Category Archives: Dogs

Mighty Dogs

Shadow on a ledge watching our RV

We are blessed with two truly “mighty dogs” who want to experience everything on this trip as much as we do.  Here Shadow stands on a ledge a few hundred feet above our RV in Black Horse Canyon in the Mojave National Preserve in California.


Because It’s There

Theresa, Shadow and Darby with the Providence Mountains looming behind

Why did we climb that mountain?  Because it’s there.

Today in Mojave National Preserve we experienced one of our most exciting, enjoyable, memorable and dangerous hikes so far of our trip.  Sitting in our RV at breakfast, we looked out the window and saw the massive Providence Mountain range to our west.  “How about we hike to the top of that ridge today?” I asked.  “Sure, why not!” replied Theresa.  There’s something especially cool about walking outside your RV and right into a hike without having to drive somewhere.


Our Fearless Dogs

Theresa, Shadow and Darby high above the Borrego Badlands

Although Shadow is afraid of the RV slideout, and Darby is afraid of the cracking sound of an expanding 2-liter soda bottle, our dogs are generally fearless, especially when it comes to heights. 


Dogs and People Learning New Tricks

You may recall when we were planning our trip, I wrote about our dilemma to Take the Dogs or Leave Them with a Friend.  Sean O’Shaughnessey recently inquired about how the dogs are adjusting to RV life.

Now that it has been a month, how are the dogs doing? Have you needed to kennel them? Are they accepting of the occasional stranger that wanders too close to your RV at night? Have they chased after a jack rabbit or meadowlark?

Recall that Darby and Shadow are country dogs.  They lived on 18 acres at Cricket Lane without a fence and were on a leash only a handful of times in their lives.  Their job was to warn us when someone came within a 1/4 mile of the house.  When hiking at Little Wolf, they stayed within eyesight of us but had a pretty wide range of freedom to wander about.

Darby and Shadow on a leash so they don't get eaten by alligators at Brazos Bend State Park


Life of an RV Dog

This is what the dogs do all day when we’re not hiking…


Darby snoozing beneath the palm tree

Darby is like a little kid who never wants to come inside.  Here she is lounging beneath a beautiful desert palm tree during the sunset in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in southern California.


Shadow keeping an eye on everything

We joke that Shadow is “Head of Security,” always keeping a watchful eye on everything going on in the RV park.  He loves to sit in the driver’s seat and look out the big front window.

Hiking Dog Canyon with the Dogs

Oliver Lee Memorial State Park is our favorite stop so far.  We always vacationed out west and so it feels like now we’re truly on vacation, amongst the canyons and cactus.  Plus, this place is gorgeous.  As I write this, I’m sitting in our RV…Our RV looking up at the Lincoln National Forest

… looking at this out our kitchen table window. It doesn’t get any more prefect than this.
The view out the RV window

Yesterday, we hiked in Dog Canyon, which is the canyon on the left in the above picture.  The trail is a steep 1600 foot elevation gain back into the canyon.  It was sunny, quiet, deserted except for us.  Just the way we like it.  And, in Dog Canyon, the dogs had a wonderful time too.  Here are a few pictures.


Dogs Are Always on Vacation

Darby and Shadow relaxing while Timm & Theresa work on the hot water heater

It doesn’t quite feel like a vacation yet because we’re still doing a lot of work getting settled, fixing leaks and other problems with the RV, setting up our finances for life on the road, messing with insurance, mail, bills, and the other aspects of reality.  Hopefully once we get on top of all this, we’ll be able to relax more and enjoy our trip.  As it is now, we only have a few hours each day to hike, and the rest of the time is spent on these other things.  But don’t let me kid you, it’s awesome not having to work in a real job!  🙂

To Take the Dogs or Leave Them with a Friend

The hardest decision we had to make regarding this journey is whether to take the dogs, Darby and Shadow, or leave them with a friend. Dogs are not allowed on trails in the national parks but are allowed on trails in national forests and state parks. Since most of our trip plans involved seeing the national parks, the gems of nature, this is a tough decision.

We love our dogs and they add a lot of joy to our daily lives. No one greets me when I come home the way the dogs do. Every day, they wake up happy and excited to live another day and in doing so, remind me to be joyful of simply being alive. They watch over and protect us and our house with their warning barks with such sincere responsibility for their craft. They ask very little, a pat on the head, a bowl of the same food day after day and a warm place to sleep. They add to our lives in a very positive way.