Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Last Hurrah of Summer!!

It was finally Kolby's turn to go to our annual get-away spot, a cute German town just a two hours drive away. We visit here in the pounding snow during our Christmas Break, and during the summer to catch some additional rays and enjoy an outdoor pool.  The town is the same during either season, bringing awesome German food and ambiance. We never get tired.
This was the first time, however, that we enjoyed "camping" in this town. And I use the quote marks on purpose because we stayed at a KOA, another first. If ever we were to travel a great distance (ie: multi-state road trip) in our RV, I can imagine that part of the experience will be KOA-style ... so we wanted to see how it worked.

It worked. It wouldn't be my first choice, but I would do it if we needed to bridge the gap between here and there.
Because we have an RV, we needed a campsite that offered a shuttle from our site to the little town, and this had that offer. It worked slick. The bonus was that this added a new experience for Kolby - getting on a mini bus and holding still while we traveled down the road. It was just short enough of a drive where Kolby didn't have time to get bored, but just long enough where he still had to maintain his manners and get the experience.
Kolby rocked the Shuttle bus, and the Under for dinner, and Under for a Yogurt Shop for dessert. He was impressed with the Horse Drawn Carriage, even though it was just two weeks ago when he got to meet his first Draft Horse, I guess he really likes them. He just stared and stared until it left we left.
He did great with all the dogs on leashes that also visit this town, but Mister was by far the most well behaved on his leash. He never solicited their attention, and expect for one that came way to close to his face, he maintained a good steady focus straight ahead as we passed each of them.
Stores were typical, he has been in those many, many times, so nothing new there - except for the new smells of this town compared to ours, his behavior was steady as it is in our neck of the woods.
We took a break from the heat at the Front Street Park which takes up one complete side of the main street. It has a huge slop to it, which attracts sledders in the winter, and in the summer - kids roll down the grassy hill, people picnic, and just hang out under the shade of the trees.
I took off Kolby's vest because while he is Black and will hide grass-stains, his Yellow Vest will not. Kolby then proceeded to roll himself down the hill head first. It was too funny to stop and take photos. You know the kind of roll, where the dog is rubbing his back all over the grass, now imagine Kolby doing that long legs sticking up and his flopping ears going down hill. Once upright, he looked dizzy, and had to focus on where he was in order to decide to go up or down to follow his leash back to meet me (it was up).
Mister didn't mind getting covered up with grass by my son either. Mister Mellow - he is up for any game that keeps anyone occupied.
We walked Blackbird Island before we headed back to the shuttle. It is a dense forest trail that borders the river. I am sure he smelled much more of the wildlife than we did, as he was more antsy here. We noticed a Beware of Raccoon sign at the beginning of the trail, so maybe one had been lurking about. It wasn't Kolby's best work, but it wasn't awful either. He was just more distracted.
And, on the way back on the trail a mother was pushing a stroller on the gravel trail, and decided to cut behind us and stop. Just the short distance of the stroller from Kolby's backside did not make my puppy happy. He did a tug-the-tail and run to the end of the leash a few times. Then I pulled over and calmed him down. I was waiting for the lady to keep walking, to "try again" with Kolby, but she was busy with her baby and I didn't want to disturb her, or keep waiting. We will need to work on that. I am not sure if it was the noise of the stroller on gravel, or the stroller itself, or just the combo of being tired from a very stimulating day.
And the river - if I would have let him, he would have loved to Jump and Play in the river!! He was adorable looking at the river, wagging his tail, looking at me, back at the river, kneeding his two feet into the ground while he was still holding his Sit, looking at me, the river, at me, the river. Poor Kolby. Next time.

The rest of the adventure at the campground was typical for Kolby. A lot of walks, time in the RV, time on the mat outside catching the sun, and people watching (which there was plenty of out in the open at a KOA, compared to a traditional campground).
I am so happy that we get to experience many firsts with Kolby - and I am especially glad that he is so steady and able to handle all that we include him in. Kolby has proven to be a very good traveler, and a seasoned camper. Well done, Mister!!

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