I drove through LA via the 101 on my way to the I-10; the traffic in LA moving at whopping 5 to 27 mph. Someone mentioned about LA traffic that it’s possible to have a nice conversation with someone on the other side moving in the other direction as traffic moves so slow. Visited my Mom and her Lagotto Dino; my 3, Jackson, Jeana and Mason had a blast running around Grandma’s yard. I picked some lemons, a favorite fruit of mine even if it brings back the Peter Paul and Mary song; lemon tree, very pretty, and the lemon flower is sweet but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat. It really isn’t, you need to know how to enjoy them, not to mention their hundreds of useful uses. I’ve loved lemons since I was a child.  The San Fernando Valley once had huge groves of groves of oranges and lemons. I studied natural resources management and animal science at Pierce College in Woodland Hills in the early 1970’s, it was the joke then how the best farm land was paved over with parking lots and how the black asphalt cracked as the verdant soil pushed its way to the light. I rode a big Appaloosa stallion in Canoga Park crossing over Devonshire to the open hills; these days (I heard this morning on the radio) kids don’t really go outside very much, maybe 1/2 hr a day. Really!

My friend Sue had given me a piece of glass art made by our friend Kristine which was now around my neck. It bore the symbol of Unitarian Universalism and was gifted to me for protection on my journey. The protection was love and the thought to give it, a reminder too, for compassionate kindness. I was stressed, beyond stressed, what would that be called? My Lagotti were thoroughly matted with hard red clay and dead hair, the best I could do was clean the outer part of their coat and that had taken weeks of carefully working out enough tangles to fake it. I left their coats as long as I could expecting to do a finishing trim before the show, no one need know what was underneath, it would all come off afterwards. My clippers, of course had taken that time to quit recharging. There wasn’t enough time to get them fixed and the new spiffy sheers I’d purchased at the West Coast Grooming Conference were defective. There were bigger problems like the final discovery of the RV generator having no compression and therefore non-reparable. I’d been stiffed by a long time favorite, Quality RV in Ventura. Gabriel who greeted me as a long-lost friend and reassured he would take care of everything, left me high and dry. He’s the one who restored my RV a few years ago, this time it took over a month for him to do nothing. Absolutely nothing! Oh, he did provide some really bad and inaccurate advice. The problem seemed to be that some shiny new, big and expensive RVs had rolled into his shop after mine and with no dollar limit were given priority. I wrote a scathing report which I’ve not yet published. Beware old friends even when they give a joyful smile and a gracious warmth, what can I say? Quality RV’s failure to even let me know they’d decided to renege on the repairs I needed left me in a terrible panic to get the work done elsewhere with almost no time left and all the things I still needed to do. I also had a significantly long list of just stuff, like getting pants with no holes in them and shoes and sundries, a hair cut, living I’d neglected with the disappointing news when Olympia’s pregnancy did not take. I did the best I could and thank you, thank you, thank you to Bruce’s in Goleta. Not everything got done but I was given honest answers.

Made it to Cabezon (Banning) KOA on the first night out. I arrived late finding exactly one spot left and it was a lovely, quiet and peaceful. Whenever I’m in Banning I half think I might run into a married fellow that had a bit of a crush on me but of course I never see him.

As I continued East I’d stop frequently at rest stops….  once out of CA more of these are actually open! It’s a good thing traveling with dogs, means stopping and walking around, this is a big help with my joint laxity / hypermobility issue. My eyes especially need a good stretch, along with fingers and toes, and yeah, everything in-between! Somewhere around day 2 or day 3 an odd serendipity started occurring. Rest stops don’t happen that often and the chances of being there in those few moments when someone you know shows up can’t be very high. You know, like running into your next door neighbor or your childhood grade school teacher when you’re overseas….  how does that happen? The first one was right before Phoenix. I saw a woman from a distance, mostly I saw her two attractive border collies and was thinking, wow, those 2 look a bit familiar. Yep they belonged to a woman here in Santa Barbara that is part of my local dog club, she and her entourage were on a vacation to Phoenix. Then I started running into Lagotto people like Judith and John, that happened on and off for days until we finally decided to camp together, also ran into Adrienne, outside of Tuscon, her van parked two spots from mine while I was in the restroom; I had to thump on the window as she was departing; she said, hey I thought maybe that was your van and then she zoomed off.  Small world, right? Serendipity! There were a lot of bees there!

Adrienne and Cubby’s “Lagotto-Mobile.”

Think this was the Butterfield RV Resort and Observatory in Benson, AZ.  The Observatory was closed 😦

Sights of the open road.

My memory gets a little blurred esp in New Mexico. I know this guy showed up:

Las Cruces Overlook Reststop

This would be a great place for a geocache! Maybe there is one.

Was this also the same rest-stop that I hated or a different one? It was NM….  was full of stickers, hot and dry with warnings of snakes. Signs posted every 10 feet…  NO DOGS around buildings, Keep Dogs out of shelters, Keep dogs on Short leash.  Was nowhere to walk a dog without giving it heatstroke, burnt feet or stickers in their nose or paws or a possible snake bite. Yep I was fuming. Idiots. The people who sit in their cubicles and come up with this!  It’s a Rest Stop.


No, I didn’t have the time or patience to try to figure this out, we just all sat together in the shelter relaxing from the heat for a few minutes. That little sign says, no pets on this side!  ???? What in the heck is one supposed to tie their pet to, 10 feet away? Out in the middle of the road????? Sorry but whoever wrote this and approved it….  here’s your sign from me:  Idiots and those that hate animals, please remove your shoes and clothes and go sit quietly in the un-shaded and snake infested sticker patch until further notice.  If you get heatstroke just lay down and you’ll be fine. 

Please never leave your dog in a hot vehicle alone or expose it to dangerous conditions.  Stand up for the rights of your pets and your children. Teach your pets to have good manners, clean up after them and yourself, control their reactions to others, prevent damage or disregard to public convention.  Rest Stop = Safety Center 

First there’s one.

Then there’s two! Little Mason is in the back. My job is to protect these little love-bugs 🙂