I had planned to drive from Fresno to Phoenix for BlogPaws 2016 in one day. It’d only be 10 hours! It’d only be 600+ miles! Sure, that would be easy. Then after telling a few people about my plan (OK, telling my mother) I began to think about wisdom of said plan. Then after Palm Springs broke its own temperature record, hitting 122 on Monday, it suddenly didn’t seem like the wisest idea to be driving a 16 year old car through the desert during the hottest part of the day.
So after some hemming and hawing and waiting until practically the last minute, I booked a room at the Red Roof Inn in Palm Desert and high tailed it out of Fresno at 5 pm on Tuesday. I was a bit pressed for time as I had to claim the room by midnight. There was some wiggle room, an hour or so, so it didn’t seem like it would be that much of a challenge… But you know the saying “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.”
After a few mishaps involving GPS shenanigans, an L.A. traffic jam at 10:30 at night, and an encounter with a huge wad of house insulation that had decided to make a new life for itself in the middle of the freeway, I got to Palm Desert annoyed, but unscathed at 11:46. Woo Hoo! Fourteen whole minutes to spare!
The temperature had slowly gone down as I’d traveled into the night and by the time I sat down on the grassy knoll in front of the motel to give Marsha a much needed potty break (which she did NOT avail herself of) it was a dry and reasonably lovely 86 degrees, at midnight. Which is what I’d been counting on.
The plan was to drive during the coolest parts of the day and try to miss any engine melting scorchers like the desert had produced a few days before. So far so good. I’d been eyeing the engine temp all the way and it had barely budged from its usual spot.
I’d wondered how Marsha would take to the trip. I’d wanted to take her for an over night test run at a place close to home before we did this trip. Well, that fell by the wayside so I wound up taking Marsha on this long trip and find out she does quite well! She adapted to the motel room quickly and when it was time to go to sleep she took her normal ‘pillow position’ sleeping curled up next to my head.
the next morning I woke up, really quite refreshed at 6, fed Marsha, had a danish and muffin from the continental breakfast, and took Marsha to the dog park in Cathedral City (Siri said it was the closest) so she could avail herself of a much needed potty break, which she Did. Not. Take.
Before leaving the dog park I noticed the incident with the insulation hadn’t been entirely without consequences. It took one of my car’s trim pieces with it as a souvenir of our time together. After that little discovery we were on our way.
I’m not one of those people who blast through their drive with no thought of the comfort of the passengers or themselves. I stopped several times at various rest stops for a snack, or water and much needed (and unused) potty breaks. By this time it was obvious that, like Hershey, Marsha didn’t take care of any business while on leash, or in a new place.
The drive from Palm Desert to Phoenix was uneventful (my car still has its remaining trim pieces), and by the time we got into the city the needle on the engine temperature gauge was leaning a little more to the right than normal, but not dangerously so.
Checking into the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass I was stunned by the amazing panoramic view the lobby has, so stunned I didn’t get a picture of it, but trust me it’s lovely. Marsha was impressed by the toys in the lobby and the concierge who handed out dog treats.
Before going into the room we stopped under a tree where I would like to report that Marsha finally took her much needed potty break! I’d LIKE to report that but she didn’t; no, she waited until she was alone in the hotel room for a few minutes to finally relieve herself. So instead of getting to relax, and take a nap in my hotel room I had to find a pet store and and get some deodorizer to clean up after my pet with the good comic timing.
Then I unpacked, and took too long of a shower in the middle of a desert, and tried to sleep. Nope, sleep wasn’t happening, I was either too wound up from the drive or too ready to get going.
First up was meeting up with the person anyone who is reading and enjoying my blog needs to thank, Maggie Marton of Oh My Dog. She has been nudging and prodding me for years to write my own blog, and not just leave snarky comments on hers. We met for the first time at the lobby coffee shop, and you know the common wisdom about not really knowing someone if you’ve only communicated with them on-line? Well, it’s a bunch of crap. If both parties are open and honest then you can get to know someone very well on line, and meeting in the real world is just icing on the friendship cake.
After meeting up with Maggie it was a whirlwind of introductions to bloggers known and unknown to me. Too many to detail so late into a very long day, but everyone I’ve met has been helpful, interested, and interesting. I’ve already learned a few things about pet blogging and the conference hasn’t even really started!