Alpine, TX – Silver City, NM

4/30 – Stillwell RV Park

Another sad day as he’s making me leave this rabbit-rich territory for a 7 hour drive to some person-infested city in New Mexico. The drive is less than charming, flat west Texas morphing into flat southern New Mexico, with not-so-scenic El Paso in the middle.

Flat ass west Texas – notice the border patrol blimp ready to launch

We arrive at some downtown RV park in Silver City, NM around 6pm. Although this place claims to be a city it’s a pretty quiet place with trees and a creek just behind our back-in slot (he’s getting better at backing in as it took him only 8 tries to get it docked and tied up this time). I was abandoned after my dinner as he struck off to sample the Saturday night lights of Silver City. He was back and snoozing before 10 so I assume the lights were not so bright (he mumbled something about no good place to dance as there was a cowboy comic in the only live music venue in town).

Downtown Silver City


5/1 – Silver City , NM – Tucson, AZ (The Peak’s Place)

Since he was home so early last night I woke him at 6 for our morning walk. We had the place to ourselves and were impressed by many artsy shops and art objects scattered throughout the town.

Is this art?

Cienga (silver) was discovered here in 1870 in a deposit that yielded 100 ounces/ton, the definition of a bonanza. The mine opening is located just behind the courthouse in downtown CS (see photo). There is a huge active copper mine south of town that employs 1,200 miners and supports virtually all of the economic activity in the region. The Spanish discovered copper here in 1804 and the early Indians (I’m quoting from the local tourist guide book so all you PC folks chill out…yes dogs can read guide books) mined turquoise for their arty projects.

First silver mine, circa 1870 – located just 2 blocks from the courthouse

My master told me this is a characteristic of western towns in general, from San Francisco to Leadville, CO and countless towns in between. The prospectors/miners discover something that a lot of people want and will pay big bucks for and the miners dig it out of the ground and some get very rich while others go home broke and get a job as a Walmart greeter. After years of prosperity, the ore body depletes and/or the environmentalists, who got to be environmentalists by voraciously consuming the stuff the miners produced, told the miners they were bad people and to go home and get a job at Walmart.

OK, enough of the old man’s rant – time to hit the road for his friend’s house in Tucson, AZ where there will be plenty of good food and drink awaiting our arrival, plus two 15 year old female dogs (Weezie and Wooby) just waiting for a stud like me.

The famous Silver City bottle wall – estimated 5,000 wine and beer bottles in this wall. I know some friends who could make this happen in 3 months.
Me running free in the Gila National Forrest – this was a fun day

Galveston – Big Bend National Park

4/13 – 4/25 Galveston

Nothing to report – me in Galveston, he in Annapolis, Iceland and Amsterdam (is it me and he or me and him ?- I missed the grammar lesion in doggy obedience school).

4/26 Galveston

He’s back – I was really enjoying life here in Texas where I was borne but all good things must end so we’re off tomorrow to pick up the trailer in Katy and continue westward.

4/27 Galveston – Kerrville, TX

Although I would have been perfectly happy staying another month or so in Galveston he told me the best was yet to come and to get my butt in the back seat for the interminable ride across Texas. The repair guys in Katy ($130/hr labor rate, this is more expensive than owning a boat!) had the hole closed up and we rolled west on the I-10 around 2 pm.

The score so far: two trailer repair shops, one tire place and zero national parks; this has to get better, right?

Well maybe, as we put into another Walmart around 7:30 in Kerrville about 100 miles west of San Antonio. The highlight of this stay (beside the free parking) is the shopping experience early in the morning when he has the entire store to himself. He remembered my doggy treats this time so maybe things are getting better.

We study the map and notice Big Bend National Park about 300 miles to the southwest of Kerrville, so the score was about to improve.

4/28 – Stillwell Store & RV Park, Alpine, TX

The view across the street from the RV park in Stillwell

We arrived late in the afternoon after a half-day drive from Kerrville. Temperatures were near 100 degrees and the RV park guy warned him to be aware of bobcats, rattle snakes, coyotes and wild pigs, all critters that could make life miserable for me.


Stillwell Ranch, Alpine Texas

After a gourmet meal on board the trailer (he had a steak, I ate my usual dry food and some table droppings, we broke out the flash light for an evening walk in the desert. I love this place as its full of jack-rabbits, quail, lizards and other small game that I love to chase but never catch. No snakes or bobcats tonight thankfully. Also very few people as its the end of the winter season and we had the place to ourselves. The road leading to the RV averaged a car every 3 hours.

