Roving Retrievers-Tails and Trails

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

Day 58, La Quinta, CA- Arroyo Grande, CA 318 miles, 6 hours 23 min

And just like that…our 31 day stay in LaQuinta is over. It went like a flash. As I wrote in a previous blog, there is a lot to do in LaQuinta and it was a lot we did. Sue and I welcomed 16 guests in all. Steve and Shelly spent one night, Carol spent 10, everyone else somewhere in between. Out of the 31 days we spent in the desert, just two were spent alone and we wouldn’t have it any other way. MJ and Bobby enjoyed all the company too as much of our guest’s attention focused on the boys and it’s attention they look for.

One of the many dog friendly hikes in La Quinta

One of the many dog friendly hikes in La Quinta

Staying warm by the fire pit with Jim and Gabbie

Staying warm by the fire pit with Jim and Gabbie

Boo Huf trail

Boo Huf trail

Big Horn Sheep - look close they blend in

Big Horn Sheep – look close they blend in

The desert has far more things to do than one would think. First off, it was February and the temperatures in the desert in February are similar to those in May in Chicago. This year however record rains fell. It was strange to see it rain so often but the desert became alive in ways we had never seen before. The temperatures were cooler than normal too which suited MJ just fine. MJ doesn’t do to well in the warmer temperatures so as far as he was concerned the weather couldn’t have been any better.

Hiking, biking, golfing, running, exploring, working out, sitting in the hot tub and the pool, are just some of the activities available to do every day. Either through the neighborhood or on a mountain or desert trail, 1 ½ miles or 10, the start of our day was always the same, they all started with a hike. Except for the days it rained, MJ missed out only once. The day before we were to leave, MJ’s mojo was gone so a day of rest was in order. That was fine as the last two days of our stay in LaQuinta the temperatures were near normal, in the high 70’s, MJ prefers air conditioning over direct sun so we did not push him into doing something he didn’t want to do.

After spending so much time in one spot we knew it would take a lot of time to pack and get ready to leave. Most of the afternoon of our last day in LaQuinta was spent packing, cleaning, and getting the car ready for tomorrows trip. It’s been a while since we’ve been on the road, the dogs have developed a new routine which doesn’t include sitting in the car for six hours. Estimated time of departure tomorrow-10:00 am.

We wake to the usual noise of Bobby’s tail beating on the side of the bed reminding us, (like we have forgotten), it’s time to eat. I can’t quite remember if it’s before or after 5:00 am but it really doesn’t matter, I need to get that damn tail to quit hitting the bed and making so much noise. So our final morning in LaQuinta begins. It’s only minutes later and once again Bobby’s favorite time of the day is over. After a quick walk outside to exchange old food for new, we come inside and Bobby goes right back to sleep. It just isn’t fair…

As soon as daylight breaks I decide to put the bike carrier back on the car, load the bikes as it’s time to get this show on the road. The wagon train is all hitched up and we’ll be headed west for the very last time as today, if we go any further west we’ll get wet.

Our next destination is Los Gatos, CA. Daral and Carol just spent time with us in LaQuinta and now we are going to drive to their place and spend some time with them. The most direct and quickest route from LaQuinta to Los Gatos takes about 8 ½ hrs. Sue and I decide to take three days to get there so we may explore the California coast. We decide to take the long slow route up California highway 1. Today we plan on driving to Arroyo Grande, CA, tomorrow we’ll drive to Carmel. I’ve never been to Carmel before and know there is a lot to see there so we will spend two nights there before we finally arrive at Daral and Carols house.

We depart a full 1 ½ hours ahead of schedule! Sue and I have been to LaQuinta many times in the past and every time we leave we get the same sad feeling. We love the desert and just hate to leave but that’s ok, we’ll be back one day soon to do it all over again.

The trip begins on I-10 headed west to Los Angeles. If you’ve ever been to the Palm Springs area you’ll remember the wind mill farm just north of town. I don’t know if it is or isn’t but it must be one of the biggest wind mill farms in the US if not the world. Traffic is heavy as semi after semi is moving commerce from point A to B. The world is always spinning and today it seems as though the truck drivers made the decision that today the world will move just south of 80 miles per hour.

As you head on I-10 toward L.A. traffic just keeps getting more and more congested. It takes time but we finally make it past most of the traffic and finally see the Pacific Ocean for the first time. True to empty nester standards Sue and I see the ocean and try to get the dogs all riled up as if they really understand what we are trying to tell them. MJ and Bobby really only care about three things, food, poop, and sleep. Seeing the ocean is no where on that list and we just interrupted important dog list  item number three, silly us.

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As per our system, we stop about three hours into the ride, fuel up and let the dogs stretch it out and relieve themselves of any internal pressures the car ride may have created.

We finally arrive to our destination which turned out to be another great find. A search on “Bring Fido” found us a cute little one-bedroom house right in the heart of Arroyo Grande. We quickly become acquainted with our accommodations and make a quick run for the beach. A spectacularly beautiful and sunny afternoon made for a perfect walk along the beach with MJ and Bobby on leash.

 

Our cute little cottage in Arroyo Grande, CA

Our cute little cottage in Arroyo Grande, CA

A visit to dog friendly Pismo Beach

A visit to dog friendly Pismo Beach

California’s geography is extremely diverse as we witnessed today. We traveled from the heart of the desert to the Pacific Ocean in mere hours in what once would have taken months. Tomorrow we will drive along the coast stopping along the way to capture some of it’s beauty so we may share. Soon enough our wagon train will be pointed in the opposite direction so we need to take in the California beauty before we start our trip back east.

Little Cottage Arroyo Grande, Airbnb, dog friendly