vegas is fairly small, with a population of just over 14,000 people. Despite this, the town has a lot of history. In this town alone, there are 900 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. This NY Times article from 2007 gives an excellent description of the historic town.


At the heart of the Old Town Plaza is the Plaza Hotel that was built in 1882.
The Plaza Hotel
If you are looking at the hotel, you can turn to your left and cross S. Pacific Street and you are at the front door of the Sheriff’s Department of Durant, Wyoming in Absaroka County.
Approaching the Sheriff's Department
Here is a close up of the door. The door was locked when we visited, and also, to our surprise, we were the only ones interested in the building and door. We might have looked like some crazy strangers, if you didn’t know that Longmire was filmed here.
Knocking on Longmire's Door
The details on the door were amazing to us, since all the lettering was left in place even when they weren’t currently filming.
Close up of the Sheriff's Department Badge
This building was originally built in 1895 by the Veeder brothers who were attorneys and community leaders. Their office was on the second floor and a grocery store was on the first.
Wyoming in New Mexico!
The Plaza was pretty empty when we visited, probably because it was January and freezing. Christmas lights still hung in the trees. 🙂 The park benches are featured pretty regularly in Longmire.
The Old Town Park
Here is the official trailer for Season 5 and you can see Ferg and Vic sitting in the Old Town Plaza at the 0:46 mark.

Izzy loved running around the Plaza with the cool, winter air flowing through her ears.
Izzy Enjoying Las Vegas, New Mexico
This sculpture is called Nuestra Senora de los Dolores and was carved by Margarito Mondragon out of a dying Chinese Elm tree that was in the park. You can read more about this piece of artwork in the Las Vegas Citizens Committee for Historic Preservation Newsletter here.
Nuestra Senora de los Dolores
This second sculpture is called El Campesino by Peter Lopez. You can see a video of the different stages of the creation of the sculpture on the YouTube channel of Main Street de Las Vegas here.
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If you are ever in the area, it is totally worth it to take a little side trip to see this location.

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Woof Trekking Dispatch # 9: Rockaway Beach and Cannon Beach, July 2012

Woof Trekking Dispatch # 9: Rockaway Beach and Cannon Beach, July 2012

posted in: Dispatches, On the Road, Woof Trekking | 1 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

In our last dispatch, we went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory and gorged ourselves on cheese. Next, we decided to drive over to the coast and walk along the beach.

Woof Trekking at Oregon Beaches

There are lots and lots of little beach towns up and down the Oregon coast and they are linked by Highway 101. If you ever visit the Oregon coast, the Oregon Coast Visitors Association has a great website. Our first stop was Rockaway Beach.

Rockaway Beach

Izzy loved running around the beach and she left these super cute paw prints in the sand before they were washed away by the waves.

Rockaway Beach 1

The coolest feature of this beach was the Twin Rocks. This formation is 88 feet tall and the hole in the structure is 35 feet across. When you are standing on the beach it doesn’t look that big at all.

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Izzy posing and smiling in front of the Twin Rocks.

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After exploring this area, we jumped back into the car and drove up the coast to Cannon Beach.

Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach also has some fantastic geological formations that were amazing to see. In the far distance, you can see the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. This lighthouse was operational from 1881 to 1957 and was nicknamed “Terrible Tilly.” It is one of nine original lighthouses along the Oregon Coast, but it is closed to the public. Now, it is a nature wildlife refuge serving as a nesting area for common murres and cormorants.

Cannon Beach 1

Jockey Cap Rock surrounded by the ocean mist.

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We were at Cannon Beach at sunset and it was incredible. We got to take in the waves and see all the birds flying to their nests.

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Izzy really enjoyed her time at the beach running in an out of the waves. Her lolling tongue is pretty darn cute, isn’t it?

