Patrick's Travels Part 3
May 2001 - April 2002
We began our extended travels from Dallas, Texas in late May, 2000. During the following six months, I visited 13 western states and traveled over 16,000 miles. Click here for details of my first season on the road, including my broken foot. For details of my winter of 2000-01 click here. My objective is to have visited at least 30 states by the winter of 2001-02.
I got to play with CJ while I was in Dallas. CJ is a 4 month old Miniature Schnauzer. I think the little fellow was afraid of me. I can't imagine why. I'm just a puppy myself, although a big puppy. Since Michael is working on genealogy, he took me with him to several cemeteries so he could photograph tombstones. I also got to play with Andy, a black lab mix. He was closer to being my size. We played really well together. I did the tourist thing in downtown Dallas. I saw the old log cabin where the founder of Dallas, John Bryan lived, the Dallas County Courthouse (Old Red), City Hall and Pioneer Plaza where they have bronze cows and horses that are larger than life-size. (Of course some people say the same thing about me!)
Then we traveled to Houston for the wedding of Georgia's nephew. After the wedding, I got to play with Georgia's cousin's dogs, Sparky and Griffin. Griffin loves to play. Griffin is my kind of dog. Then we returned to Livingston. I got my rabies tag from the Allen Animal Clinic. I don't know why I have to get a rabies tag if Michael and Georgia don't. Our departure from Texas was delayed by Tropical Storm Allison. Michael and Georgia don't like to pull the trailer when the weather is bad. It doesn't matter much to me since I sleep when I get bored anyway. However, I don't like the sound of heavy rain on the roof of the van. Too noisy, it disturbs my sleep. Then the big rain started. Interstates were closed and lots of cars and businesses and houses were flooded. It started to look like Allison was going to stay in southeast Texas forever. To get out of the storm, we headed west, then north. We are going to Nashville, TN through Oklahoma, Missouri and Illinois. Not the originally planned route but it does get me away from all the rain and flooding along the Texas and Louisiana coast. It will also give me the chance to travel on parts of the old Route 66 that I haven't been on before.
In Wichita Falls, TX we visited with the Garrisons. They have a Miniature Schnauzer named Asta. Asta cheats when I try to play. She runs under tables. Since I can't get under tables, I don't think that is fair.
We spent several days in Oklahoma City while Michael replaced the motherboard on the desktop computer which had crashed. Then we traveled through Tulsa, stopping at the Round Barn in Arcadia and the Blue Whale in Catoosa to Claremore. They were having a horse show at the Expo where we were staying. Michael and Georgia visited the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore. They really gained an appreciation for Will Rogers. Since they didn't mention anything about his dogs, I don't think he was all that important. Then we continued on Route 66 through Oklahoma to the state line. We passed the world's largest McDonald's spanning I-44 just south of Route 66. Then we saw the Newell Motor Coach manufacturing facility near Miami, OK. Since it was Saturday, they were closed.
Then we visited Kansas, state number 14 for the Traveling Irish Wolfhound. We followed Route 66 through Baker Springs to Robinson. Just west of Robinson is the only remaining Rainbow Arch Bridge on Route 66. I thought that was neat. Then we headed for Galena, the most easterly city in Kansas along Route 66. Michael promised me that I will get to see more of Kansas later.
State number 15 was Missouri. We continued on Route 66 through Joplin, Webb City and Carthage to Springfield. In Springfield, we saw a little solar powered car driving through town with vans with warning lights in front and behind it. It was so small that I think I could have carried it off. I don't think they would have seen the humor in that somehow. Then we continued on through the beautiful Ozarks to St. Louis. Did you know that they grow a lot of grapes for wine in southern Missouri? Well, you learn something new every day. St. Charles and St. Louis, MO have lots of things to see. St. Charles was Missouri's first Capitol. They have restored the building including the Governor's Office and the Senate and House chambers. St. Louis has a big arch (I think it was inspired by McDonalds) and a big river. They have taken good care of the old buildings downtown, including the Old Cathedral. I was disappointed that Michael and Georgia left me at home when they visited Grant's Farm. They raise the Clydesdales there that pull the Budweiser wagon. Those are BIG horses. They even make me look small.
