Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I just love these warm sunny Autumn days. It is such a great time of the year. Had a feeling we wouldn't see any tree cutting guys today so rather than sit around waiting to lend a hand Pheebs & loaded ourselves & the cameras into the Jeep shortly after 9 & off we went. Tracked ourselves off in a south easterly direction for a change. Landscape's a bit levelled out but just as scenic in it’s own flatter way.
It's not only the peaceful nature of the countryside that is an allure to me but it is also the nostalgic feeling I experience each time out. Rural Ontario has basically remained unchanged since I was a kid growing up & I think that is where many of the nice memories I have come from. Old farm house's & barns remind me so much of my childhood. I didn't grow up in the country but I did grow up right next door to the country in a small village. Driving 3 or 4 minutes away from the village of Tavistock in any direction immediately puts one into the countryside. My nostalgic feeling was especially strong this morning & I knew the time of year had everything to do with that. For me Autumn is always a time of reflection, a time of remembering, & a time for quiet thoughts.

Pheebs & I sometimes stop at little rural cemeteries.  Nice quiet places to get out & give Pheebs a run while I stroll around looking at some of the history on the stones.  This morning we stopped at a long time favorite cemetery of mine northeast of Exeter Ontario.  I have always liked the looks of McTaggart’s Cemetery high on a hill with it’s tall stands of stately Cedar trees.  I once came here long ago to photograph the tombstones lit by a full moon.  I will always remember how beautiful the surrounding countryside views were bathed in Moonlight that night.
We have never RV'd anywhere without a doggy on board. Even from our early RVing days we always had a best Pal with us at all times. Max was our number one border Collie mix RVing buddy for the first couple years. He went to Big Bend Texas with us in December of 04 plus week-end camping trips in our area. Max was never a relaxed traveler but he was a well behaved traveler & never caused us much concern.  As long as the RV was moving Max would never sit or lie down.  He stood all the way to Texas & back between our two Class C front seats.  In the fall of 06 our family had grown to include our pure bred border Collie Checkers & our little Chipugamug Cora. aka Motormouse. We found ourselves in a financial position to begin some serious RVing so in choosing an RV we had to consider what would be best for our doggy family as well. We decided to go with a truck & fifth wheel set-up but after a couple months on the road we knew that had not been our wisest decision. Back seat of a pick-up truck was not the best place for two big dogs & little Cora was always on Kelly's lap. Because of the higher truck we had to always use a ramp to get the guys in & out too. By the time the Fall of 07 rolled around we had traded the truck & fifth wheel in on a Class A motorhome & that immediately solved a bunch of traveling doggy problems for us. Motoring down the road they all had lots of room to move around & stretch out. There was always water handily available for them as well. I especially liked the fact the whole Bunch was together in a relaxed spacious atmosphere. And it was easier for all of them to do the steps into the Motorhome for most of the years the guys were with us. In the last couple years of Checkers life we had to help her up the steps each time & in the last 6 months of Max's life we had to help him as well. And he never did like anyone helping him.
Traveling with 3 dogs did have it's frustrations & trying times over the years but overall we did manage to make things work for the betterment of all. I especially enjoyed the kibitzing that went on & between Max, Checkers, Motor, & I we would have poor Kelly going around in circles sometimes with our zany antics. While Ranch sitting we would often have the 2 big black Ranch dogs, Pearce & Gleason in for a sleep over on cold nights. I just loved that when all 5 doggy guys were piled up sleeping & snoring all over the place.  Guess I’m just an old dog at heart myself. 
It is much easier traveling with dogs/pets if there are two people keeping things under control. Especially at rest stop areas where there can be many dangers for small animals. Cars & trucks thundering by, other aggressive dogs, nearby Coyotes & in some cases in the southeast, Alligators. We have always been fortunate to have our dogs trained reasonably well enough to walk off leash in most places. But that's where it works best with 2 people riding herd on the guys as they sometimes would head off on their own independent & natural ways.

DSC_0023-001Traveling with 3 dogs was also another major factor in leaning us towards the boondocking lifestyle early in our travels. We were as green as green can be when we left Bayfield in December of 06 heading for the South West. But within weeks we had our eyes opened to some very major problems right off the bat. It became quickly clear that RV parks required that all dogs be leashed. Well, that wasn't our style but I did understand the need for dogs to be leashed. Walking the gang on leashes at ROCK HOUND STATE PARK was our first experience with an RV Park & I thought to myself, 'Oh Oh, this isn't going to work. Days later at PANCHO VILLA STATE PARK in Columbus New Mexico we again encountered the same thing. Luckily we were able to get through a perimeter fence each morning & take the gang walking off leash through the adjacent desert. But the writing was on the wall & we knew if we were going to continue our RV life in the lifestyle we preferred we were going to have to make some very major changes.
By the time we arrived back home that winter in the Spring of 07 we already had the wheels of change in motion. The truck & fifth wheel were quickly traded in & we knew if we were going to be independent we would have to have a solar power system installed on our new to us Class A Motorhome. This would enable us to avoid RV Parks & we could not only attain the freedom we so desired but the freedom we so desired for our dogs as well.  In December of 07 we had our solar system installed at Solar Mikes in Slab City California & from that day forward RVing became a whole lot easier for the Bayfield Bunch.
For now in 2013 we are very comfortable with just the Pheebs. So much less worry & work only traveling with one dog. A second best Pal is certainly not out of the question but it's unlikely we would have 3 dogs again. We did meet 3 or 4 potential best Pals last summer but things just never quite came to-gether. I guess if & when the time is right to find a playmate for Pheebs then that is what we will do. In the meantime we'll just keep on doing what we're doing & enjoy our travels one most bestest doggy Pal at a time. 

