Mia’s First Road Trip

Our 12 year old poodle Mia has always stayed with her “grandparents” when we travel, and we bring her “toys” from each trip. We figured it was about time she join us on an adventure. img_5283

Mia loves her Icelandic horse – the toy she got from our last trip

Travelling with a dog required us to rethink much of our usual travel habits in order to find pet-friendly lodging, attractions, and restaurants. Surprisingly it wasn’t too difficult!

Our first leg was from home in Prescott, AZ to Santa Fe, NM. We overnighted at a LaQuinta Inn, which seems to be one chain that universally accepts pets for no additional fee. Mia rode great in the car for the 7+ hour drive and then enjoyed her walk through Santa Fe.


She even had her first restaurant experience at The Shed, a great Mexican restaurant in the downtown area. They accommodated her with a water bowl and space on the outside patio.

First restaurant experience at The Shed

Next we drove to Colorado Springs where we attempted to drive to the top of Pikes Peak. Unfortunately there is major construction at the top which requires a shuttle for the last three miles. Dogs are not permitted on the shuttle, so we skipped that experience. Instead we headed to Pub Dog Colorado, a bar that is designed just for dogs! Mia had a pupsicle and we enjoyed a pint. What a fun concept!

Also while in Colorado Springs we checked out Garden of the Gods. Mia got to do a little hiking and loved the red rocks and the views.

From there we headed to Parker, CO to spend the weekend with Sam. The big event was the Colorado/Nebraska football game (Nebraska lost in overtime) and Steve attended the game with our dear friend Russ. We had fun hanging with Sam, Russ and Shelley, bowling, eating out, and shopping. We’ve been friends with these guys for 30 years and they are like family. ❤️

After a fun weekend we headed to the mountains and Estes Park. Mia loved staying in our little cabin at the Castle Mountain Resort, on the banks of the Fall River and just three miles from the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. While Mia could go into the park, she wasn’t allowed on the trails. So, we did our hiking outside of the park. One day we hiked Kruger Rock, which provided an overlook of Cheley Colorado Camps, where Steve and I met over 33 years ago. Mia walked the entire way up the two mile trail with nearly 1000 feet elevation gain. To be safe, she hitched a ride down in her new backpack, which Steve proudly wears.

We also hiked the North Fork of the Big Thompson River. Mia rode in the pack the entire 5+ mile hike since this area was heavily wooded. We were warned of ticks in the area, so we played it safe. She (and we) made it out without a problem. It was a beautiful hike along the River with numerous bridges to aid in crossing. The reward was a stop for lunch in Glen Haven. The store is known for its cinnamon rolls and we’ve now declared them the best on Earth.

In the afternoon and evenings we headed into Rocky Mountain National Park to look for wildlife. The crowds have subsided now that the summer season is over, which made seeing elk, deer, moose, and other critters incredibly easy. As always, the landscape here is majestic and leaves us feeling humbled and grateful.

For our final day in Estes Park we reminisced. We met in the summer of 1986 while working at Cheley Colorado Camps in Estes. It’s always held a special place in our hearts so we paid camp a visit. We found our old cabins and Steve even found a plaque that he’d signed along with his other transportation crew members. Check out Steve behind the wheel of his old blue bus!

Our way-back tour concluded at the place where it all went down: Lonignan’s. The bar was the same as it was in 1986… same bar, same pool table. Good times.

Our road trip continued to Cheyenne WY via Loveland CO where we stopped in to visit our long-time friends Russ and Susan. Susan and I worked together years ago at the city of Phoenix and we always enjoy spending time with them. In fact, their sense of adventure and love of travel has inspired us for years. Susan made a delicious Thai lunch and Mia “enjoyed”playing with Fletcher, their two year old grandson. 

Next up is another marathon in Cheyenne and then some tourist stuff on the way home. We’ll save those details for the next blog since this one is so long. Thanks for following along!

2 thoughts on “Mia’s First Road Trip

  1. Sorry to be late in responding. Two important things in this blog. Actually three. Dogs make everything better. Being your friend for this long is beyond special. AND finally, we told you about the cinnamon rolls first. Russ.

  2. This is FABULOUS! Truly a trip of a lifetime with incredible photos! Loved the narrative about the photos.
    So glad you posted this. See you soon, with the intrepid traveller Mia, who must be forever changed by all her adventures!

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