Months of planning and anticipation culminated in a day. September 10th at 0400 hour, myself and my mushing team blast off from the farm.
The dogs cannot contain their excitement.
In spite of our predawn departure, we get stuck for an hour in 6 AM rush hour traffic on a Saturday in Atlanta. Take a moment to say a little prayer for the poor souls who live there.
We arrive at our first on our adventure: Cowpens National Battlefield, in Gaffney, South Carolina. A former cow pasture and surrounding woods that became pivotal during the Revolutionary War. Trails everywhere... this is it, we're on VACATION!!!
Can you not see the jubilation in their faces??? Note the fancy backpack in the foreground. It's my travel pack, to be strapped to me from now until the end. Was it Pete voicing his opinion that we needn't travel 5 hours to see a cow pasture, we have plenty of pastures at the farm; or was he ensuring to never lose me, as he could locate me by smell; or did he have a full bladder and needed to relieve himself? We'll never know.
Take 2. Four hours and one century later, we lay siege to an important Civil War city: Petersburg, Virginia.
We all agree that this one would make a fine souvenir.
Load 'er up, boys!
We pile back into our little tin can and bear North.
Overloaded beyond its stated weight capacity, the little car struggles to keep up with 80 mph traffic.
Stripped of its seats, with our sleeping bags, mattresses, blankets, towels and jackets acting as benches, the car is one large doghouse. Every nook and cranny is occupied. Daily portions of vacuum sealed dog kibbles are stuffed under seats, under blankets. Garrett has a paw on his personal stash.
We stole away from Alabama predawn and we creep into our campground at Cedarville State Park in Maryland in a cloak of darkness. While I'm setting up the tent and fixing our suppers, Pete scouts the area.
The only way Mr. Magoo will tolerate being out of doors when dark: if he has his own head lantern strapped around his neck.
Not a very eventful first day, thankfully.
Snug as 4 Alabama bugs, in 3 man tent. Day 1, in the bag. Sleeping bag, that is.