Cannon Beach 4

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Woof Trekking Packing Checklist: Cat Basics

Woof Trekking Packing Checklist: Cat Basics

posted in: On the Road, What to Pack, Woof Trekking | 3 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Our latest book, Woof Trekking, is all about how to road trip with your pets. In a previous post, we showed you all the essentials we pack for our dogs. You can check that list out here.

What to Pack for a Woof Trekking Cat

In today’s post we will show you what we pack for Billy, the Most AMAZING cat.

Petmate Top Entry Litter Pan

This litter bin is very similar to the one Billy uses both at home and on Woof Treks. Since it has high sides, it blocks the litter from flying everywhere.

Petlinks Purr-fect Paws Cat Litter Mat

We travel with a mat like this one to catch the kitty litter that gets trapped in Billy’s paws as he exits his restroom. This helps limit the spread of the litter.

Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip Corded Bagless Handheld Vacuum

This may seem a little crazy but we travel with a small vacuum to clean up any kitty litter that has escaped from the bin. It also comes in handy if some other mess has happened while we are on the road.


Petmate Ultimate Litter Scoop

This is the exact scooper we use, it is excellent because it had an elongated handle and a wide scoop to handle large loads. ?

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10 Gallon Trash Bags

We bring a roll of these trash bags on our Woof Treks because some hotels don’t provide them. This is especially important when disposing of the contents of Billy’s bin.

IAMS Proactive Health Original Adult Dry Cat Food

Billy’s food, the only kind he likes so this is what he gets. He hasn’t gone grain free like the dogs because the food makes him sick. ?

Snapware 10-Cup Airtight Rectangle Food Storage Container

This the type of container we use to bring Billy’s food on the road with us. It has a slim profile so it is easy to pack.


LoveOurHome Cool Pet Cat Bowl

On the road, Billy uses a small bowl like this to eat out of. It is great because it is small enough to be stored in the food container and act as a scoop. If you are only traveling with a cat, then these bowls would also be great as a water bowl.

Whisker Lickin’s Cat Treats

We always remember to bring along Billy’s favorite treats. They are good as a yummy snack when we get to the room and also come in handy if he needs to be lured out of somewhere he ought not be. They were a lifesaver when he snuck under the bed of a hotel, read the whole story here.

Cat Harness and Leash

Billy wears a harness and leash at all times on Woof Treks. The harness also has a tag on it that has information about his microchip; if he ever escapes (knock on wood), people will have a way to contact us. The harness and leash help to secure him to a person in the car. In the room, it allows for him to be easily found. The previous story also explains why we keep the leash on him in the room.

We hope you enjoyed this post. Stay tuned for more posts about what to pack on your Woof Trek!

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Happy 100th Birthday National Park Service + Another “Woof Trekking” Excerpt

Happy 100th Birthday National Park Service + Another “Woof Trekking” Excerpt

posted in: On the Road, Travel, Woof Trekking | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Today marks 100 years since the National Park Service was established. On August 25, 1916, the National Park Service Organic Act was passed and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson. As of right now, there are 59 National Parks, you can see the full list here.

National Parks Centennial Featured Image

The following is an adaptation from our book Woof Trekking: How to Road Trip with Your Pets.

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We love going on adventures to National Parks and exploring the amazing sights. They are spectacular locations to take in nature and most allow dogs in at least some areas of the parks. Some say that National Parks are not very dog friendly, however, we have always felt welcome, even if we didn’t get to explore the whole park. You can visit the National Park Service website before your trip to determine where your dog is allowed to visit. In all cases, dogs are required to be on a leash.

Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks

We have visited two National Parks in California, Sequoia National Park and Yosemite National Park. We visited both during one Woof Trek since their location is quite off the beaten track. We mostly drove around Sequoia National Park to see the towering sequoias. Dogs are not allowed on the trails but are allowed on leashes in the camping areas.

Sequoia National Park
General Sherman

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Yosemite National Park is much more dog friendly. The park has lots of paved trails and dogs are welcome on these paths. We enjoyed exploring both of these Parks in the cool mountain air.