Then we drove through southern Illinois to Metropolis. Those of you who watch reruns may remember that Metropolis is the home of Superman. I felt very secure sitting under the statue of Superman beside the County Courthouse. They grow lots of corn in southern Illinois and have some neat barns. They we crossed into Kentucky. I kept looking for blue grass but didn't see any. We then entered my 18th state, Tennessee and headed for Nashville. We stayed just a couple of blocks from Opryland. Michael and Georgia left me home again and went to the Grand Ole Opry. That's not very nice since I like country music too! It hurt my feelings when they told me that they saw Bill Anderson, Jim Ed Brown, Little Jimmy Dickens, Porter Wagoner, Jean Shepard, Blake Shelton, Tammy Cochran, Hank Locklin, Steve Holey and lot's of other country singers. Life isn't always fair but I did get to play with several dogs while I was in Nashville. While Georgia attended the NMRC Conference, Michael took me to the meadow and tossed sticks for me to chase. I like that game but I missed Georgia.
Then we headed back to Kentucky to visit the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green. The Corvette Assembly Plant was closed for retooling for the 2002 models but the museum was great. They have lot's of Vettes in there. Don't you think I would look good in a new Corvette convertible. We continued north to Louisville, home of the Kentucky Derby. My 19th state to visit was Indiana. I stayed in Clarksville, IN, across the Ohio river from Louisville, Kentucky. While we were in Indiana, we traveled back to Louisville to visit the Kentucky Derby Museum and Churchill Downs. Then for all you baseball fans, we visited the Louisville Slugger Museum. For those of you who forgot, Hillerich & Bradsby Co. makes the famous Louisville Slugger baseball bat. They take you through the plant where they make the bats (unfortunately dogs are not allowed to take the tour so my information is second hand.) Then we headed to blue grass country, eastern Kentucky. We stayed at the Kentucky Horse Park. I liked them. They not only have lots of room for me to run, they let me tour the Horse Park with Georgia and Michael. I enjoyed meeting the horses. Some of the miniatures were about my size. The Clydesdales and the Friesians were HUGE. I got to rub noses with the big guys and get lots of attention from the visitors. The best part was that they didn't charge me any admission fee. I think that was very nice of them, don't you?
Ohio was my 20th state. We traveled through Cincinnati and on to Dayton. Dayton is the home of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Air Force Museum. They have hundreds of airplanes on display, including the airplanes used by the U.S. Presidents for the past 60 years. They have planes from the early 1900's through the Stealth Fighter. Then we visited the Airstream factory in Jackson Center. This is where my Airstream was built. I like the new 34' with the couch slide-out and the computer desk in the front (more room for me and I can see the computer better). Then we headed back to Indiana to visit more RV manufacturers. Most RV's are manufactured within 60 miles of Elkhart. Michael and Georgia toured the Newmar factory in Nappanee, IN and the Motorhome/RV Museum in Elkhart. I got to go to Notre Dame. I was really a hit on campus. I was almost like a mascot. they are the 'Fighting Irish' you know. Michael and Georgia liked the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. I liked the attention. Notre Dame has a beautiful campus with ivy-covered walls, large trees and squirrels. I was most interested in the squirrels (and one little rabbit sitting under a tree).
Michael said we couldn't leave Indiana without visiting Auburn. We went to the Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg Museum there. The museum is housed in the building that was the corporate headquarters for the Auburn Company. It is a beautiful building with about 150 classic cars inside. The emphasis is on Auburns, Cords, and Duesenberg (I know that comes as a surprise to you) but they have a couple of Rolls-Royces, a 427 Cobra, a 1954 Corvette, a Ferrari Mexico and lot's of other neat cars. Since I can't go in to the Museum, Michael was thoughtful enough to video tape the cars and show me the tape.
