Sunday, August 31, 2014

Road Trip-Northwest Edition

Road Trip! Since we relocated to Eastern Washington we have not done much traveling due to the pawrents settling in with jobs and such. However, we couldn't turn down an invitation to visit Grandpa and Grandma in Idaho Falls, Idaho. I, of course, can't resist a chance for some new smells, so we packed up the car and set out for a long weekend getaway.

The trip from Spokane, WA to Idaho Falls, ID is about 9 hours give or take. Some routes are more scenic than others with some nice rest stops and diversions. However, since our main trip was dedicated to a family visit, we chose the most direct route. If you haven't taken your dog along on a road trip yet, you should! Road trips are practically made for traveling with pets, with plenty of rest stops, sights to see, things to smell and flexibility. I have a great car-seat for road trips; seated behind the passenger seat which is the safest place for dogs to ride in cars (avoiding passenger airbag).  I use the Snoozer Lookout, Medium for car rides. Mommy set me up with my favorite blanket, toy, and some kibble to snack on and we were ready to roll!



We headed out on the I90 East towards Idaho Wednesday afternoon and although it isn't a "scenic drive", we found the view through Coeur D'Alene, ID to be beautiful with views of the Lake and rivers almost all the way through to Missoula, MT. We actually decided to travel the trip in two "legs", stopping in Missoula, MT the first night and then traveling to Idaho Falls, ID the following day.
I found some very helpful travel apps for the iPhone that made looking for food, gas, and sightseeing easy! My favorite app was Roadtrippers. We made a brief restroom stop at Lookout Pass, a historic site that sits on the border of Idaho and Montana.


I should mention that I love car rides! I tolerate them very well and alternate looking out the window and napping. I am very fortunate to not have any issues with car-sickness, so I can eat snacks on route. Evening is my normal dinner time, so I just nibble on my food along the way. If your dog has a sensitive tummy, I would advise skipping the big meals until you arrive at your destination.


We made it into Missoula, MT in the evening and witnessed some spectacular lightning over the big sky area. We chose to stay at the always pet friendly La Quinta Inn. We have stayed at this affordable chain during our move to Washington, and find it has always been clean, dog friendly, and has good reviews on BringFido.com. The hotel room is always exciting for me to explore and mom sets up some of my usual stuff such as a pee pad, water, and food. The only issue we are having with hotels more and more now are the beds seem to get higher and higher which can make it difficult for me to get on and off the bed. Yes...I sleep in the bed. A friend had a useful idea to stack the staircases next to the bed, forming steps. We will have to try this technique next time. Mom also bought a portable white noise machine to help cut down on the hallway traffic noise, which in turn may help cut down on my occasional barks...


In the morning we headed down for some free continental breakfast and coffee. It was delightful to see they had a patio outside the french doors of the dining room that backed up right next to a stream. Such a nice atmosphere to enjoy your morning coffee next to a soft running brook.


I decided today was the day to step up my fashion a little bit, since we were stopping more often and arriving to see the Grandparents. I wore my Travel Harness made by mommy which features all the states on the fabric. A Bright colored leash with a Collapsible Pet Bowl and Bone Waste Bag completed my ensemble. I do enjoy fashion but not at the expense of function. Mommy also dressed comfortably and her outfit is included in a previous post.


We did end up stopping at Starbucks on the way out of Missoula (darn addiction!). However, mommy found a yummy and healthy snack that was perfect for road trips! Peter Rabbit makes organic baby food in squeezable pouches that is great on the go and less mess then peeling a banana in a car. Of course before we set out we had to take a picture of the cool statue of a bear made from scrap metal.


After hitting the road again we traveled along East 90 until we hit the Interstate 15 South. The views were great and varied from wide open blue sky to prairie, rivers, mountains, and farmland. We also saw cows...lots of cows. The rest stops maintained along these major highways were very impressive and clean. Some contained visitor centers and interesting historical tidbits and just about all of them had designated pet areas for relief. These were great opportunities to stretch our legs, have some fresh water and take in some new smells.


We arrived to our destination in good time and spent the weekend with the Grandparents. Idaho Falls was pleasantly very dog accepting. The July 4th weekend had many great pet friendly activities including the street fair on Snake River Landing leading up to the world renown Melaleuca Freedom Celebration. We also visited Jackson Hole, Wyoming which I will post in another blog entry to outline all the dog friendly details.

Thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to read about my road trip review. Check back often for updates on dog friendly activities, places and of course style and fashion for the canine lifestyle.

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