I have this road all to myself every morning and evening
He took me on this nature walk and all I wanted to do was chase rabbits and birds

4/29 – Stillwell Store and RV Park – Big Bend National Park

We spend the day driving throughout the park with numerous stops for hikes, water, lunch, and peeing (mostly him). This place is remote, empty, hot and beautiful, all at the same time. The geology ranges from all sorts of igneous rocks in the eastern half to the sedimentary layers outcropping along the western portion of the park and near the Rio Grande River.

Big Bend National Park – late spring flowers
Erosional remnant

Mountain ranges are everywhere including the Sierra Del Carmen to the east, The Chisos to the south, and the Sierra Del Caballio Muerto in the park. After getting a glimpse of the harsh conditions that characterize the US-Mexico border it’s hard to imagine how any of the IA’s survive the crossing. If the desert doesn’t get them they should have no problem with Trump’s wall.

Rio Grande River – Cretaceous limestone walls
Early morning mist in Big Bend

New Orleans – Galveston

4/7 – 4/10 NOLA, French Quarter RV Park

This strategically located RV park is 2 blocks from the FQ and therefore allows him to ditch me during the day in the trailer (complete with AC and a soft bed) while he and Joyce take in the 25 music stages and countless food, beer and booze stalls along the river and throughout the quarter. They (mostly he) stagger back for occasional naps and to make sure I have not found the hole in the bottom of the trailer and made my escape. After 3 days of music, dancing (mostly him alone), eating and drinking we drive to Kent’s lakeside house in Metairie for a quiet night of recovery.

Joyce in Jackson Square, nice hat
My Master and me in the FQ RV Park


Burbon St. – where else?


French Quarter Fest
Ariel, Jeff and Emily – his beautiful nieces
Andy would be right at home with these dudes


New Orleans health food

One night during the festival, after he had consumed many adult beverages and Joyce was asleep, he told me about how 36 years ago he arrived in New Orleans on his home-finished 31’ Southern Cross sloop after a 1,200 mile river voyage from Parkersburg WV with first mate Andy White and his father as crew. He intended to continue sailing to “the islands of the half-naked women” (this quote appeared in the November 7, 1979 edition of the Marietta Times who sent a reporter to cover the launching) but ran into a girl named Lilly and the course of his life was dramatically altered.

Bare hull, deck and engine delivered to Signal Mtn, TN 1976
Starsplitter launching, Marietta, OH – fall 1979
Captain and crew (Andy White in beard, reporter from the Marietta Times) can’t remember her name Mississippi River 1979
Steve Korte and Lilly, Dry Tortugas, FL 1979















4/11 – NOLA – Galveston

En route from NO to Galveston, TX via Katy, TX where he will drop off the trailer for final bottom repairs. Joyce is with us now, thank god (yes dogs believe in god too) as she is there to remind him to drive carefully and feed me twice a day. Galveston is the home of Christina, Joyce’s good friend and old sailing and MRE buddy in Annapolis and her husband Bob. They kindly offered to take care of me while my master takes a vacation from his vacation.

My favorite person walking me on in Galveston
Blue crabs are big in Texas






4/12 – Galveston


We found these guys in the yard of a downtown Galveston house. Coach now wants a pig

After a morning walk they ditch me at the house and drive to Houston to meet Christina for a tour of her workspace. As she is employed by NASA and hopes to go to Mars one day so I’m sure they saw a lot of cool stuff during the visit. If he doesn’t improve his RV driving skills soon I would be glad to sign on to the Mars trip just to remain safe.

Joyce at the controls of the space shuttle – watch out below
Christina with here fellow astronaut buddies
Inside the Soyuz space capsule – not much room for 3 people
Taken in the actual Apollo control room. Houston – we have a problem

4/15 Annapolis – Iceland – Amsterdam

He and three college buddies (Tom, Bill and Steve) decided it would be fun to re-live their youth and return to Amsterdam to celebrate the 45th anniversary of a previous trip. Since I stayed in Galveston enjoying walks on the beach and park and two squares a day plus treats, I am not able to provide any details of the “Amsterdam four”.