Then we traveled back through upper Ohio to Toledo. Toledo is the home of Tony Packos's Cafe. Packos's chili dogs are world famous thanks to Corporal Klinger. Oh come on, you do watch the reruns of MASH on TV don't you? Michael says that they are good but he wouldn't let me have one. Isn't he mean? I-75 is under construction (looked more like deconstruction to me) and it took us over an hour to go about 3 miles. I am not a patient dog. I like to see things moving past my window.
Then we entered my 21st state, Michigan. Monroe is very big on Major-General George Custer since he grew up there. I enjoyed my visit to Luna Pier because I got to look at Lake Erie but didn't have to get too close to the water. I got to meet Donna Robinson's Michigan vet in Imlay City. Dr. Sillars is a nice man. He checked me out and said I was looking good (but then we all knew that didn't we?). He had good news and bad news. He said I'm in great shape. BUT, he said I had picked up a skin infection on my legs from walking in tall weeds. He gave Michael and Georgia some antibiotics and some special shampoo. Georgia found my Diamond Lamb and Rice Dog Food at the Monroe Feed Store. We picked up another 120 pounds of my food so I won't run out. You must carry plenty of the necessities of life. There is nothing more pathetic than an Irish Wolfhound that has run out of his favorite food.
We saw lots of automobile plants and auto manufacturer's headquarters in Detroit (they don't call it Motor City for nothing, you know). Trucks in Michigan have more tires under them than anywhere else I have traveled. I saw trucks with as many as 44 tires on the ground. That's amazing. We visited the Lionel Manufacturing Company in Chesterfield. They make neat little metal toy electric trains. I would like Michael to set up a Lionel train so I could chase the engine around. I'll bet you didn't know that Lionel has been making toy trains for 100 years. I am just of a fountain of knowledge. Michael and Georgia went to the Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village in Dearborn. The Museum changed their policy this year and don't let "Pets" in. I think that stinks. I was so frustrated at not being able to go into the Henry Ford Museum that I said "We're out of here" and we headed to the Upper Peninsula.
Did you know that Michigan is the only state in two separate pieces? (Of course Hawaii has lots of islands, atolls and shoals.) I got to see Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. The clear water takes on pretty shades of blue and green. I was surprised how warm it gets up here. Like HOT! We stayed in Sault Ste. Marie which is across from Sault Ste. Marie. Confusing isn't it, only one is in Michigan and the other one is in Ontario, Canada. Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan was established as a permanent settlement in 1668 and is the third oldest city in the United States. Bet you didn't know that either. Between the two cities are the Soo Locks in the St. Mary's River which lower and raise the 1000 foot long lake freighters traveling between Lake Superior and Lake Huron (Superior is 21 feet higher than Huron).
Then I had my first visit to Canada. I toured Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. They have a neat museum called the Bushplane Museum that has airplanes that land on water and planes that drop water on forest fires. Sault Ste. Marie has a really pretty house that was built in 1814. Good grief, that's older than me! After my return to the U.S., I visited the Point Iroquois and Whitefish Point light houses on Lake Superior. Whitefish Point is called the Graveyard of the Great Lakes because of all the shipwrecks. The weather can get pretty bad up here. The 750' ship Edmund Fitzgerald sank off Whitefish Point in 1975 (you do listen to Gordon Lightfoot's songs don't you?). Then I visited Tahquamenon Falls. It is the largest waterfall in Michigan. Some of the water is brownish-orange. I'll bet you wonder why. It is colored by the Tannic Acid from the Cedar Hemlock swamps that the water runs through. Sometimes I am so smart I amaze myself. At Tahquamenon Falls, we ran into Dr. Sillars' cousin. She knew Donna Robinson (my breeder). It is a small world isn't it. Then we traveled across the Upper Peninsula along the shore of Lake Michigan. In Gladstone, we stayed at an RV Park that is on the lake. I was walking on the beach when I saw a Jet Ski racing across the lake. It was small and fast and I really wanted it. I'm not sure what I would do with it but I certainly was intrigued. Michael took a series of photos of me watching the jet ski that he wanted to share with you in the Focus of an Irishman.
