Dallas to Ventura with a doggie
We are planning a road trip from Dallas, TX to Ventura CA over Thanksgiving week - with great dane in tow. Since this one is NOT optional (we're moving and flying a dog that outweighs me is NOT an option!), we're going to have to make the best of it.
Any advice about how long this might take, where the best (read: dog friendly) places to stop might be, or other words of wisdom?
The plan is to drive as fast and as far as we can each day.
With plenty of "rest" stops for my canine companion.
Size Does Matter
Unfortunately size does matter when it comes to traveling canines. There are a number of motel chains that go out of there way to welcome guests traveling with critters but their collective enthusiasm tends to wane when the dog exceeds about 40 lbs.
The first thing I would do is look at our <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/read/pets.htm">Traveling Pets<a/> page for a look at a couple of the books we recommend. I would also look at <a href = "http://www.petsonthego.com/">Pets On the Go<a/> -- and follow the links -- they do a good job of keeping information current about dog-friendly places.
As you know it is about 1500 miles and it is possible (with two drivers) to make the entire distance in one 24-hour period (which would mean that you wouldn't need to get a motel).
Just make sure that you have an easy way to keep your dog well lubricated (plenty of water).
Yep, I have encountered this sort of size "discrimination" as I've researched different options. I've basically come to the conclusion that the Motel 6 chain seems to be most accomodating when it comes to bigger dogs, but there are a couple of other options too.
Evidently, the TownePlace Suites (by Marriott) in Albuquerque has been recommended like this: "We accept all pets great and small and treat them as we would any other guest. If your pet is like ours, they are an important member of the family! Please inquire at check in as on occasion we have treats for your special companion."
Hmmm...sounds promising. So, I think we'll drive from DFW all the way to Albuquerque (about 10 hours) and then rest. Since we have to drive both cars, it's about how much each of us can handle in a day - which definitely means stopping. :)
We decided then to drive to Flagstaff on the second day. It's about four hours from ABQ, and we found that the Comfort Inn Flagstaff also seems to welcome big dogs as well as small. My husband wants to drive up to the Grand Canyon for a look-see, so it seems reasonable to devote the afternoon to that.
From Flagstaff, we should be able to get to Ventura in about 8 hours or so.
If anyone else has some road-tested advice, I'm certainly open to it - but for now, this seems like the best plan.
I'll keep everyone posted as to how it goes!
The shortest possible distance from Flagstaff to Ventura is about 527 miles and I will buy anyone a beer who can cover that distance is less than 10 hours! It is a nice drive -- but construction delays and the usual slowdowns for traffic and weather always result in an average speed of about 53 mph in that stretch (now if you routinely travel at speeds in excess of 80 mph where possible) you might be able to get there in 8.5 but...
In my experience the warmest motel chains for dogs are Best Western and La Quinta -- but a great dane could still be iffy.
We are really looking forward to hearing your field report on this subject!
Go Speed Racer, GO
Is that a challenge? :-)
I know what you mean though - the mileage is deceiving, when you consider how difficult some of those miles can be. No matter what program or service I use - every route I'm given takes me right through Pasadena and up the 101 freeway.
Hmmm...the 134/101 on Thanksgiving Day? Not my preferred route, as a former local. I'm looking at alternate routes. Maybe through Palmdale/Santa Clarita. The roads are nothing but two lanes in some places, but also qualify as "roads less travelled". Then again, if we hit civilization when most folks are just sitting down to turkey dinners - maybe we could get lucky.
I'll keep ya posted!
You may assume it, if you wish...
I was a Pasadena "local" for 20+ years and actually driving through on Thanksgiving will be a lot less difficult than either the day before or the day after. That new section of I-210 from Upland to San Dimas really rocks!
An alternative route -- that I would recommend (it may be even be faster...) would be to exit I-15 at Barstow and use CA-58 to CA-14 at Mojave and then south all the way to I-5 and then either down to US-101 or north to 126 at Santa Clarita (which is a very pretty road) and then down to Ventura. 58 has been re-built of late and it really moves. It will have less traffic than any section of the I-210 front range route!
Mark, your alternative route actually sounds like a really good one. It's been a really long time since I've had to navigate that part of CA, but if you say there's a new road that moves, then I'm all for giving it a whirl.
ANYTHING is better than battling LA traffic.