Yosemite Falls
Yosemite Falls
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The Pika is arguably the cutest rodent in the world and is a resident of Yosemite.

Zion National Park

Zion National Park is located in southwestern Utah and is one of five National Parks in Utah. It is a bit of a drive off the interstate, but totally worth it. This National Park is unique because most of scenic views of the Park can only be visited by shuttle bus. Since we Woof Trek with our dogs, we didn’t go on the shuttle.

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We did take a driving tour of a portion of the Park through the amazingly colorful canyons. One of the coolest parts of the drive in Zion National Park is when you go through the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. This tunnel has cutouts where you take a quick peek out into the canyons as you drive through. Dogs are only allowed on one trail at Zion, called the Pa’rus trail.

Grand Canyon and Horseshoe Bend

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Izzy enjoying the South Rim of the Grand Canyon after a cloudburst.

We have visited the Grand Canyon, both the South and North Rims, with our dogs. They loved exploring the trails as much as we did. Lots of people from all over the world visit the Grand Canyon; we were surprised by how many different languages we could hear. Then again, it is one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World.

If you make the journey to the Grand Canyon, you may also want to visit Horseshoe Bend while you are there. Horseshoe Bend is a large curve in the Colorado River that is about 5 miles from the Glen Canyon Dam and about 140 miles from the South Rim. It is a breathtaking view and we highly recommend it.

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Nana the Brave enjoying the view of Horseshoe Bend.

There are no Park Rangers or facilities (restrooms, water, etc.) at Horseshoe Bend. Dogs are welcome on the trail on a leash. It is a bit of a hike, up and down a hill, which takes about 45 minutes round-trip. Once you get to the Bend, you can look straight down into the canyon. The view is excellent, but there is no guardrail or any sort of protection from falling. This location is not for the faint of heart nor the weak of stomach; skip it if you are afraid of heights.

woof trekking, pets, road trip, vacation, holiday, travel, travel with pets

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Woof Trekking Dispatch #6: Goodbye San Fran, Hello Sunflower Fields and Dozing Dogs (July 2012)

Woof Trekking Dispatch #6: Goodbye San Fran, Hello Sunflower Fields and Dozing Dogs (July 2012)

posted in: Dispatches, On the Road, Woof Trekking | 1 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Last week, we showcased our time at Fisherman’s Wharf. Today, we will travel further north all the way up to Oregon!

Northern Cali featured

After the Wharf, we drove over to Chinatown for dinner. We ended up at R&G Lounge and were led downstairs to a table near a fish tank. It seemed very authentic when compared with our 2008 trip to China. However, when I just checked out their Yelp page, there was a warning that during a recent health inspection, the restaurant did not exactly pass with flying colors. So that’s something to bear in mind…
San Francisco to Grants Pass - 1

The next day, it was time to say goodbye to San Francisco and we did so in grand fashion, by driving over the Golden Gate Bridge. While it would have been nice to see the bridge without fog, it was still beautiful! Apparently, it is only clear of fog 30% of the year, as I discovered when writing our post, Happy Birthday, Golden Gate Bridge!

Version 2

We drove through Napa and then came upon a long stretch of interstate surrounded by farm land on our way to Redding, CA where our next La Quinta was located. One of the most exciting sights was this sunflower field.

San Francisco to Grants Pass - 4


Days filled largely with driving are a good time for some catch up on beauty sleep. Adventures can really take a lot out of a dog.

San Francisco to Grants Pass - 3

After a good night’s rest, we pressed onward toward Oregon. On the way, we stopped in Weed under the shadow of the awe-inspiring Mount Shasta for some lunch.

We were all excited to get out of the car after a day and a half of driving, so we stopped at Subway and brought our sandwiches to nearby Bel Air Park. That’s where we snapped this scenic photo of Mount Shasta, which happens to be a “potentially active volcano.” Here is the Google Maps Street View position from which we took the photo.