Wisconsin was my 22nd state to visit. We saw forests and hundreds of little lakes as we traveled to Wausau. They have several cheese factories south of Wausau and Lake DuBay is very pretty. If it were winter, I could play on the ski slopes at Rib Mountain. Michael and Georgia toured the Weyerhaeuser Paper Mill. Their tour guide was a retired employee who had worked in the plant for 47 years. They said it was too loud for puppies in the plant. Then they visited Mullins Cheese Factory in Knowlton. They make all kinds of cheese there. I like cheese but I am not supposed to have it since I am lactose intolerant. Darn! Wausau has some lovely old houses and churches. They even have a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. As we drove across Wisconsin, we saw lots of corn and farms but not very many cows. Kind of makes you wonder where all the cheese comes from doesn't it?
My 23rd state was Minnesota. We visited the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. They have the Mall of America which is the biggest shopping mall in the country. It even has an amusement park inside. St. Paul and Minneapolis both have beautiful churches. They also have a Camping World. That is important when you need RV parts (like a new door latch for the refrigerator that broke in Michigan). I saw corn, cows and lakes everywhere in Minnesota. As we traveled across the state, the lakes and hills disappeared.
When we crossed the Red River, I was in my 24th state, North Dakota. We stayed in Fargo, ND in a park by the Red River. It was pretty, but boy do they have mosquitoes! Michael said he enjoyed the Roger Maris Baseball Museum. Georgia enjoyed the shopping mall. Michael went to the 13th Annual Car Show in Fargo. Then we headed south. We drove past the flat plains of southeastern North Dakota and into South Dakota. I had visited South Dakota last summer but that was the western side. We drove down the eastern side of South Dakota to Sioux Falls. On the way, we stopped at a rest stop for me to play and found that one of the six trailer tires had developed a flat spot on the tread and a bubble on the side wall. Michael and Georgia were nice enough to put the spare tire on the trailer so we could continue. Sioux Falls has a wonderful city park that is the home of, you guessed it, Sioux Falls. The Falls are not as high as Tahquamenon but they are really pretty. The historic district of Sioux Falls has lots of neat old houses and has a spectacular cathedral. We then headed east through southern Minnesota and turned south.
My 25th state was Iowa. We first visited Forest City in Winnebago County. Does that ring any bells? Winnebago is the name many people think of when you mentioned motorhomes. We toured the Winnebago factory. Then we traveled to Dyersville to see Field of Dreams movie site. That was neat! Visitors were out there playing baseball. I don't like people hitting things so I barked at them. Michael and Georgia were not happy campers. Then we visited the National Farm Toy Museum and the Basilica of St. Francis Xavier. It is one of only 33 Basilicas in the United States and I have been to 2 of them (remember Notre Dame). We also toured Cedar Rock, the home that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for Lowell Walter near Quesqueton. Then Michael and Georgia toured the John Deere Tractor Assembly Plant in Waterloo. That is a huge place with lots of green and yellow parts being put together. We had an unscheduled stop in West Branch, IA when the spare tire we had put on the Airstream blew out. (Hint, don't use old spares for longer than it takes to get to a tire store.) We visited the Herbert Hoover Birthplace while they replaced the tire. Wasn't that convenient? Rock Island, Illinois has an off-leash dog park where I played. Then friends came by with their 4 month old Great Dane, Angus. Boy, do I like playing with him. He is big enough to really play well. Georgia and Michael toured the John Deere Harvester Plant in East Moline before we headed for the Windy City. Melissa came to visit us in Chicago. She is fun because she plays with me.
