Sometimes I feel a bit guilty that Max’s journeys are so limited by our living in town. It wasn’t always that way. At one time Max was quite the road dog. When he first joined us we were living in the desert southwest of Utah near a town called St. George which is an entry point to some really spectacular scenery and natural wonders including Zion National Park.
When folks hear that we lived in Utah their first question, seen in the eyes if not heard on the lips, is “Are you guys Mormons?” Nope. While probably 60% or so of our neighbors and friends were indeed members of the LDS faith, we were drawn to Utah because we wanted an affordable place to use as a home base for a few years while we explored the American West. It was a fling for us and a chance to visit kids without 5-6 hours on a 767.
When we moved to Utah we bought a travel trailer and truck and over the course of 5 years we visited just about every single national park and monument and giant string ball from the Dakotas to the Pacific and from the Canada border to Mexico. Along the way we camped, golfed, explored and, on one memorable evening, fell asleep while watching Doctor Zhivago inside the trailer having forgotten to turn off the powerful exterior speakers. After the extended overture at an ear-stunning level we were awakened by annoyed fellow campers who lacked only pitchforks and torches to recreate the famous storming of the castle scene from Frankenstein.
But again I digress. The point I was aiming for was that Max was a full partner in these wanderings. We made him a seat between us in the cab of the truck and called him our navigator although he preferred to sleep for long stretches of time.
Max has seen and pee’d on more places in the West than most people.
He rode on the tramways in Telluride and on the train at Cripple Creek. He explored ghost towns and tracked the trails of Butch Cassidy. He sniffed the Summer flowers at 12,000 feet along the Continental Divide and played along Oregon’s Rogue River. That dog has been places!
These days, Max’s route is pretty tame stuff although he does get to tidal pools from time to time. So I wonder sometimes if he misses all that travel, the adventures, the snuggling under comforters high in the mountains as a chill wind brought snow flurries. Does he have doggie dreams of seeing the buffalo in Yellowstone up close and personal?
Do dogs remember their travels? I wonder…