IMG_0544 - Version 2

After eating at a picnic table and a brief walk/run around Bel Air Park, we hopped back into the car and drove around College of the Siskiyous, which was located right next door. Dad loves to drive around a college campus, as you will see again in our next Woof Trekking Dispatch. Everyone caught a bit more shuteye as we crossed into Oregon.

San Francisco to Grants Pass - 5

Finally, we arrived in Grants Pass and checked into our La Quinta. Billy made full use of the window ledge, inspecting the exterior of the hotel for anything that moves. The hotel key had a coupon for a local pizza and beer place called Wild River Brewing and Pizza Co. so we headed over. Dad treated himself to a beer sampler after two full days of driving and we all enjoyed some fresh baked pizza!

San Francisco to Grants Pass - 7

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woof trekking, pets, road trip, vacation, holiday, travel, travel with pets

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Woof Trekking in Willcox: Apple Picking and Cowboy Crooning

Woof Trekking in Willcox: Apple Picking and Cowboy Crooning

posted in: Dispatches, On the Road, Woof Trekking | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

The official start to fall isn’t until next month, but with local schools back in session, it’s easy to get lost in a bit of autumnal enthusiasm. In this spirit, we share today’s post.

Apple Annies in Willcox Arizona

Apple Annie’s is our favorite Pick-Your-Own Produce spot in Southern Arizona. It is located near Willcox, a small city with three main attractions. The first is Wings Over Willcox, a birding/nature festival in January focused primarily on the annual Sandhill Cranes migration stop in Willcox. The second is Rex Allen, who we’ll discuss more in a minute. The third is Apple Annie’s.

 
We have visited Apple Annie’s twice, once in 2010 without the dogs and again in 2012 with the dogs, once we discovered pets are allowed in the orchards.

Apple Annies in Willcox Arizona

Their orchards feature many varieties of apples, pears, and peaches, all available for purchase by the pound.

Apple Annies in Willcox Arizona 5

Izzy and Nana quite enjoyed roaming through the rows of fruit trees, sniffing everything they could. They didn’t attempt to eat anything, although they do enjoy a bit of sliced apple as a snack at home. Apple seeds contain cyanide and consumed in large quantities can be dangerous for dogs.

Apple Annies in Willcox Arizona


Pets are not allowed in the produce and pumpkin section of Apple Annie’s. Luckily, we had already visited that area in 2010.

Apple Annies in Willcox Arizona

They had a huge field of sunflowers, pumpkins and squash galore, as well as plenty of row crops like green beans, tomatoes, and chili peppers.

Apple Annies in Willcox Arizona

With our bags full of produce, we headed back toward Willcox. Our next stop was a visit with the city’s favorite son: Rex Allen. The actor, singer, songwriter and narrator was a contemporary of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry and has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Apple Annies in Willcox Arizona

Rex Allen is celebrated in Willcox every fall during Rex Allen Days. This year is 65th Annual Event and will be held September 29th – October 2nd.

Apple Annies in Willcox Arizona

Across the street is the Rex Allen Museum. Our grandparents were huge fans of the old westerns and would have loved to have visited. If you love cowboy movies, then you will probably enjoy it. See Trip Advisor for tips before you go.

Rex Allen Museum

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Woof Trekking in Willcox Arizona

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Woof Trekking Dispatch #5: Blue Mermaid, Rainbow Sequin Man, and Ghirardelli Square, July 2012

Woof Trekking Dispatch #5: Blue Mermaid, Rainbow Sequin Man, and Ghirardelli Square, July 2012

posted in: Dispatches, On the Road, Woof Trekking | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

The next stop on our very first Woof Trek was Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. This was another fun stop after our previous adventures at Angel’s Flight, the Pacific Coast Highway, Silicon Valley, and Japantown.

