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  1. Default Sea>San Diego and Back with my Pupper :)

    First time poster, independent Road Tripper, and pupper owner.

    Me and my sweetie, Buttercup (2.5 y/o 40lb lab/basenji mix), got some time off in August and we're gonna go on a Road Trip. I have Aug 6 - 18 off and I think I can do it! I don't need to do a ton of sight seeing just want to meet up with some friends and spend some quality time on the road with my dog. I live in Seattle. I want to hit Portland, Redwoods, San Fran, and San Diego, and then make my way up. I don't have a ton of money but I have people who are willing to let us crash with them all along the way and I'm considering doing some ride sharing. A few handy trips to know about me:

    1. I love night driving. Doesn't bother me one bit and I'll have plenty of time for scenery during this trip and I have odd sleeping hours anyways so I am not constrained by daylight hours.

    2. I know I can drive ~ 8 hours with no sweat and Buttercup is very happy in a car as long as I stop periodically, from what I've been able to gather. I think I would be fine with 10 hour days if needed.

    3. We are perfectly happy to catch some Z's in the car.

    That being said, I'm also inexperienced. I've done quite a bit of travelling in my life but mostly with my parents or with friends. I've also never travelled with a dog. So, good dog parks to hit or places where she can go off leash to run around would be awesome. I want to take the 101 most of the way, I think.

    I would love general advice with my undertaking and I'm especially concerned with how to be a responsible dog owner while I'm doing this - she's my first priority. So any info regarding dog-friendly locations/stores/parks, as well as safety tips are appreciated.

    Tips for lil ol' human me are acceptable as well :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    First thing I think I'd do, for the safety of you and your pup, is to plan to do some camping along the way instead of planning to catch a few Z's in the car. Unless you have the capability of stretching out in the back of your car, you won't get a restful enough sleep to be able to drive the next day. It also isn't very safe. There are few places where you can park and sleep. Rest areas are a no-no, parking lots aren't usually very safe either. Pull into a neighborhood and you might have a policeperson knock on the window and ask you to move on -- or a disgruntled homeowner that greets you with a loaded gun. That leaves a truck stop, and with engines running all night and lights flashing in your windows, it's noisy and disturbing.

    That said, go get a small tent and plan to find some state or national parks, state or national forest or even county parks that have campgrounds for you. Most are open to dogs as long as they are leashed. Night times are best for sleeping and day times for driving and sightseeing.

    On your trip southbound, drive during the day and take both US-101 and PCH CA-1. You will want to pull out at the scenic viewpoints, and they're all on the righthand side of the road. Then take I-5 heading northbound. You will definitely want to drive the 101 and the 1 during the daytime.

    As far as dog parks are concerned, hopefully some dog owners will chime in. We haven't had a dog in 14 years so I have lost track. There are beaches along the 101 and the 1 that have designated dog run areas. Otherwise, we all appreciate a courteous dog owner that carries around a doggie bag.

    For those times when you need to stop at a motel, my cousins lean on Motel 6 and some Days Inns for pet-friendly. You can also check the motel-finder on RTA and ask it to look for pet friendly motels in the areas when you might stop.



    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Motel 6 and La Quinta are the 2 dog-friendliest hotel chains.

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    Welcome to RTA!

    First thing I think I'd do, for the safety of you and your pup, is to plan to do some camping along the way instead of planning to catch a few Z's in the car. Unless you have the capability of stretching out in the back of your car, you won't get a restful enough sleep to be able to drive the next day. It also isn't very safe. There are few places where you can park and sleep. Rest areas are a no-no, parking lots aren't usually very safe either. Pull into a neighborhood and you might have a policeperson knock on the window and ask you to move on -- or a disgruntled homeowner that greets you with a loaded gun. That leaves a truck stop, and with engines running all night and lights flashing in your windows, it's noisy and disturbing.

    That said, go get a small tent and plan to find some state or national parks, state or national forest or even county parks that have campgrounds for you. Most are open to dogs as long as they are leashed. Night times are best for sleeping and day times for driving and sightseeing.

    On your trip southbound, drive during the day and take both US-101 and PCH CA-1. You will want to pull out at the scenic viewpoints, and they're all on the righthand side of the road. Then take I-5 heading northbound. You will definitely want to drive the 101 and the 1 during the daytime.

    As far as dog parks are concerned, hopefully some dog owners will chime in. We haven't had a dog in 14 years so I have lost track. There are beaches along the 101 and the 1 that have designated dog run areas. Otherwise, we all appreciate a courteous dog owner that carries around a doggie bag.

    For those times when you need to stop at a motel, my cousins lean on Motel 6 and some Days Inns for pet-friendly. You can also check the motel-finder on RTA and ask it to look for pet friendly motels in the areas when you might stop.



    Donna
    Awesome advice guys - lots of stuff I hadn't considered. Maybe I will invest in a small tent of some sort. Is there any kind of like.... West Coast State/National Park Pass so I can save some money on camping?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

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    Quote Originally Posted by chelli View Post
    1. I love night driving. Doesn't bother me one bit and I'll have plenty of time for scenery during this trip and I have odd sleeping hours anyways so I am not constrained by daylight hours.
    You do realize this is quite the contradiction. You do have plenty of time for scenery, but scenery itself is constrained by daylight hours. If you drive at night, that means you need to sleep during the day - and it's hard to enjoy much scenery in the dark.

    There are other problems with a plan to drive at night - it really restricts where you can sleep. Motels generally require you to check out by noon - at the very latest. Most campgrounds don't allow people to set up camp during quiet hours - typically from about 10pm to 7am.

    West Coast State/National Park Pass so I can save some money on camping?
    Not Really. There is a National Parks pass for $80, but it only covers park admission fees and not camping. You'd also have to visit at least 4 or 5 National Parks for it to pay for itself. For state parks, you'll have to look at each individual state, as they all have their own policies and are not connected to each other in any way. California's state parks pass is nearly $200, and it also does not include camping - however, if you are camping, admission to the park is included with the camping fee.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    You do realize this is quite the contradiction. You do have plenty of time for scenery, but scenery itself is constrained by daylight hours. If you drive at night, that means you need to sleep during the day - and it's hard to enjoy much scenery in the dark.

    There are other problems with a plan to drive at night - it really restricts where you can sleep. Motels generally require you to check out by noon - at the very latest. Most campgrounds don't allow people to set up camp during quiet hours - typically from about 10pm to 7am.



    Not Really. There is a National Parks pass for $80, but it only covers park admission fees and not camping. You'd also have to visit at least 4 or 5 National Parks for it to pay for itself. For state parks, you'll have to look at each individual state, as they all have their own policies and are not connected to each other in any way. California's state parks pass is nearly $200, and it also does not include camping - however, if you are camping, admission to the park is included with the camping fee.
    I guess that because I'm going both directions I'm not concerned with seeing every scene and I really enjoy the serenity of night driving.

    Thank you for the info! I'll check out some campgrounds along the way and see what the pricing will be like

  7. Default

    I mentioned driving at night because I have an irregular inconsistent sleep schedule

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