Sunday, October 17, 2010

DR! Does CanAm Part II - The Arrival

Ugh.  So I wrote this post and then Ctrl V'd a sentence and everything disappeared.  Even Ctrl Z did not make it return.  Thanks Blogger.  Appreciate your every-1-second-auto-save function so you saved the blank post after you ate all my words.  It was the bestest, funniest, super-est blog post in the world before it was erased.  Now I have to try to recreate it.  You will just have to take my word that it was totally awesome and whatever I write now will not live up to the post that once was.  Damn you Blogger.

So on Thursday, we woke up in Jackson, TN (at the LaQuinta of course) and prepared ourselves for another day of driving.  The hotel had a large open field in the back so we decided to let our dogs run around a bit before heading our for another 7 hours of driving.

The 8 dogs racing around created quite a buzz in the little town of Jackson.  Residents of the neighborhood butting up to the LaQuinta and fellow hotel-goers stopped to watch 8 dogs race like maniacs around the field.  Thankfully, no one asked us if we were taking the dogs to the "euthanasium."  

Duuu-wain was throwing the frisbee and tried to keep it low (due to accident-prone Marz).  Marz still somehow managed to trip and roll 5 or 6 times across the field.  It was like that scene in Princess Bride where Wesley and Princess Buttercup are rolling down the hill bouncing.  Except Marz managed to do that on flat ground. That's my boy - safety precautions in place and he STILL manages to find some way to potentially hurt himself.

After stretching the dogs legs and stopping for Starbucks, we were back on track again.  We continued the trek to Indiana with Dr. Nightmare leading the way.

Kim's self portrait of our trip.  Somewhere abouts Kentucky.

Who is Dr. Nightmare you ask?  You can see him in the picture above.  He's the little square screen attached to the windshield.  That's right, Dr. Nightmare is the Garmin.  We had started out with Matt, the Australian cyclist, as our guide.  However, after 13 hours of the same random comments ("Is tomorrow a rest day?" and "Did you remember to put the box on the roof") over and over again, we decided it was time for a change.

Now Kim has this nifty little contraption that allows her to surf the web on the road.  The only drawback is It. Is. Slow.  I. Mean. Really. Slow.  Slower than dial-up.  At least with dial-up you can go make yourself a sandwich, come back and the page is loaded.  I think we would have had time to make some Kraft Macaroni and Cheese before this thing would load a page.  But hey - we had internet while driving through the boonies so that is pretty darn cool. 

Anyway, Kim used her internet contraption to visit the Garmin website.  45 minutes later, Dr. Nightmare came to life and led the way.

Dr. Nightmare is a little creepy (wanted to make stops at the graveyard, asked for us to pick up rope and a shovel) but somewhat concerned with safety (warned us to be wary of hitchhikers . . . especially after midnight).  Every once in a while Dr. Nightmare would throw in an evil laugh (mu-hahahahaha).  He is quite pretentious too.  But, he did get us to our "miserable destination."

Yep!  We finally made it Indianapolis after something like 20 or so odd hours of driving!  We stopped to drop our luggage off at the hotel (LaQuinta of course) and then hopped back in the van to head to the tournament site at the Fairgrounds.

Kim called Veronica & Stephen to let them know we had ARRIVED and to meet us over at the tournament site for unloading.  Veronica & Stephen were already in Indy (they flew) and had spent the day sightseeing.  One of their stops was, of course, Walmart.  Did you know Walmarts in Indiana carry liquor?  Good thing Kim, Duuu-wain and I planned to go to the Walmart later.

Anyway, we made it to the Fairgrounds.  Kim and Duuu-wain made me get out of the van and scope out the joint to find our crating area.  They waited patiently in the van while I wandered through the West Pavilion to find our spot next to Texas Heat and Alamo Racing Canines.  Once I located our spot, I waved them over so we could start setting up everything.  

Meanwhile, Veronica & Stephen had arrived and were meeting up with some folks from another team to pick up their new baby, soon to be named "Tempest," a border-stack (borderjack X staffy).  Little did they know, Tempest would turn out to be part pterodactyl.  Her ancestors must be from the Mesozoic age because no mammal emits the sounds this little pup makes.

Looks can be deceiving.  This dog is part dinosaur.
Then, after most of the heavy stuff was unloaded, Kim and Duuu-wain decided they would take the dogs for a walk.  I continued with setting up the crating area (put the balls in the buckets, taped down the extensions cords, etc.).  Yes, I worked hard whilst they played with their pups.  Perhaps this is one of the reasons they affectionately named me "Trog."  (more on the story of Trog later).