Dispatch 5 Fishermans Wharf - 1

 
The weather in San Francisco can be quite cool and wet, even in summer. Weather.com states that September is actually the warmest month. The day we visited Fisherman’s Wharf, the temperatures hovered around 60 degrees. It was a bit chilly for us desert dwellers.

Dispatch 5 Fishermans Wharf - 2

We had lunch at Blue Mermaid Restaurant, located in conjunction with the Argonaut Hotel. Yelp reviewers rank this seafood spot at 3 1/2 stars. We would tend to agree with this due to some fancy prices and fairly slow service. That being said, the food was delicious.

Dispatch 5 Fishermans Wharf - 3

Pictured above is the New England Clam Chowder. Pictured below is the Manhattan Clam Chowder. Both excellent choices if you decide to go.

Dispatch 5 Fishermans Wharf - 4

One of the most exciting things about this stop was the restroom. With a short jaunt into the Argonaut Hotel, you are in a natty and nautical Blue Mermaid-themed wonderland.

Dispatch 5 Fishermans Wharf - 5

A close-up of the wallpaper brings to mind the intro to a James Bond movie.

Dispatch 5 Fishermans Wharf - 6

After our delicious meal, we headed out to hang out with the doggies. Next, we ducked into Boudin Bakery’s flagship location at the Wharf for a little sourdough treat and some cans of Clam Chowder for home.


We didn’t get a chance to take a self-guided Bakery Museum Tour, but next time we will. It’s only $3. Boudin has locations all across California, so we’ll definitely have to stop there next time we are in LA.

Dispatch 5 Fishermans Wharf - 7

We returned to the Wharf and decided to stretch our legs. Not long into our walk we encountered this colorful character. Oh yeah.

Dispatch 5 Fishermans Wharf - 8

We tore our eyes away from Sequin Man and headed toward Ghirardelli Square. Ghi-rar-delli- that is a hard word to spell. It’s got two r’s, kind of like February, but we digress.

We arrived at the shopping center and popped into a little pet boutique, YAP, that featured clothes mostly for smaller dogs. A very cute store! Then we headed over to the main event: the Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop and Café!

Dispatch 5 Fishermans Wharf - 9

Izzy, happy to hang out in Ghirardelli Square!

Dispatch 5 Fishermans Wharf - 10

When we visited in 2012, the café was quite cramped. Thanks to Google Maps, we now know that the Shop and Cafe has relocated next door and has expanded a lot! The previous spot is now occupied by Jackson and Polk, a lifestyle boutique, and Vom Fass, offering oils, vinegars and liquors. What a difference 4 years makes.

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Woof Trekking at Fisherman's Wharf

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Woof Trekking: Rest Stops, Apps, and a $14.5 Million Price Tag

Woof Trekking: Rest Stops, Apps, and a $14.5 Million Price Tag

posted in: On the Road, Travel, Woof Trekking | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Today’s post is an adaptation of a chapter from our new book, Woof Trekking.

woof trekking, pets, road trip, vacation, holiday, travel, travel with pets

When Woof Trekkking, some people can drive for hours and hours without stopping to use the restroom. These people must have bladders of steel. Our family does not, probably because we like to stay well hydrated while on the road.

Sometimes when you are driving along, nature can call rather abruptly and adamantly. You feel relieved when you see a rest stop is near on the roadside sign. You only have to wait a couple more minutes and then as you approach, you see it is barricaded and closed. Oh no!

We recently discovered that there is an app called USA Rest Stops that can be downloaded for free for both Apple and Android users. It relies on reporting from users, a lot like the Gas Buddy App.

Another cool app is called Trucker Path. From the name, you can tell that the app is geared more toward truckers, however, it could also be helpful to you on your Woof Trek. Besides weigh stations and large vehicle parking availability, the app also includes rest stop locations and gas stations with current prices (like Love’s and Pilot). It is also available for Android through Amazon.

