On the road again…

It was bittersweet leaving Portland this morning. I will miss being with my “homegirl,” Diana, her sweet dog Puszca, and her wonderful partner, Jim. They made my almost two-week respite so wonderful, taking Max and me into their home with open arms and hearts. Max started out a little bit rambunctious, but quickly adapted to life in a different home, with another dog, and more people to contend with.

He learned the rules of the house pretty quickly – only tried to get on the living room couch once that I’m aware of, and always waited patiently for me to dry his feet before going further into the house. He quickly learned to respect Puszca’s special places, and to notice her body language when necessary and give her space.

Diana and Jim took the disruption to their lives and home in stride, giving me time and space, and lots of great conversations, meals, laughs, and fun. I miss them tremendously. And will always be grateful for their loving hospitality. If Max and I ever take another cross-country or round-the-country trip again, their home will be my final destination! Thank you homegirl! Thank you Jim! Thank you Puszca!

Max continues to amaze me with his great disposition, his ability to adapt to anything I put in his way, and his charming good nature always. He spent over 4-1/2 hours in the car today, getting out for two brief walks to pee, and a fun shopping trip to one of his favorite stores. He is always welcome at these places no matter what town they are in. Dog friendly towns, not so dog friendly towns, big towns, small towns, it doesn’t matter. He gets to go inside, walk all around, and help me pick out new toys or treats, leashes, balls… Yes, it’s Petco, the place where pets are always welcome!!

Anyway, the amazement factor…
After 4-1/2 hours in his crate, in the car, he waited while I checked us in at the La Quinta in Ashland, OR, then “helped” me get our things up to our room before we came back outside to play ball. This particular hotel has a large pet area that is fenced on the perimeter, bounded by the far end of the hotel and parking lot, so I was able to take him out off-leash to play ball without fear of traffic.

We had purchased a replacement Chuckit and balls, so I got one of the balls out to throw. What fun! We started in the parking lot with high bounces that he would watch, timing his moment, and leaping up to snatch it midair. Moving to the grass, we began throw and return games, with him always coming back to me for more.

It wasn’t a dog park, but it was a great reward for his patience in the car all day. By the time we finished up at the car (so I could go to Safeway for some food for dinner), he was panting and ready for a rest. And like the good sport that he is, he jumped up into his crate and settled down for another drive, albeit a short one to town this time.

We left Portland this morning in pouring rain. With tears in my eyes, I watched Diana grow smaller in my rearview mirror. I’m not sure when I’ll see her again, but I really hope she can come visit us in Deer Isle. I saw this sign on Barbur Boulevard, as I was heading for I-5 South, and want to offer its message to everyone I love:

There’s nothing left to say…

As we drove south, I felt less sad about leaving and more buoyant about being back on the road. We saw huge VEEs of northbound geese, flocks of sheep with incredibly tiny days-old lambs, herds of cattle and goats, horses in small herds, and singly in their own paddocks, and finally the rain eased up and stopped completely.

I had my last Burgerville cheeseburger for lunch (I forget what town we were passing by when I spotted the sign). We stopped at a rest area somewhere, and after letting Max out to pee, I went to the restroom, filling a water jug at an outdoor fountain. While I was filling the jug, there was a man holding a sign saying, “Anything is a help,” and I gave him four dollars I had in my jacket pocket.

He thanked me and said, “I have a joke for you. A little kid told it to me this morning!” Here it is:

Why don’t dinosaurs talk?

I don’t know. Why?

Because they’re dead!

We arrived in Ashland about 4:45 PM and it felt like spring. I had noticed along I-5 that the grass in the medians looked greener than two weeks ago. I also was struck by the patchwork fields of many different shades of green, from the palest yellow-green of new spring grass to darker greens – and everything in between.

So, arriving here and stepping out into the mild spring air was marvelous. The sun was almost out, and we did get to appreciate a rather lovely sunset and dusk for the first time in a while. I’m looking forward to finding spring as we go, in all its stages and phases. I’m also prepared for the fact that (maybe) spring may have to catch up to us when we get back to Maine.

We’re moving on, and it feels OK. For the moment, I’m trying to maintain that “puppy mind” I wrote about yesterday: stay open to what’s new, be curious about everything, and rejoice in the now.

The ever-curious Max, at the window in Ashland…


About Maureen Farr

I am a graphic and web designer – and the publisher of the print version of Arts Guide, a free guide highlighting the arts, dining, events, and more on the coast of Maine. In addition, I am a visual artist working in mixed media and encaustic, as well as creating found object jewelry. I am currently at work revising a short novel that I wrote as a participant in the 32nd Annual 3-Day Novel Contest.
This entry was posted in Eating out on a road trip, Friends along the way, Musings, On the Road, Oregon, Portland, Puppy antics, Traveling with a dog, Traveling wth a poodle, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to On the road again…

  1. hank says:

    sxsw in austin next week, momo march 15-20…

  2. Great, uplifting and moving post! I’m so glad you had so much fun with your wonderful hosts, both human and canine! I’m sure it was sad to move on again, but now you’re on to new adventures! xoxo–Cin

  3. guy oliver says:

    Every journey has an end or it becomes an endless meandering with no goal in sight. I have journeyed along with you and enjoy each moment as if Max was beside me. I hope you will write a little something for the friends you have made along the way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s