By the way, I was inspired to write tonight’s post by another Blogger’s comment.  I read this fellow’s latest post earlier tonight & was very impressed with his writing style.  What happened to him on a recent 1100 mile round trip with his 3 dogs & the way his thought processes worked while dealing with difficult decision making problems reminded me very much of how my own mind works & tries to logic things out.  For all you RV’ers out there traveling with pets & especially dogs, be sure to read bhounds A 524 MILE TRIP FULL OF EXCITEMENT.  I sensed the discouragement at the end of bhounds post though when he states this will be his last post until he gets his RVing priorities sorted out.  I have included bhounds blog on my sidebar & maybe with a little encouragement from fellow Bloggers & readers we could all drop around & pick up his spirits a bit.  He had quite a challenging trip.  Maybe some folks have some ideas & suggestions on how he can pull together some RVing plans that not only benefit him but his 3 doggy Pals as well.  I can tell he is anxious to get on the road but just needs a solid solution on how to do it.  Be sure to read his post:))  
We had Pheebs to the Vet this afternoon. Time for a rabies shot & to get her papers ready for the border although nobody has ever asked to see her papers. Been shaking her head a lot lately so had her ears checked & cleaned. Vet wondered if she was a 'water dog' & we said no, Pheebs doesn't like water. Vet thought that was good because that is where the majority of ear infection problems come from. Vet was very pleased with Pheebs overall condition & the fact she hasn't gained any weight since her last check up a year ago around this time. In fact she lost  a pound. Yaaaay Pheebers:)) 
And MAX WILLMANN joined us today on our Blogger’s List.  Welcome aboard Max & thanks for bringing us up right close to the 600 mark on our list.  One month from tonight with a bit of luck we should be on the eve our 2013/2014 trip once again to the great American South West:)) 
GROANER'S CORNER:(( My wife's jealousy is getting ridiculous. The other day she looked at my calendar and wanted to know who May was.
- Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
- "If having a soul means being able to feel
love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals
are better off than a lot of humans."
(James Herriot)
- The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward
- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.
- It is not so much having nothing to do as it is not having the interest to do something....AL.


  1. I will check out bhounds. Since we travel with 4 pups, I know how frustrating it really can be sometimes. Unlike your pets, ours do not walk off leash. I am so afraid they will run off chasing deer, rabbit, or whatever else their nose picks up. We do have a portable fence...3 sections...that works great when we are all outside together.

    Yeah...1 month! I know you are getting excited.

    Nice photos of the butterfly.

  2. Great photos and I enjoyed reading about your RVing with your pups. I really admire anyone who is so thoughtful and caring of their animal buddies, and Steve of bhounds is a kindred spirit. I think he just hasn't found the right rig yet and will make it work out just fine when he does. I travel with three dogs and three cats, so I understand the frustrations that can entail - but any frustrations are more than made up for by the fun and happiness my furry friends bring along. Heck, they're way more than just friends, they're more like kids, except they don't always ask "are we there yet?"

  3. Thanks Al for the kind comments in your post tonight. You are very accurate in being able to tell that I was pretty discouraged on my return trip home without the trailer I was planning to buy. I was going to stop reading my blog roll, quit looking at RVs and quit thinking about traveling....but it wasn't 24 hours later I am emailing Chinle asking her what do you think I am doing....looking at rvs!!

    So even though I have been home for 10 days since that 1100 mile adventure I have been thinking of ways that me and 3 hounds being on the road. I know they need to feel that desert heat in the winter as much as I do. So, we will see what develops.

    As take some great photographs....really enjoy looking at them, from one rural area in Indiana to a rural area in Canada.

  4. Pheebs doesn't need a bigger pack. You are the center of her world. Or is shethe center of yours?

  5. Been following Steve and the hounds for some time and still hoping he finds a solution that will allow him to travel. You are so lucky to have found the perfect travel dog in Pheebs...and such a beauty too.

  6. Still wonderful scenery in your area, and even better as the leaves will be changing colour soon.

  7. Gorgeous photos Al! When I married Mike I had two big dogs, Airedales, Emmi seems to relish being an only child. I love the way you and Kelly feel about your doggie pals!

  8. My Patches is also a restless traveler. When I first got her she would be constantly jumping up and down from the passenger seat, turning circles between the seats in the cab or going to the back of the coach then come back. Would never sit and look out the window like most dogs.
    She is much better now. Will even lay down for a few minutes in the passenger seat but never sleep. That may be her next step toward being a calm traveler.