After getting a taste of the road with Darby Crash in March when we traveled to Ft. Worth to the GCA Southern Specialty (where he finished his Championship at the tender age of 15months!) it was apparent that he was a dog who loved to travel. He rides easy with no cares: no panting, anxiety, car sickness, etc. He just gets in, lays down and goes to sleep until we stop. Sometimes he'll come up and 'touch' my arm with his nose to ask for the side windows to be rolled down, whereupon he sticks his head out to surf the wind for a bit, and when he's finished he goes back to napping.
He eats meals at rest stops or even on the road, he's comfortable 'doing his business' anywhere at anytime and he's trained to lay down in the back of the van before I'll put his leash on (so he doesn't bolt or crowd the door when I first open it. This has been the most practical and often used obedience lesson he's learned to date!)
When the opportunity to travel to the Eastern presented itself to me the decision was pretty much a no-brainer. Circumstances allowed me the time, H and GM had allowed me the dog; we were going! I tried to keep it a secret from H and GM, until H asked me point blank if I was going and the truth came out. When GM sees the blog, the cat will be completely out of the bag. Sterling Darby Crash will be going to the Eastern to 'represent' for Aragon and Aroi! It's extra special because, as H informed me, no Aragon dog has ever been to the Eastern! Darby is the first.
The trip is long: California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and finally New Jersey.
We started in California and met our travel partner Cat and Ivana (greyhound) in Reno, from there we drove and drove and drove across the desolation that is Nevada and into Utah. We arrived very very late (a curse on Sacramento traffic that put me back 2 hours almost) in Park City Utah. Three states down, 8 to go!
Day 2 was Wyoming and Nebraska, both open and flat and fairly desolate (although they both have their charms)
At rest stops Darby meets and greets Joe American and family, charming everyone, of course. It's his nature!
We stopped for a potty break at the dinosaur museum in Nebraska and he got to pose with a 30 foot T-Rex (well, the T-Rex's feet)
Day 3 covered all of Nebraska and Iowa.
There's a lot of corn in Iowa, we've decided that Darby's color is officially 'Dilute Corn Brindle', he's practically camouflaged!
Day 4 (getting a little tired of driving at this point) we crossed Illinois, Indiana and Ohio (phwew!) There wasn't a lot of picture taking, we mostly concentrated on driving with the occasional brief potty break.
We got pulled over in Illinois for failing to observe the speed limit (it wasn't our fault, the speed limit changed abruptly and the officer liked our California plates I guess). The officer was really personable and LOVED our dogs so much, we didn't get a ticket! He joked with us and talked about his favorite kind of dog (Neopolitan Mastiffs) and wished us luck at the shows. He cautioned us to be extra careful in Ohio because the police in Ohio aren't as friendly as the ones in Illinois. Well, duh!
And today, day 5, is Pennsylvania to New Jersey. Ivana and Darby are curled up together all warm and snuggly in the van as we drive. It's raining and pretty cold, so needless to say we won't be taking many photos outside the hotel room. Hopefully the weather will be better tomorrow for the specialty!