Roving Retrievers-Tails and Trails
A “tail” of two Golden Retrievers (and their humans)as they travel west:
Day 70 and 71, Park City, UT-Grand Island, NE 765 miles, 12 hours exactly
Grand Island, NE-Geneva, IL 571 miles, 8hrs 40 min
Park City was awesome! As mentioned earlier Sue and I have never skied Park City but we will be certain to return again next season. To date Park City has received 330 inches of snow and that is with at least of 6 weeks to go!
Designated skier parking in Park City proper made for a short walk to jump on the ski lift. About 3 miles away and at the other end of the hill was another parking lot but we decided to work the far end of the mountain for our first day of skiing. The trails had a few inches of fresh powder letting us know we were the first ones down the runs. Even though it was Sunday, the mountain is so big and there are so many runs that there may have been a lot of people skiing but the crowd was so well dispursed we literally were the first skiers down several runs early that morning.
Day one went so well we hated to try the other end of the mountain as we found some perfect runs that we really enjoyed, but that wasn’t the plan. We thought day 1 was great but day 2 was even better! The runs were definitely challenging in fact some of the trails marked as blues would easily have been designated black runs at most of the resorts we’ve been to in Colorado. This blog is not about skiing but just remember, if your are dog lovers AND skiers like Sue and I, Park City is a must do as is Park City Pet Resort. If you make Park City your next ski destination do not hesitate to bring your Fido, you will not be disappointed.
After a full day of skiing we drove the 15 minutes to pick up MJ and Bobby. They were pooped! Sue and I were on a mission to feed the dogs and pack up. As I had removed everything off the back of the car when we arrived I had a solid 90 minutes of packing ahead of me and I wanted get everything loaded before dark. Sue fed the dogs while I loaded the car. Back in the townhouse I checked weather for tomorrows trip and saw there was a “Bomb Cyclone” coming which was headed right through our route of travel. Originally Sue and I planned to drive home via Rapid City so we could visit Mt Rushmore but that plan was quickly falling apart. I checked the weather prognostic charts and determined if we didn’t make it to at least Grand Island, Nebraska we risked being caught right in the middle of a blizzard. Our decision to drive the almost 800 miles to get out of the storms path was easy as we knew the boys would sleep most of the day especially after two very active days at the Park City Pet Resort.
Our travel day started like all the others. A wake up call by Bobby, our early start under way. Most of the work to get on the road already done so all we had to do was feed the boys, take them for a walk and pack the little we had left in the house.
The four of us have become very efficient in the morning, no one is tripping over the other, the system is alive and well. MJ and Bobby have two things to do, the first is to eat and the other is pretty automatic, innate in fact so if we’re delayed, it’s usually not because of them, (or Sue!).
It’s 8:20 am, we can see the ski hill from our car window as for the last time this trip, we pull out. No problem leaving as we know we will be back early next season. The sky is crystal clear, a perfect morning actually making us wonder if the forecasters might be wrong, regardless it’s too late now and we are on our way.
Our route home is almost entirely on Interstate 80 and within 2 minutes we are on the highway headed east. There is an abnormal amount of wildlife on both sides of the fence along the interstate. Herds of deer, 20 or more right on the shoulder of the highway making us wonder if these animals sensed something big was about to happen and they needed to eat before they were forced to bed down for days.
The animal sightings continued for hundreds of miles. Throughout the entire state of Wyoming, in addition to deer, Pronghorn were everywhere. They too could be spotted grazing alone or in herd of 20 and more. It was really amazing to see so much wildlife in such a wide open area and a little nerve racking as they were so close to the highway. After a while you just became accustomed to seeing them and eventually didn’t pay much attention.
The interstate has large marquise style signs spanning high above the road about every 50 miles or so, today the signs were providing warning about the oncoming storm. Each sign gave an approximate time the storm would hit and warned “Travel Not Advised”, hey-you don’t have to tell me twice.
MJ and Bobby were dead to the world, hours had passed and I had not seen either one of them so we knew we’d be able to continue on as long as we needed. We eventually made it to Grand Island although by that time it was raining quite hard. We stopped in a hotel of which we weren’t too worried about the accommodations as we had no plans to do anything more than jump in the shower and then bed as we needed a very early start the next day.
We woke up to a hard steady rain and fog. Again we were in the car by 8:20 and except for fuel we were not going to stop until we arrived at home. GPS told us we had 571 miles remaining which after yesterday, we knew MJ and Bobby would not have a problem. We pulled in our driveway at exactly 5:00pm and 71 days since we last had seen the house.
We were blocks from the house and you could tell MJ and Bobby knew where they were. Once in the driveway they jumped out and ran around the front yard. Clearly happy to be back home and hoping that seeing their house for the first time in a very long time, they knew the car rides were all over…for now!