As an alternative, most states have a list of rest areas online that can be found with a bit of Googling. Some sites also list whether each rest area is open or closed. If a rest stop isn’t nearby, there are always those golden arches available, as well as other restaurants or gas stations.

Most of the time we need to stop at rest stops for the human bladders amongst us. The dogs don’t get out every single time we stop. Izzy and Nana are on opposite ends of the spectrum: Nana can hold it forever, while Izzy can always squeeze out a few drops. Most rest stops have dog designated areas and many of these areas also provide small bags for pet waste. They are usually quite dependable to be free of holes. We like to take a couple each time we run into one of these stands. This way, we are always prepared. That being said, we always bring a good supply of waste bags with us, too.

One quirk about Nana is that when we are on a Woof Trek she enjoys marking her territory. She pees on significant places like prominent rocks and tree trunks. It’s like a big flashing sign, “NANA WAS HERE!”

If we have been driving for an extended period of time, everyone gets out to stretch their legs and investigate the new surroundings. There are some nice rest areas across the US. One of our favorites is in west Texas, Ward County West/East Bound and no wonder… According to the local Texas news, it came with a $14.5 million price tag! ? ? ?

 

Other nice rest areas are located in tandem with State Welcome Centers, where you can also pick up maps and brochures. One of our favorite examples of such a rest stop-welcome center combo was in Mississippi (pictured below).

rest stop

 

We hope this information helps you on your next Woof Trek!

woof trekking, pets, road trip, vacation, holiday, travel, travel with pets

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Of GIFTs and Woof Treks: Two New Series for Our Blog

Of GIFTs and Woof Treks: Two New Series for Our Blog

posted in: Food, Grandma Inspired Fantastic Treats (GIFTs), Woof Trekking | 1 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

In the coming days, we are going to debut two new series of blog posts.

The first series will be about our travels with our pets, aka Woof Trekking. The second series will be recipes inspired by our grandma, aka Grandma-Inspired Fantastic Treats (GIFTs).

It may not seem like it, but these two series are deeply connected.

Four years ago, both of our grandparents passed away on the same day (as we previously blogged about in Nana the Brave!). Our grandpa’s passing was expected, while our grandma’s was not. She passed away six hours before he did, even though she was in near perfect health for an 86-year-old. They always said they wanted to pass away together and walk up to heaven holding hands. In the end, they did.

Their passing induced two major changes in our lives. The first was adopting Nana. The second was our Commemorative Road Trip along the West Coast.

We travelled up the Pacific Coast Highway, through San Francisco, and up to Oregon, where our Grandma was born. The featured image of this post is “The Torii Gate” located outside the Portland Expo Center. It features “3,500 identification tags… to represent the same number of Japanese‐Americans housed at the Portland Assembly Center located at Expo during World War II.” (Source: http://www.expocenter.org/sites/default/files/pdf/expohistory_rev_2011.pdf)

of gifts and woof treks

From there, we travelled to Minidoka, Idaho (see our previous blog post about Minidoka here) where she was interned during World War II and then down to Brigham City, Utah where she met our grandpa. This trip turned out to be our very first Woof Trek, and paved the way for many more excursions with our pets across the United States.

In the Woof Trekking series, we will talk about locations we have Woof Trekked to and show you that it is possible to take your pets on the road with you.

When we returned home from the Commemorative Road Trip, we had to sift through all of our grandparents belongings. During this process, we discovered several cookbooks and cooking magazines in which our grandma had made a ton of little notes and corrections to recipes.

In the Grandma-Inspired Fantastic Treats (GIFT) series, we will make these recipes and share them with you, our readers! We will also be making dishes that remind us of stories about our grandparents (like our post about Chicken Souvlaki.) Grandma loved sweets, so many of the recipes will be baked goods, but every once and awhile we will also post a savory dish she liked.

We hope that you come back and read our two new blog post series. Tomorrow we will have an exciting announcement. Please stay tuned!

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