Roving Retrievers-Tails and Trails

A “tail” of two Golden Retrievers (and their humans) as they travel west:

Day 2 – St. Louis, MO-Hays, KS: 505 miles, 8 ½ hours

The wagon train was all hitched up, we pulled out leaving Ed and Gloria’s right on time, 15 minutes late in dog speak is right on time. So 9:15 am we were saddled up and headed out.

Yesterday the dogs were a little restless on the way to St Louis but today was perfect. I don’t think the dogs have ever traveled as good as they did today. Sue and I knew it would be a long day, destination unknown as we wanted to see how well the boys handled the day of travel.

Sue came up with a great idea, we would stop for gas every time the car reached a half of tank of gas. That way we would walk the dogs every 2 ½ hours or so, let them stretch and do their duty. It slows the process down a bit but it worked great so I think we’re going to stick with that plan. We didn’t have any idea how far we would make it today but we did have a scheduled stop in Kansas City. As mentioned, a former coworker of mine lives just west of town. Steve and Desiree are dog lovers themselves, animal lovers actually, having 17 acres made for a perfect stop to let the dogs burn off some energy.

We drove to Steve’s house which has huge iron gates at the end of his very long driveway. Just outside is a sign with manufactured bullet holes in it stating, “Ain’t nothing past these gates worth getting shot for.” Absolutely hilarious! We rang the buzzer, Steve opened up the gates, he and his entire family were standing outside waiting for us as we pulled up the driveway. Steve has a Lab/Border Collie mix, “Lucy”, Steve insisted we keep the dogs all off leash. After the obligatory sniffing out all the private parts they all ran around and had a blast. While the dogs were running and exploring we all went inside and caught up. Steve, Desiree and their three kids are some of the nicest, most wholesome and accommodating people you could ever meet and we feel fortunate to be able to consider them our friends.

Steve came home from work and we had a mission to keep moving so after one very quick and enjoyable hour of visiting, a photo op and we were back in the car and under way.


The dogs have their own system of who gets to sit where in the car and within 5 minutes of leaving Steve’s house they were settled in and conked out. Perfect!

We had no idea how far the day would take us so Sue started looking on line for towns along our route that had pet friendly hotels. A great website, “Bring Fido”, is all one needs to find accommodations that are pet friendly. You’ll need to read the fine print though as some hotels have restrictions regarding the number of pets you can have along with weight restrictions. Even with two 80 pounders the options were great so we never worried we would not be able to find a hotel regardless of how far we drove.

Hays, Kansas is approximately two thirds across the state when you are heading west. As there didn’t seem to be any sizable towns beyond Hays until we reached the Kansas/Colorado border we decided to stop at Hays. “Bring Fido” Bring Fido provided 8 choices of hotels. We decided to do a “drive by” and scope out our first choice of hotel. Sue and I didn’t get the warm and fuzzy’s so we decided to check out our second choice.  We decided on the Days Inn which ended up being perfect for all. Right behind the hotel and just out our door was a huge field and a park. After the dogs ate we took them out to the field, they were able to run around and take care of business, dog business that is.

Sue and I left the dogs, we went and grabbed something to eat ourselves. Once back at the hotel we called a couple of very good friend of ours. Andy and Jill who now live in the Vegas area, we’ll be seeing them along the way. At this time it’s not certain if we’ll see them at their place or if we will all meet up in Southern California but one thing is guaranteed, it will be a great time regardless of the venue.

Long day…Dziuban out.