Steve, Bill and Tom – Wittenberg U class of 69
The Tulip Fest
Amsterdam after dark
More flowers
Iceland or Amsterdam – I forget

The Journey Begins – Annapolis to New Orleans


April 4, 2016 – Annapolis, MD – Bristol, VA

The big land yacht adventure begins and it’s our first night on the road. We are spending it in a friggin Walmart parking lot in Bristol Virginia, surrounded by a who’s who of fast food restaurants (Taco Bell, Applebee’s, McDonalds and a Golden Corral to name just a few). The view from our door includes four parked tractor-trailer trucks, the Walmart automotive center and a Motel 6 across the street – at least he didn’t get us a room there.

First night out – what have I gotten myself into?

After a quick walk around the lot he spots a non-franchised Mexican restaurant so he dumps me back in the trailer while he dines on tacos, enchiladas and a pitcher of margaritas (judging by his slurred speech upon his return). It will get better tomorrow, right?

April 5 – Bristol – Tuscaloosa, AL


After a brief walk around the Walmart lot he again locks me in the trailer while he goes shopping for a few groceries and some spare fuses. He returns gushing about the wonders of Walmart shopping “they have everything a guy could need under one roof – food, clothing, auto parts, beer and wine, plus there was a McDonalds right in the store!!!” Notice he didn’t mention doggie treats (he’s very self-centered).

After gassing up at the nearby Pilot station ($1.90/gal for regular – he uses the cheap stuff as the rig only gets about 11 mpg at 60 mph in the interstate). The day was sunny and cool and the east Tennessee scenery was right out of a picture book, rolling hills, old barns and blooming trees and bushes – things are getting better.

Five hours later, after several pit stops for my walks and snacks (I have to admit he makes sure I am a happy companion so all you PETA people can just shut up) we are rolling down I-20, 22 miles south of Tuscaloosa, Alabama (where Joe Namath played his college ball) and the trailer began to wobble. Of course he tried to ignore this by blaming it on the inferior Alabama interstate highway system, but when a car passed him with a guy hanging out the window shouting and pointing to our trailer he figured something might be wrong (what a genius) and pulled off the highway to discover a blown-out tire on the right side – as a bonus the force of the blowout destroyed the wheel fender which in turn took out the bottom of the trailer under the galley sink and destroyed three feet of heating duct, the water pump and two feet of water line.

Alabama air conditioning
RV repair shop #1, Tuscaloosa, AL


I heard him mumbling something about having over 55 years of sailing experience and never once did he put a hole in the bottom of a boat; two days into the land yacht experience look what happens. I’m starting to get nervous.

After discovering that AAA Basic does not cover trailer tire damage he immediately upgraded to AAA-RV to avoid, in the future, the $180 fee charged by the “good old boy” who came to our rescue. We had to backtrack 20 miles to Tuscaloosa to find a reputable RV service shop that would enable us to continue to NOLA with running water – the hole in the bottom needs a new wheel well cover shipped from California so the journey to New Orleans continued with a well ventilated trailer (driving in rain would cause flooding so weather forecasting was important).

4/6 Tuscaloosa – New Orleans

On the road again bound for NOLA after trailer repairs and 4 new tires. I received many nice compliments from the RV repair staff and tire installers in rural Alabama (“what a pretty dowg, I betcha he’s a good hunter…”). I really appreciate all the positive comments as I’m not sure what my master has gotten me into and I may need to be shopping for another owner soon (Joyce is due in NOLA later today, she can’t come soon enough).

First Blog Post – Read Me


Thanks to my friend Mike Lange for this literary idea.

The author looking a little apprehensive

Do dogs understand the English language, or any language, for that matter? As a famous Far Side cartoon demonstrated, the answer is that dogs are very selective in their understanding of language.

People say “Skipper! Get off the couch or you won’t get your food tonight. Quit chewing on my underwear or I won’t take you for a walk today” What dogs hear: “ blah, blah, blah, blah, food, blah, blah, blah, walk, blah, blah, blah”.

Most dog owners agree with this assessment. My dog Coach is no different, however I recently discovered him at the keyboard of my laptop banging out an email to his brother Chessie (the fancy-ass show dog) asking him how his breeding session was going (Coach used much cruder language, which I will not repeat here). Once I realized that Coach could write I thought, wow, now I have one less task to do each day as the dog can now write my travel blog and all I have to do is spell check, delete the bad words and post it! Let’s see how this goes; remember the following blog is authored by a dog.