Coach Goes West – Season IV

July 17 – August 21, 2020

July 17, 2020 – On the road again, I’m looking forward to the sights and smells (especially the scent of dog pee) of every state between Maryland and Arizona on the first leg of our 2020 western adventures. Also, I’m very happy that Patty will be accompanying the old man on this voyage so there will be no repeats of the incident at the Saratoga Lake Campground, WY that occurred in Season I of this blog (see National Lampoon’s Family Vacation) – fortunately no lives were lost.
First night on the road, dinner at the Cracker Barrel, just a short walk from our Best Western outside of Stanton, VA. They brought me some leftover chicken and dumplings – the old man must have ordered two dinners for himself as he rarely brings home leftovers for me.
July 18 – Our second night on the road, he and Patty had dinner at a Knoxville, TN steakhouse with his good friend and former colleague Jim Thompson. Jim is smiling because he had recently decided to retire after a 30+ year career in journalism writing a daily newsletter focused on the coal industry. “I’m not waiting around for the Green New Deal to take me out, better to leave on my own terms” he said to no one in particular.
July 19, Russellville, AR – My person is making me spend the night here in order to be the first in line for the morning delivery. It’s not enough that he is old and bald, he wants to be fat too.
July, 20 – Paul Duro State Park – who knew – a mini Grand Canyon just 25 miles south of Amarilo, TX. Just like in national parks, as a dog, I am considered a threat to the natural order of things inside park boundaries. They therefore forced me to quarantine in our motel room and watch re-runs of Trump rallies on Fox News while they visited the geological wonders in the park.
If the old man had a tail it would be wagging as he examined these rocks.
Although nothing is moving in this photo, it depicts a textbook example of the erosional process. It won’t be long (in geological time) before the rocks on the top join the rocks at the base of the cliff; in turn, they will join the stream in the valley below as particles of sand and clay and will then be transported a short distance to the Red River, which is responsible for the existence of the canyon. They will eventually be transported to Lake Texoma, where they will be deposited behind the dam responsible for the creation of the lake. At some point in the future, the dam will fail and sediments will be transported to the Gulf of Mexica via the Red River, which becomes the Atchafalaya River in southern Louisiana. (Please note that I am not the author of this somewhat lengthy and boring caption.)
The old man did this for 21+ years…Woodrow’s favorite restaurant, Lewnes of Annapolis, specialized in high quality cuts from the body behind this face.
Fun stuff in Albuquerque, NM

Somewhere between Albuquerque and Pine Top, AZ
Reader question: Which way did the old man turn at this intersection? (If you answer incorrectly you probably don’t know him that well).
Model T – it runs!
When the old man saw this rainbow he immediately
wanted a quarter pounder with cheese.


The day before this photo was taken the old man had forked over $200 to have a bike rack receiver installed on the back of our trailer. While driving north through the Navajo Indian Reservation (The ‘res” for all you Sgt. Chee fans) the rack deployed and three of the four bike tires were dragged for the better part of four miles before he was altered by a passing car of the carnage taking place behind him. Because of the COVID, bicycle spare parts are in short supply. However a shop in Steamboat Springs, CO was able (for a small fee of $525) to secure and install replacement wheels and tires.
An erosional remnant, somewhere near the Four Corners region of New Mexico. Notice the red sandstone capping the softer tan rocks below. Also, notice the power lines in the foreground, indicating the old man was too lazy to get out of the car and walk across the highway to take a more charming photograph.


I hope these places are dog friendly as I fear it won’t be long before he is spending most of his time playing checkers and taking shuffel board lessons at a similar facility in Annapolis. By the way, the name of this place refers to the number
of times he gets up to pee at night.
One of our favorite National Forest camp sites, Snowy Range, Wyoming, elevation approximately 10,000′ (for the exact location please provide your name, address and Social Security and bank account numbers and I will email you a link).
More examples of glacial features – how many can you name? (mail your answers, along with a check for $100, made out to the editor of this blog, to: P.O. Box 1947, Annapolis, MD 20401, and you will be eligible for a big prize).
You will notice that I’m not wearing my life jacket; somebody please report the old man to the proper Wyoming water safety authorities as well as PETA, he’s becoming increasingly less responsible (if that possible) in his advancing age.
This wildfire was burning in northern Colorado, approximately 100 miles ESE from the Snowy Range, WY where this photo was shot with an iPhone 11 pro camera at 10,000′ elevation (the old man told me this).


Patty’s last night in Wyoming, spent at maybe the only wine bar in the state.
( They drank a bottle of wine the cost more than our room at the Gaslight, where I too slept on top of the bed.




We stored the trailer just across the street from the above mining park in Gilette, WY and headed back to Annapolis to enjoy the remainder of COVID TIME – 2020.