The Dreaded Cross Country Drive

First order of business – the 21 hour drive from Asheville to Denver …. with 2 dogs. A short introduction to the dogs since they will undoubtably be the stars of this blog.  

Wallace

The elder statesman (Dog #1) is Wallace, a 10 year old Scottish Terrier with a split personality. He is either Mr. Social or Grumpy Old Man.  His mood largely depends on how exhausted he is by a 5 year old Mini-Labradoodle named Zoe (Dog #2).

Zoe

  She is a sweetheart, so easy-going that we’ve never heard her growl, but often high energy.  My plan to make her into a therapy dog was derailed by my complete failure as a trainer so she is now just a one-person therapy dog (for me).  

Our first day was our shortest drive, just to Nashville.  Good choice to keep it short – once the dogs figured out we weren’t going for a hike, they went nuts.  And we were klutzy at best with our rest stops – juggling leashes, water bowls and desperate commands of “Do your business!”  We limped into Nashville late afternoon, unconvinced we were capable of converting 2 spoiled yard dogs into car travelers, much less into the apartment dwellers as they were gonna have to be for the first few months in Denver.

We started the second day with a romp at a dog park in Nashville and then plowed our way through parts of Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri before ending the day at another dog park in Topeka, Kansas.  Yes, I have now become a bit of a dog park aficionado – expert at the double doors, chatting with folks while I try to explain why Zoe only wants to play with them, not their dogs, and hypercritical of the owners who don’t clean up after their dogs.  Thank you Google Maps for helping me locate dog parks across 6 states.  
Zoe

Thankfully the dogs ended up getting the hang of car travel –

One sleeping for miles on end……And the other constantly surveying the countryside.

Wallace

I am not gonna lie – it is not a beautiful drive overall from Nashville to Denver, although parts were truly lovely.  Kansas was a surprise.  For weeks I had been making bad jokes about we were going to see Kansas from one end to the other whether we wanted to or not.  And as it turns out, Kansas was my favorite part of the trip (although the last part was a whole lot of prairie for a whole lot of miles).  Then finally there it was – Denver!  A huge city on the edge of the plains with a beautiful backdrop of mountains.  Ready or not, here we come!

 Denver

 

Moving to Denver

Life certainly can be unpredictable.  Just a few weeks ago, I would have thought Asheville, North Carolina would be my home forever more.  Not so fast on the “forever more.”  Due to a series of unanticipated events, my husband and I are moving to Denver.  It’s a good move, a happy move – but a large part of my heart will remain in Asheville.  In fact I plan to be back regularly so this blog should actually be about moving to Denver, but clinging to Asheville.  It’s all good – I love mountains and now will have time in both the Rockies and the Southern Appalachians.  This blog will cover everything from hiking with our two crazy dogs to my obsession with restaurants, coffee shops, and bookstores to visiting mountain towns and ski slopes to adjusting to life in Mountain Time Zone (hurrah for college football starting at 10:00 am on Saturdays!) to exploring the Front Range.  For those of you who, like me, didn’t know – Denver is in an area called the Front Range.  As far I can tell, the Front Range is the area where the Great Plains meet the Rockies.  All sounds very western, huh?

For now, I’ll end with a photo I took last fall while hiking off the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Goodbye to Asheville! (heavy sigh)

Blue Ridge Mountains