Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Winter's Summer in America 2011 (Another Throwback and forgotten post)

Three days after brother Baron went in for Formal Training to become a Guide Dog for Guide Dogs of America (something I was not destined to do), I ventured out of Southern California and on to some new territory.

This country is in an extreme heat wave, so my Mom convinced my Dad to take the Northern route: Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska (Dad doesn't like that state, because he and Papa once got stopped by the PoPo and had to pay a fine because the PoPo didn't believe that their rig was a motorhome. Cost them 800 dollars cash), Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and of course finally my second home, the beautiful State of Arkansas at War Eagle Cove.

Tagging along on this trip (actually we are tagging along on this part of our trip) were Scott and Lauren who are going to college in Illinois. This was our first destination. Our second destination was The Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis, where Dad was working, and our third destination is right here at War Eagle Cove.

It took two weeks for us to get to Northwest Arkansas, and we had a grand time Our first stop was Cedar City, Utah.

Our second stop was Colorado. We stayed on the river, where there was a zip line, rock climbing, and river rafting.

Our third stop was Nebraska. Oh yeah, we don't want to stay here again. We tried to get through the whole state, but we ended up in Sterling, Nebraska, and the camp was not up to par. But, Lauren did make banana nut bread! Yummy.

Our fourth stop was Des Moines, Iowa. Now this was a great stop. For one, after last night's stop, we were very grateful for this KOA. But second, and more important, is that we were able to meet DJ, Barb, and Guide Dog Tyson! They graciously came to our camp to meet us. We have been FB friends for awhile and had never met. This was my Mom's first time to meet a Guide Dog Team working outside of GDA. Tyson is a black Labrador Retriever from Guide Dogs of America, who Mom raises puppies for. To finally see what these puppies become, a Guide Dog, and to see the love and committment of this team together is just amazing. We walked around camp to the brand new shaded dog park, which was huge, to let Tyson play free with me. Something interesting happened though, he didn't want to play with me. He is so in tune with DJ, his owner, that his loyalty is to her. My Mom watched in awe as DJ removed the harness form Tyson, and just left his leash attached. DJ and Tyson then started running! Tyson grabbed the leash in his mouth and followed DJ around in this big park, running. It was amazing to see them together. What a great team! Tyson is a very happy dog.

Our fifth stop was Lake Forest, Illinois. This is where we had to say good-bye to our niece and nephew, but not before touring the beautiful campus they will be attending.

Our sixth stop was Indiana. This is where Dad goes off to work with NASCAR. He is the onsite editor for NASCAR, where his work airs on SPEED Channel. We stayed at another KOA, which was ran by a very nice family. All of their childre chipped in to run this huge RV Park. Their 10 year old had been handed the reigns, so to speak, of the tractor led hayride! He did a great job. The kids picked up trash put out by campers at their site every morning. The kids cleaned the pool. The kids held the raffle, and made cotton candy, and set up the movie theater at night, and made root beer floats. AND THEY NEVER COMPLAINED! They always had smiles on their faces. They actally looked like they enjoyed a little hard work. Our camp was set up right against acres and acres of corn fields. Mom would go out to the fields behind us and buy fresh corn of the stalk that morning, and fresh eggs, green beans, and tomatoes. This KOA also had an awesome Bark Park. There was this dog named Tootsie. She was a Saint Bernard. How many licks does it take to get to the center of my ball? ONE! Tootsie squashed my balls! But, I still a bunch of fun pallin' around with the campers' pets.

Our seventh stop was back to Illinois. This is where Mom became the road renegade. Dad had to leave back to California to work on Swimming, so it was just Mom and I in the Airstream. Everyone worries about us traveling by ourselves, but not to worry, Mom knows her stuff and besides I will ALWAYS protect her, because I love her. We did not take one interstate highway from Indiana to Arkansas. We took back country roads and really saw America! Our stop for the night was Lake Shelbyville, operated by the Corps of Engineers. Normally, our camping fees run between 30-40 dollars per night, but here it was only $18. They allow dogs in the lake, but not in swimming areas, so I found the spot, and in I went. Swim, swim, swim. Little did I know, it was where the Amish fish, but they didn't care. The Amish husband was interested in my Mom's independence and struck up a conversation with her. She told him all about Guide Dogs! The women stayed behind, but the young boys were intersted in the convo too!

Our eighth stop was Missouri. Continuing on country roads, we found a Mo. State Park, called Babler. It is situated just west of St. Louis, near Daniel Boone's town of St. Charles. This park was donated by a doctor, 2500 acres of land situated amongst mansions of the midwest. We're talkin' six car garages and three story high houses fenced with horses on rolling hills. Our campsite had almost an acre of land for me to run on. Yahoo!

Our ninth stop was ARKANSAS! Heading South on country roads, we entered the State of Arkansas at Branson, MO. Arkansas is a beautiful state. There is so much to see here, and the people are genuinely nice. Even the kids, little boys, and teenage girls. As the Airstream meandered through Northwest Arkansas, we saw quilt shops! Mom loves quilts and likes to quilt. Surprisingly, she didn't stop. I bet we take a little side trip here soon to go check them out.

And here I am, bakin' in this heat wave. You know, it's actually too hot to go in the lake right now. I'm just cruisin' the house with 17 other animals and three humans in the air conditioner. I keep wanting to stay outside, but Mom says NO! TOO HOT! I ran from her, but she didn't chase me. Then she tricked me. Want a treat? That got me to the door of the house, but she grabbed my collar and took me to the Airstream and now I'm quarantined for the rest of the day. She did give me a Natural Balance treat though. Apparently, there is an extreme heat advisory out, and I don't know what that means. All I want to do is play. But she knows what's best for me, so I am on the BED! Nap time for the rest of the day, until the sun sets.

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