With a start to a new day, Boomer and I would be visiting Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument (GSENM). I stopped in at the GSENM visitor’s center in Kanab Utah and I briefly checked out the displays. As I milled around I walked into a room packed with people. A sign hung on the door stating “lottery full”. I later found out that the room was full of hikers who were all wanting to visit the “The Wave” a popular hiking spot in Arizona. I had no chance of throwing my name in for the lottery as it fills up months in advance. Just a side note, dogs are allowed to visit The Wave for a additional small fee if you are lucky enough to get a spot for The Wave.
The drive down to Southern Utah, our final destination for the day, was an exciting one! We had one last stop at Kolob Canyons before calling it a night and dealt with challenging ground to sky lighting and downpours. I was white knuckled the entire drive as my tires were near the end of their life and well if you didn’t read what I did to my brakes – take a moment to catch up. Needless to say I was in fear of hydroplaning… but luckily we arrived safe. I knew all those countless hours of watching NASCAR would pay off making me a better driver. We arrived at Kolob Canyons as the storm clouds parted for a few moments while we did a driving tour of the park.
I took a stay-cation in January and decided that I would challenge myself with a different beer recipe each day of the “work” week. One of the recipes I made was Chocolate Stout Cookies with Salted Caramel Frosting. The recipe was inspired by The Craving Chronicles.
Caramel is probably one of my most favorite things ever and even though it lacks a lot of nutritional value, if stranded on a deserted island for the rest of my life and only allowed one thing it would be caramel… take note that is even over beer – that’s how much I like it!
I spend a lot of time on the blog talking about traveling with Boomer. Occasionally I get emails asking more about Boomer. What is Boomer like? What kind of dog breed is he? Is he a fan of NASCAR as much as I am? Just kidding nobody asks about NASCAR. He is an Earnhardt Sr fan just in case you were wondering (you will see his allegiance in one of the below videos)
Boomer was born sometime near the end of 2009. I found him at our local animal shelter when he was just a puppy and we have been inseparable ever since. He was and still is an amazing addition to my life. There is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful for having this goofball in my life!
I put together a few videos and pictures of my favorite Boomer moments. Some of these moments include a little dog shaming but luckily for Boomer, he is never ashamed of anything he does. He leads a life of no regrets!
The year has come to an end and Boomer and I have another chapter in the travel books. Here is our 2013 travel write up for Paws For Beer
This year we traveled to: (Bolded locations are new locations for Paws for Beer. Boomer’s name will be listed if he we went along on the trip):
Crescent City (Boomer)
Grants Pass (Boomer)
Ross Creek Cedars Highway 56 (Boomer)
Big Hole National Battlefield (Boomer)
White Bird Battlefield (Boomer)
Bonners Ferry (Boomer)
Snow Creek Falls (Boomer)
Grand Coulee Dam (Boomer)
Zion National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park (Boomer)
Kolab Canyons (Boomer)
Grand Staircase Escalante (Boomer)
Salt Lake City (Boomer)
Antelope Island State Park (Boomer)
Red Canyon State Park (Boomer)
Park City (Boomer)
Golden Spike National Monument (Boomer)
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park (Boomer)
It was a pretty successful year of travel for me although there were a few trips I cancelled due to lack of funds – but they’re on the 2104 schedule! Here is a preview of what I have planned for 2014:
Trips with Friends:
April: Mexico (this is still in the rough stages so I am not sure if it will pan out or not)
May: Chicago IL / Milwaukee WI / Spring Green WI
Trips with Boomer:
June: Oregon Coast / Central Oregon/ Mount St Helens
September: Southern Wyoming / Northern, Central and Southwestern Colorado / South Eastern Utah / Montana
I have my fingers crossed that I will not have to cancel any of the above – but some things are out of my control. Since I have such a long planning schedule I hope to be able to “travel hack” down as much of the costs that I can but when you travel primarily by car the cost of fuel is your worst enemy. Luckily however I traded in the truck for a newer SUV that gets twice the gas mileage so that will help a little. I am also looking forward to Boomer being more comfortable in the car as we travel. You know because it is really all about him!
Where did you travel to this year? Did you visit new places or familiar favorites?
While researching for the trip to Leavenworth I found a few old tyme photo shops. But when in a Bavarian village, why not get a Bavarian old tyme photo taken? While setting up the appointment I double checked with the shopkeeper that dogs were allowed in to the studio. Although I had read on their website that they were, I always like to check prior to bringing in Boomer just in case things have changed.
One of the main reasons I wanted to visit Ellensburg was the Iron Horse Brewery. I enjoy their Irish Death beer – which is not really a beer you want to mess around with. It has an ABV of 7.8% and will knock you on your ass before you even realize you’re on your ass. I’ve been knocked down several times but I always come back for more (not sure what that says about my personality – but let’s just leave it with I love this beer!)
Finally winter had disappeared and it had become brew fest season! My first brew fest of the 2013 year was the Garden City Brew Fest in Missoula Montana. Although it was the 21st year of this annual fest it was my first time attending, but surely will not be my last.
The next morning I was awoken by the slight nuzzling of a wet nose. Boomer (in his mind) was politely asking for his morning walk. During our drive to Southern Oregon I had noticed Oregon was much different from Idaho. There were many trail heads marked along the roads in Oregon, even near my uncle’s house. Where I live trail heads are rarely marked with the exception of a “no dogs allowed” sign. So I guess what I am saying is, thank you Oregon for being dog friendly!
Boomer and I slept in a bit on Day 5. The Museum at Black Hills Institute, in Hill City that I wanted to go to did not open until 9am. The later opening time gave us a good opportunity to catch up on some much needed sleep. I did end up walking Boomer around the town a few times to burn some time before I could go into the museum. The town is an adorable old westernized looking town. After I put Boomer back in the truck I stopped in at a store and the shopkeeper said “where’s your puppy dog?”. That dog sure does attract attention!