Decatur, IL was one of the best parts of my travels so far. We stayed with Greg and Maureen, long time friends of Michael and Georgia. They live with Angus, the 4 month old Great Dane I had met in Rock Island. We played until I was worn out. Fortunately, Angus runs out of play at just about the same time. Then we both take a nap. Naps are good, face fighting is good, life is good. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. So with sad heart, Angus left for college in Davenport, Iowa and I headed back to St. Charles, Missouri. On the way, we traveled the old sections of Route 66 through Springfield, Litchfield, Mount Olive and other colorful towns bypassed by I-55. It was almost like home again to return to St. Charles, having spent a week here several months ago. The visit was marred by the terrible attack on New York and Washington D.C. Then we traveled across Missouri to Kansas City, Kansas. This is a wonderful place. Why, you ask? Because they have a HUGE Off-Leash Dog Park at the Shawnee Mission Park. You can even go swimming (dogs only) in the lake. I sure had a blast running along the shore and playing with the other dogs.
Nebraska was my 26th state. We traveled through Leavenworth and Atchison, Kansas to Omaha. In Omaha, we visited Boy's Town and Omaha Steak Company. Boy's Town is really large. Georgia buys lot's of meat and fish from Omaha Steak Company so she was glad to visit their original store. We drove south from Omaha to visit the Strategic Air and Space Museum. They have lot's of neat planes and rockets but not many dogs. I met lot's of friendly people in Omaha who wanted to play with me. I even learned that people get all excited when you jump up and put your front feet on an open car window. Michael and Georgia didn't like my newly discovered trick.
We traveled back into Kansas to visit the Reuter Pipe Organ Works in Lawrence. Then I went to the Shawnee Mission Off-Leash Dog Park again. I even walked into the water. I walked out into water that was almost 2 feet deep since it wasn't moving. I wish more cities had huge off-leash dog parks for me to play in. I then traveled to Branson, MO. Branson is a busy little town set in the Ozarks with Table Rock Lake and Lake Tannycomo nearby. Michael took Georgia to the Dixie Stampede on her birthday and left me home. BOO!! Then we headed south.
My 27th state was Arkansas. We traveled through the Ozarks to Little Rock. They have a neat City RV Park with lots of trees. Unfortunately, they didn't build me an off-leash park. The hills disappeared as we drove toward Pine Bluff. In southern Arkansas we passed fields of cotton being stripped.
We had a very short trip through the northeast part of Louisiana, my 28th state. Lots of cotton was being stripped in Louisiana. We didn't get to spend much time in Louisiana but Michael promised me that we would return in a couple of weeks.
My 29th state was Mississippi. We crossed the Mississippi River into Vicksburg. We spent a couple of days in Vicksburg looking at old houses from the mid 1800's and the Vicksburg National Battlefield. We also toured the museum for the first bottler of Coca-Cola (1894). Michael and Georgia visited one of the casinos on the Mississippi River. After touring Vicksburg, we drove through Jackson and Hattiesburg on the way to my 30th state, Alabama.
We visited Mobile, Alabama. Michael and Georgia said the seafood was very good in Mobile but they didn't bring any home to me, so I can't be sure. I saw lot's of old buildings in downtown Mobile and the USS Alabama docked in the Mobile Bay. Then we headed for Florida.
My 31st state to visit was Florida. We saw Pensacola and Ft. Walton on the way to Destin. We stayed on the Emerald Coast at the Camping on the Gulf RV Park next to, you guessed it, the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. Boy does the Gulf look different here than it does in Texas. The water is clear and deep blue until it gets shallow. There it turns an emerald green. They don't allow dogs on the beach! Can you believe it? We visited Seaside. They have a street-side refreshment stand made from an old Airstream. What will they think of next. After a week on the beach, we headed along the Gulf coast to Biloxi, MS. There, Michael and Georgia visited the Jefferson Davis Presidential Museum and Beau Rivage and I met a wonderful 5 year old Greyhound. We continued along the coast to Gulfport where saw lots of shrimp boats. We said goodbye to the Gulf and traveled to Baton Rouge, LA to visit Vanessa. Vanessa brought Debbie by to see me. Debbie raises horses and loves me to death. I admire that in a person. I got to visit lots of Vanessa's friends. They welcomed me into their home and Charlie fed me steak so they immediately went to the top of my list of friends. Then we said goodbye to Baton Rouge and headed to Lake Charles to visit the Georgia's childhood friend Lessley. Georgia and Michael really enjoyed the visit. Then back to Houston to visit Georgia's relatives before returning to Livingston.
