One of my favorite blog results is reader emails. Sometimes they are a simple thank you for some trip beta I have posted or for helping motivate them to quit their job and hit the road. =) And sometimes they include travel and climbing related questions. These emails are greatly appreciated and make me feel that perhaps these ramblings of mine might be useful.
This week I received an email from Lydia, a girl I briefly met in the Red River Gorge, as she had some travel questions. In the past I have directly emailed a response to any questions, but have decided to start responding online in case these questions and answers might help additional readers.
Lydia had 3 questions, which I will answer in 3 different posts. The first question was concerning traveling with a dog.
How was it traveling with CB? I’ll be traveling with my dog and doing a bit of freelance work as well, so I guess I’m wondering how everything went with you working in coffee shops and other places CB could not go. Did CB do a lot of car napping? Were you ever worried?
Traveling with CB was fabulous. I definitely had to do a bit of planning because of her, but it was definitely worth it to have her along. Not only is she my best friend, but it was great to have a protector of the car, even if all she could really do was warn me that something or somebody was approaching.
The Joshua Tree Office.
As far as work, I would try to work outside as much as possible so that CB didn’t have to stay in the car. Sometimes this wasn’t possible (for instance if there wasn’t an outdoor power outlet) and so I would park my car in a shady spot (providing a lot of blankets for CB as she actually rarely gets too warm, rather too cold) and let her nap in the car. Even though the car was a nice large space for CB, I would stop working every two hours to let her run around and go to the bathroom. (Also, in reference to the power outlets mentioned above, there are car laptop chargers. I didn’t own one, but will for the next trip. A charger is approximately $30 and allows you to charge your laptop from your car, meaning the ability to drive into a wifi hot-spot and never leave your little abode. There were numerous nights I had to stop working because the store providing wifi was closed and I was out of battery juice.)
Beau and CB hanging out in Indian Creek.
As far as climbing, certain places do not allow dogs (Little Rock City, HorsePens40, and Hueco Tanks and definitely more). I went to a handful of these destinations, but had to plan ahead due to my little one. I mentioned the dog issue in each of these trip betas, linked to the destination names above.
Actually my biggest CB concerns were worries a large dog owner would never experience. (Lydia, I am assuming you have a large dog but could be assuming incorrectly.)
- Keepig CB Warm Enough – My dog weighs 6 pounds and has minimal body fat. Climbing temps are perfect in the 50 – 60 range, which is WAY too cold for CB. Besides layering on her little sweaters, I started to bring my down sleeping bag to the crag in order to keep her warm.
- CB Becoming Prey – I constantly worried (and continue to worry) about CB being preyed upon. One snake bite could kill her. A big bird could easily think she was a rat and swoop down to get her. (And yes, I truly have had both these problems.)
- Other People’s Dogs – Upon seeing other dogs at a crag, I inquire if they are friendly to which everyone ALWAYS says yes. The problem is my dog just wants to be left alone because other dogs don’t quite know what she is. Other dogs want to keep coming to investigate or will try to play with her, usually entailing them trying to stomp on her little head. The first introduction can be a little rough, but everything usually goes smoothly after the first minute.
CB wrapped in her down sleeping bag in Rock Town and meeting Balsam for the first time. This is a usual introduction for CB … basically showing her teeth to say , “Leave me the f@$% alone.” Even though we crashed at Eric and Will’s house, Balsam and CB never became great friends, I think mostly because Balsam was still a pup and wanting to play and CB is anti-social.
Thanks for your question, Lydia. I will address your other questions shortly. Please feel free to email or comment with any other thoughts or questions.