After a few busy days at home (saw Hamilton, had dinner in the city with the younger Feldman’s, planted our garden beds, visited a few doctors, got haircuts, and repacked) we departed Wednesday for the first leg of our trip, Bakersfield.
Wilma dutifully took her Dramamine and slept peacefully almost the entire four-hour drive. It appears her car sickness problem is resolved (whew); now we were anxious to see how she would deal with her very first hotel stay. We arrived at the La Quinta Inn and Suites in Bakersfield and were given a nice room with a lot of space and a great big bed.
The hotel was perfect for us, although at first we were disappointed with our room location as it was far from the doggy area and on the second floor (first floor and near the poop field are apparently prime locations for dog owners). But we soon realized that the convenience of the first floor does have a downside…….it was completely filled with yappy dogs vying for dominance. Every time we walked down that first floor hallway, we would hear a cascade of barking (and subsequent scolding) from the first room to the last. Even Wilma would make a beeline for the stairs, anxious to get to our quiet second floor accommodations! And as a bonus, the property is adjacent to a Subway restaurant and a Starbucks. Dinner and morning lattes just a block away! Nice.
Our night went well. Wilma managed to ignore all the highway noise, the early rising neighbors, the early departing cars and motorcycles, and the early to work housekeepers. She woke me up at 7am, we went for a nice walk, and she did her business. So far, so good! We had a nice leisurely morning and set off for our next stop, Needles, CA., where, on the way, we had our first little hiccup.
Barstow, CA was the perfect stop for our lunch break and Wilma walk. We found a nice dog friendly Panera Bread, enjoyed our salads, and set off to give Wilma a bit of exercise.
I wasn’t paying much attention when Wilma squatted on a grassy hillside to do her business, until I heard Robin exclaim, “oh no….oh no…..OH NO…Bobbbb…” and there was our poor Wilma, depositing a very large nasty load of the loosest diarrhea I’ve ever seen. And of course being a Golden with lots of long feathery hair on her tail and hindquarters, plus squatting on a hillside so the lava flow spread like a spilled can of paint, the mess quickly escalated out of control (Sorry….no pictures!).
The Old Home was a few hundred yards down the street and we quickly realized that the more Wilma walked, the worse the mess spread all over her once beautiful coat. So Robin held her steady and I ran back to the car for additional poop bags, a bottle of water, wet wipes, and a brush.
When I returned, I found Robin and Wilma had made their way up the hill to a small picnic area (fortunately abandoned) at a truck stop. So we had a table, garbage can, and a drinking fountain at our disposal. Six bottles of water and a couple dozen wet wipes later, we made our way back to the Panera Bread parking lot. I cleaned up in restaurant bathroom, Robin found the doggy diarrhea medicine in the car, and off we (anxiously) continued on our trip to Needles. So much fun! We arrived in Needles with no further incidents (or accidents), and checked into our (second floor) room at the Best Western Colorado River Inn, located on historic Route 66.
The good news is that Wilma appears to be fine. She has been her normal playful hungry self and is tolerating her rice and boiled chicken diet. At first we thought it may have been a side-effect of the Dramamine, but then we realized we had forgotten to give it to her (so, one less thing to worry about). We think she may have picked up a nasty bug from some Highway 5 rest-stop water, so from now on she’ll get only the best purified, certified, sanitized, filtered, and refined crystal clear water available. Poor puppy.
There is not much to say about Needles. The town is on the California side of the Colorado River, so being so close to Arizona, most of the commerce that was once in town has now moved across the river to the more business friendly Grand Canyon state. I will say that the staff at the Best Western, and their adjacent restaurant “Juicy’s Famous River Cafe”, were outstanding. We had a restful night and a great dinner and breakfast. They even gave the three of us our own private room at the restaurant.
The drive to our next stop, Flagstaff AZ, was only 3.5 hours, so we arrived well before check-in. No worries. We stopped at the local FedEx office so Robin could get her laptop (yes, Robin forgot to bring her laptop…..my fault of course, for making her move all the electronics from one suitcase to another!), and we found a great dog park so Wilma could get in some puppy runs.
We rented a cute little house a couple blocks from the historic downtown for a couple of nights. The plan is to stay out of the car for a day, do a little laundry, boil some chicken and rice for Wilma, watch the Masters, and take a couple walks in the cool, fresh, pine scented air of Flagstaff.