After our stay in Livingston, we briefly visited friends in Dallas. I got to run and play with Andy, the black lab mix. He is so much fun to play with. Then we headed to Salt Lake City, taking a more southern route (I-40) to avoid ice and snow in Colorado and Wyoming. I love to play in the snow but towing the Airstream in the snow isn't all that much fun. Cooler weather had moved in and I liked that. There was frost on the trailer with the temperature in the 20's in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. The wind was really strong through New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada. We had a nice Thanksgiving in Las Vegas but I didn't get any turkey. Bummer! Then we traveled up I-15 through the Narrows and the Virgin River Gorge in northwestern Arizona. That is a wonderful drive, you really should try it. We past lots of snow covered mountains as we drove up to Salt Lake City. It really snowed in Salt Lake City and there was lots of the white stuff to run around in. We visited Salt Lake City to have a MotoSat 2-way satellite internet system installed on the Airstream. Michael and I are beta testing the system before it goes on sale to the public. I like having internet service without having to find a telephone line. At the first sign of drivable weather, we headed south.
We managed to avoid the winter storms and get back to the west coast for a warmer holiday season. Highs in the 60's and 70's with clear skies are nice. Daily walks around the lagoon in the Newport Back Bay are nice. The Costa Mesa Bark Park is wonderful. I went back to Newport Beach Veterinary Clinic for a bath and to have an AVID microchip implanted. If I get lost, a vet or animal pound with a scanner can find out who I belong to and get me back home again. I think that's a good idea.
Michael and Georgia attended Vanessa's graduation from LSU (Louisiana State University) while I cooled my heels at the Newport Center Pet Resort. I enjoyed my two room suite but I did miss my folks. I was a happy pup when they came back to get me so I could be with my family again.
In early January, I was saddened to hear of the death of my little running buddy Angus, the Great Dane, at less than 9 months of age. I will sincerely miss him. Georgia and Michael went out on boats twice and didn't take me. First they went whale watching, even though they only saw dolphins. Then they got to ride on our neighbors yacht but they didn't take me. That's not fair! In early February, I got my first opportunity to take a mud bath. Actually I was playing with a boxer at the off-leash dog park and slipped in a muddy area. I slid right through the biggest mud bog I have ever seen. I was covered with mud from my nose to my tail. I thought it was neat, Michael didn't. Oh well, another bath.
February 14 is a special day. No, not because it is Valentine's Day. It is my Birthday!! I got to celebrate my second birthday with Shiloh, a 5 month old black Labrador Retriever. I even shared my birthday cake with him. (Well, I did eat the part that he didn't finish fast enough.) We had such good fun playing and it was such a beautiful day. All is well in my puppy life. Being a good Irishman, I had to wear green on St. Patrick's Day. I now have an emerald green collar for this special day. I think I look quite elegant wearing it, but then I am always elegant (and oh, so handsome.) I even had Michael and Georgia get dressed up so they wouldn't embarrass me since I looked so good. They clean up nice.
Then we headed to San Diego. We stayed right on the bay. I love the look at the water. Georgia and Michael visited the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista and the San Diego Zoo. They really enjoyed the seafood at Anthony's. I still don't understand why they don't take me to restaurants. I'm sure I would find something I would like there!
I wanted to remind all of you with removable/portable propane tanks that you are now required to have Overflow Protection Device (OPD) valves on your tanks to have them refilled. Major propane dealers, such as Amerigas, should be able to retrofit your existing tanks with the new OPD valves. Spring is in the air and I am gaining weight again. I am now over 136 pounds. I knew you would like to know. With the winter officially over, we hit the road again.
States I Have Visited - 31
Page Updated 5/6/2002