Last weekend Earl and I took our first solo road trip (not counting the day I picked him up from NLGA). The difference this time was it was an overnight. The main purpose of our trip was to go cheer on the skaters in the Northshore Inline Marathon, an event I have skated in since 1996... but due to injury have not skated the past two years. The other part of the trip was to stop in at Ryden's Border Store just across the border into Minnesota to pick up some clothing we had ordered from K9 Apparel.
This trip would also be Earl's first night in a hotel/motel. We stayed at a Motel6 in Duluth... despite having read some pretty lousy reviews on Trip Advisor, but it turned out to be an okay place to stay.
I had requested a non -smoking groundfloor room, so we would not have to tackle any stairs (good for my knees and Earl's lack of skill on stairs). They managed to give me a smoke-free room... but it was on the second floor. I thought this might present a problem... and although Earl was tentative at first, he did manage to go up and down the stairs with relative ease, and at a slow pace, which suited me and my poor knees just fine.
Earl sniffed out and examined every corner of the hotel room, restraining himself from marking his territory anywhere in the room, thank goodness. I wasnt prepared for Ear's exhuberance every time he heard a noise in the hallway; when there was someone in the hall Earl would run to the door wagging his tail thinking someone was coming to visit us.
The night passed without event as Earl and I maintained our routine of suppertime walk and late night (11:00pm) walk before going to bed. Earl did have his bed on the floor next to mine, which is a little different than the arrangment we enjoy at home but he sure didnt seem to mind.
The next morning after breakfast Earl and I packed up the car and headed to the race location. For two hours Earl watched skaters go whizzing by at speeds upwards of 20-25mph and did not blink an eye. He was not tempted to chase anyone and did not bark... what a greyt guy!
After we had watched enough of the race to satisfy our need for speed we went to the finish area and chatted with old friends and made some new noes (thanks to Earl). Everyone commented on how well behaved he was, even with the commotion all around. They also commented on how the German Shephard that was walking around with its owner of NOT well behaved. So I guess Earl really shone by comparison.
After a quick stop at a local pet store Earl and I headed back home to Thunder Bay, with stops in Two Harbours and Grand Marais along the way to break up the trip and stretch our legs. All in all, a successful little 30 hour jaunt to the US.