The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Harley takes his role as navigator seriously!

On the Road through the Rockies

The trip we planned to Calgary, Canada started out a little differently than planned. Steve headed out at o-dark-thirty on Monday morning on his Super Tenere motorcycle. My DIL Helen was scheduled to fly back into San Antonio on Tuesday night and we were going to head out in the car with Angus the Therapy dog on Wednesday morning. That was not to be. Steve called his Dad about 7:30AM to come to Blanco to pick him up. Four deer decided to cross the road in front of him. He deftly avoided three of them but one decided to turn and run right at him. So down he went. Dave drove up and picked both Steve and the bike up. They spent a good part of the day at the ER getting checked out. Steve got "road rash" in a number of places and a pretty good cut on his elbow but fortunately no broken bones or concussion. He can definitely provide a testimonial on just how tough the Lifetime IPhone cases actually are. He had his in his back pocket and most of the pocket didn't make it but the phone case took the abuse and saved his fanny.

On to Plan B, Steve was okay but knew he would be too stiff to ride all the way to Canada on a motorcycle so he made the decision to take his Toyota Tundra instead of the little car and ride with us. Great back up plan. We wisely decided to wait one additional day and leave on Thursday to make sure he would be okay traveling. We got an early start and headed northwest through Lubbock and Amarillo on our way to Raton, NM for our first stop. It was a long day and I didn't take any photos since we just came through that way earlier this summer. Getting closer to Raton here.

We spent the night in a Motel 6 after a slight scare that they didn't have a room available and neither did anyone else in town. Nobody seemed to know why everything was booked but someone cancelled. It wasn't fancy but it was clean, the beds were comfortable, and Angus was welcome. The next morning we were off early headed north through Raton Pass.

We stopped at an roadside overlook to take a couple of photos.

Then we were off to Trinidad. Angus and I waited in the parking lot while Steve and Helen went into the local Safeway where the only Starbucks was located. We had a great view of this train and, as a bonus, they came out 15 minutes later with lattes and some huge breakfast burritos.

The scenery was great as we got back underway. All that was left of this old church was the walls.

And how is this for a fixer-upper homestead?

We made a change in our itinerary and decided to cut across central Colorado instead of taking the easterly route through Colorado Springs and Denver.

So we were right into the Rocky mountains right away and stops for stretching and pictures fit right in.

The scenery was great. We saw lots of places to camp and I was already wishing this was an RV trip but I would have wanted a lot more travel time.

Our new route took us through central Colorado to Leadville.

They actually mined silver in Leadville, the second largest city in Colorado in 1877 and the most famous silver mining camp in the world.

All kinds of travelers were on the road. This KLR is packed and ready to travel so Steve wanted a photo even though he wasn't traveling on it.

We stopped for lunch at a local cafe. They had a patio where dogs were warmly welcomed with their owners. Lunch was great but they were really busy and somewhat short-handed so we ate quite a bit of time as well as lunch here.

Lots of interesting shops along the main street.

Leadville is famous these days for the Leadville 100, a one hundred mile race. Steve has a friend who has raced here three times so he was very interested in seeing the place where it all took place.

Yes, that is snow on the mountains but it was nice and warm in Leadville. There were lots of people in town for sightseeing and it is also popular for setting out on hikes.

This huge house up on a hill at the end of the main street caught my eye.

Since we took more time than we planned on in Leadville, we were late getting to Steamboat Springs for dinner. We decided to get some pizza at this popular local place. Luckily we arrived right before a group of ballplayers and their parents.

I'm not a skier so I would much rather visit in the summer and it looked like a very interesting town but, unfortunately, it was a busy Friday night and we still had miles to go.

Our planned stop for Friday night was Rock Springs, Wyoming. We picked it because it was a reasonable distance away from the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone without the high prices of Jackson and the Jackson Hole area.

Angus Works the Library

My son's dog Angus is an American Staffordshire Terrier. He is also a certified Therapy Dog and a member of the Love-A-Bull Pit Crew, the only all Pitty type dog therapy group in the country. Thursday, Steve, the grandkids, Angus, and I headed north to Austin so Angus could complete one of his Pit Crew assignments. A library in Austin was celebrating their 15th year in business and asked members of the Pit Crew to come and meet the kids. Angus loves kids and other dogs, cats, etc.

What is a Therapy Dog you might ask. Well, think of it this way. A Service Dog is trained to do certain things for one particular person. A Therapy Dog provides therapeutic interaction to many people (adults and children) to improve mood, build confidence, repair hearts, and educate the community about humane care for animals and kindness.

Big scary dogs, right???   The kids don't think so.


Angus loves kids and dogs and nothing makes him happier than being able to say hello to someone new.

Watch this little tiny girl work her way down to get to Angus.

Ah, success. A very cute meet and greet.

You can see "Rita", a brindle pitty in the background. She got lots of hugs and pats too.
Angus loves his job as a Therapy Dog and he is very good at it. He has had lots of training but he just plain has a good heart. You can see him dial down his energy level when he puts on his vest.  He crouches down or lays down when the kids are really little.  He's not much of a "kisser" preferring to save that for close family members but he likes a good snuggle. 

Birthdays and Bubblebaths

It has been way too boring around here since we got back from our trip to the Texas Panhandle. Just catching up on a few things.
First up.....Helen had a birthday while we were gone and Dave had one the other day so we had one big celebration. Hmmmm, Dave's cake looks like it is on fire.

We grilled some great steaks on the grill.....well, Steve did the grilling and I fixed the rest. Long time friends Bob and Loretta joined us along with the kids and grandkids.
Then Steve wanted to spend a day with each of the kids separately. So he and Morgan took off for the day
......and Cameron had a day with Grandma. We went to Chuckie Cheese. I have to admit that the pizza was much better than the last time I was there. Cameron had a ball playing all the games. He's pretty good too.

You may have noticed Cameron's haircut this summer.  He wanted a Mohawk and his Dad said "summer is for fun, you can have it while you are here but it disappears when you go back to your Mom's". It makes him happy and it isn't a big deal.

Morgan and her Dad went shopping, bought a couple of new dresses, and both had a pedicure. Steve is a very good sport (and now he is sporting black toe nails.) lol

For Cameron's day, they went to the shooting range. I think he will get a second turn as his event was not that long,

And Morgan and Grandma went to Burger King and to see the movie "Inside Out". Both were Morgan's choices. I thought I would just have to suffer through the movie but it actually ended up being pretty good. The only  negative part of the movie was the  women behind us that each brought a two-year old to the theater. They talked their way through the first part of the movie and then really started fussing and crying. The Moms finally took them out to the exit area. I guess they didn't clue into the fact that we could still hear them screaming. The price of the movie tickets would have easily paid for a babysitter. End of rant!

Gretchen had Spa time this morning. (Don't tell her but she really needed it.) The boys just got a bath but Gretchen enjoys the full treatment. She likes to be wrapped up in a big towel and cuddled when the bath is over. It's so easy to spoil her.

Til next time.