Roving Retrievers-Tails and Trails

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

Day 3  Hays, KS-Boulder, CO: 352 miles, 5 ½ hrs

We woke up to a rather cold and frosty morning in Hays. I’m pretty certain everyone had a great night sleep, if they didn’t I would have never known because I did. This particular day started just like any day at home, Bobby reminding us with his tail beating against the side of the bed that we’ve over slept by a whopping 30 seconds and he must eat. Breakfast and dinner time is easily Bobby’s favorite time of the day, and even though dogs can’t, Bobby is smiling ear to ear as he knows it’s T minus one minute before he’s engulfing the days first meal. With uncanny accuracy and efficiency, the highlight of his day is over in a flash, he hasn’t been awake 5 minutes.

On the other side of the spectrum MJ has yet to move a muscle. MJ bats about a .750 when it comes to eating the days first meal. And while Bobby will never touch MJ’s food bowl, Bobby watches…closely, intently, never able to comprehend why another dog would choose not to eat.

If we were at home we would just open the door and let the boys out the door. Unfortunately, our new norm requires Sue and/or I to leash up the dogs and get them outside to relieve the internal pressures food conversion creates. I know the feeling myself so we try to move as quickly as possible but the fact is the first ten minutes of the day, my everything creaks and cracks making it difficult to get a quick move on but for the dogs sake, my moves are deliberate.

As mentioned yesterday there is a huge field and park behind the hotel making it easy, (and quick), for us to walk the dogs-it’s a quick mission, we’re back inside ready to clean up and get a move on the day. One last coaxing but MJ decides he doesn’t need to eat this morning so back in the dog food bag goes his food. Bobby can’t believe his eyes. Before we leave Sue and I take the dogs for about a 45-minute walk through a fairly nice residential section of Hays, as always, our mission-tire the boys out.

We are especially excited as today we will arrive at our first destination. It will be a two-week stint in Boulder, CO. My daughter Michelle has lived in Boulder for about 2 ½ years now so she’s going to be a great hostess and introduce us to an area I have yet to visit. To find the perfect accommodations, Sue enlisted the services of an internet site called Home Away. She hunted for days looking for a place to accommodate our 50/50 split of human/canine traveling contingency. Boulder is an extremely pet friendly area, it was a cost issue that made the selection process a difficult one.

We’re loaded up quite quickly, dogs are already nestled in their respective spots as we drive across the street to Starbucks. A quick breakfast sandwich and we’re officially on the road. Today the dogs traveled as good as they did yesterday. Not a single whimper or whine the entire way. We stopped for fuel at a truck stop that had a fenced in dog park. MJ and Bobby made quick friends with “Ziggy” and burned off a lot of unused energy. We spoke with Ziggy’s mom for a while whose family was on the final leg of their multi-leg trip to the southeastern portion of the U.S. They are from Winter Park, CO and were excited that today, they would finally be back home.

How exciting it was to see the front range for the first time. We were about 120 miles east of Denver and you could easily spot the mountains, snow capped reaching for the sky in all their majestic beauty, end in site!

Front Range - First Sighting

Front Range – First Sighting

We arrived in the Boulder area around 2:00pm. Michelle was at work, too early to check in to our rental unit so we parked the car and walked the dogs around town. We eventually ended up sitting outside the Boulderado Corner Bar and drank a celebratory beer. The weather, sunny and 63! 3 days before Boulder had a snowstorm, mid morning temps…6 degrees!!! It was and absolute treat to sit outside. While I like to credit our ability to meet people to our own effervescent personalites, the trick to meeting people in Boulder is to have a dog. If you’re not a people person, don’t walk your dog in Boulder. We met so many people who were walking past the hotel as we sat outside it was crazy! This may be one of the friendliest places I have ever visited.

MaMa's Boy

MaMa’s Boy

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The dogs had to stay outside the patio area

We finally checked into our room, a carriage house attached to an in town mansion. It’s beautiful. We unloaded the car, walked the dogs again and made arrangements to meet Michelle. We drove the one mile to her house with the boys as Michelle’s Shepard mix, “Charlie”, (a female), just spent the Christmas week at our house, another doggie reunion about to take place. We got the grand tour of Michelle’s house and made plans for the evening. Eventually we went to dinner with Michelle and two of her friends Anthony and James at Avery Brewing  local craft brew place with a wide variety of beer and very good food.  It was a great way to end the day.

Our Carriage House Rental in downtown Boulder

Another long day albeit quite an exciting one. Tomorrow we have plans to hike up to the top of Mount Sanitas which allows dogs to hike off leash. Whew…I better get to bed, no doubt tomorrow will be another exciting and fun day!


Sunset from our window

Sunset from our window