Vacation Travels 2014 – Part 1

Travels with Smoke on Charlie's lap
Smoke on Charlie’s lap.

Our vacation got off to a late start this summer as both Charlie and I had dental issues with which to deal—mine was a cracked tooth into which I could insert a fingernail.

We loaded up our new Buick Enclave with a Thule carrier on top. Great car with a smooth and quiet ride. Gas mileage is 15-16 in town and 20-26 on the open road. We took the cats, Mist and Smoke, with us; they were quite noisy the first couple of days but eventually became good travelers and, for the most part, stayed out of the front seats.

We spent the first night in Gilroy (via I-5 and Cal 152) at a friend’s house; they were on vacation and out of town at the time but mailed us a key and we enjoyed a quiet evening there. The next day we drove to Arcata on US 101. A very nice drive although we went a bit slower than in the De Ville as the Enclave is both heavier and has a higher center of gravity.

Stayed the night at the Arcata Super 8 (on “motel road”), which has one smoking, handicapped room (and allows cats with fee). The original adjustable handicapped shower handle/head was broken and not properly replaced. (I informed management; the problem was not fixed by the time we returned several weeks later.) Otherwise the room was fine.

The next day we drove to Albany, Oregon via Coos Bay/North Bend and the Umpqua River route and I-5. We stopped for an hour at the Mill Casino and Hotel in North Bend but did not spend the night. (Charlie loves their casino and gift shop and we both like their restaurants.) They do not take cats although they do take dogs, some of them very large.

While Charlie was in the casino, I put the cats on their leashes and walked around the hotel and fell into conversation with a security guard. I explained why I was outside and why we were not staying at the hotel and he expressed surprise at the no cats policy. He told me he would speak with management about the issue and we exchanged email addresses.

After Charlie’s hour and a half were up, we resumed our travels and stopped and watched elk for a few minutes at the Dean Creek Elk viewing area on the Umpqua River. Then on to the Super 8 in Albany on the I-5. (Handicapped, smoking and cats with a Subway a half mile’s walk away.)

The next day it was the I-5 to Portland, east along the Columbia River and north to Spokane, actually the Super 8 in West Spokane. (Smoking, cats but not handicapped equipped—more about which later.)

On to Bozeman, Montana and the Holiday Inn. (Cats, smoking but not handicapped equipped.) We like their restaurant but it is too far a walk for Charlie and we didn’t feel like getting back into the car and driving around to the other side of the hotel. So, we had a room service dinner: two appetizers and two dinners—too much, but delicious.

Travels with Mist and Smoke asleep in hotel.
Mist and Smoke asleep in hotel.

The next day it was a “straight” shot east on I- 90/I-94 to Wibaux, Montana where we stayed at the Beaver Creek Inn and Suites. Cats, smoking but their only handicapped room is non-smoking. The room was comfortable and the staff (owner) friendly. Charlie did not feel like going out to dinner so, on the motel owner’s recommendation I called the Shamrock Club for a take-out dinner—delicious and, once again, too much food.

Then it was across North Dakota to Moorhead, Minnesota and the Travelodge. A very nice smoking, cats but not handicapped equipped room and a Subway sandwich dinner. (Charlie usually has a tuna with onions, tomatoes and avocado and I have a Subway Club with just about everything, including lots of jalapeños.

Last day of travel was north on the I-29 and the east on ND 66 and MN 11. (Neither OnStar nor Waze was aware of the too long detour on MN 11—dirty word, dirty word, dirty word. (Or bleep, bleep, bleep, if you prefer.)

Aside from this it was a nice, easy journey with no weather problems and very little delay for construction.

Travels: Postscript

I received an email from Suzann Anaya, Director of Operations for the Mill Casino Hotel on the reason for their no cats policy: “Our main concern with cats in the hotel rooms is the allergens they leave. We have many other hotel guests who have severe feline allergies.” I can quite understand this but still . . . Super 8, Motel 6, Travelodge and Holiday Inn allow cats.