Finally, we were done and ready to head back towards the hotel for dinner and then a cup of pillow.  Kathy & David had arrived so we met them at a little "Mexican" food joint near the hotel.  Being from Texas and having real Tex-Mex available on a regular basis, this little restaurant did not compare.  We probably should have clued in when the menu said "Carne Guizada."  What is "Guizada?"  We still don't know.

After dinner, we walked the pups and headed up to our rooms for bed to prepare for day 1 of the CanAms.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

DR! Does CanAm Part I - The Drive

A small portion of DR! members hit the road and headed out for NAFA's CanAm tournament in Indianapolis, IN October 8, 9 & 10.  Some (Veronica & Stephen) were lucky and took to the skies.  Kathy & David have been touring the US so they started heading towards Indiana earlier in the week.

The others (myself, Kim and Duwain) loaded up ourselves, 8 dogs, 4 laptops (yes, Kim has 2), 3 iPods (and not the cute ones like iPod from TDR), 2 Garmins, flyball equipment, luggage, chairs, tables, etc. in the "band van."  We left early Wednesday morning to begin our trek to the tournament that would soon become a Guinness World Record for largest flyball tournament in the world.

Since I live, breath and eat flyball, I of course was ready to hit the road and get driving.  We (me) had planned to leave from my house at 7 AM Wednesday morning.  I loaded up crates, equipment and most everything I could several nights in advance.  At about 6:45am, I loaded up my dogs and waited.  About 6:55am, my phone rang.  It was Kim.

Apparently Duuuu-wain had left something back at his house in Buda, TX.  Homey say what???!!!  

Now I live in North Austin.  In rush hour traffic, a trip down and back could take hours.  So, being the lovable OCD, bossy, need-to-be on schedule gal that I am, I asked what it was . . .

Medicine for Eris

Well, that's good news!  Like every self respecting multiple dog owner, I have a supply-o-doggie drugs.   What kind of meds ? . . . Thyroid meds.

Damn, the one thing I don't have.

Then giggles ensued from the other end of the line.  Apparently my teammates found my unbridled enthusiasm a perfect opportunity to make a funny on me.  They were 5 minutes away.  Har-har-har.

Me: You guys suck.

A few minutes later, they pulled up and we loaded the rest of the luggage and 5 dogs.  After a quick stop at the gas station and then Starbucks, we hit the road and were on our way. 

Our first stop was in Temple (yes, only about an hour into our trip).  But it was for good reason . . . we stopped at the LaQuinta to get one of their nifty little books that listed locations all across the US.  We debated about joining the hotel-goers to partake in the continental breakfast, but since we were a bit behind schedule, decided against it (much to Kim's dismay) and continued on our route.

About noon or so, we stopped in a stripmall in some tiny Texas town for a dog break and lunch.  While Kim and Duwain were ordering their sandwiches, I went back outside to eat and wait with the dogs (we left the van doors open so the dogs wouldn't cook in the car).

Pic of the van taken when we were leaving Indiana, but you get the idea

 I was happily enjoying my 6" inch roastbeef sub when a female employee exited the Verizon store next to Subway and headed over towards me.  I prepared myself to answer the possible questions - "are these all your dogs" or "what kind of dogs are those" or even "are those show dogs" - you know, the regular questions when you travel with a big pack?  Well, she did not ask any of those.  What did she say? 
Are you taking those dogs to be euthanized?
Ummmm . . . what?

After I repeatedly assured her that these dogs were all loved and owned and not being transported to the "euthanasium" she went back to her store.  I suppose in this little town a big van, packed full of dogs and junk could only mean one thing . . . . Anyway, gotta give her props for willing to help pups in need.

The rest of the trip went pretty smoothly.  Most of it like this:

Kim catching some zzzzs

Haven't you guys learned to not to nap in the proximity of a camera?  Or at least do as I do and put a hood over your face.  Or else you'll get caught in the act.

Ahhh, Duwain doing what he does best - napping somewhere abouts Memphis, TN

Day 1 was done.  13 hours of driving with somewhere around 5 or 6 stops.  We ended up in Jackson, TN for the night (at a LaQuinta of course, good thing we stopped in Temple for the book!).  Stay tuned for our continued adventures to Indy!