I’m pretty sure he had no idea what was in store for him, but he did see us packing our bags so he was probably curious. Even though he goes pretty much everywhere with us, he still stands at the door until you ask him if he wants to go. “Wanna go for a ride boy?!” Molson’s ears perked up and he headed out the garage door, jumped up in the truck, and started looking around to see where we were going.
Being on the East Coast of the U.S. we are lucky to have the Appalachian Mountains only a few hours drive away. So, for Mister Molson’s drive through the mountains we decided on the Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park.
We stopped at the first ranger station and got some maps and some advice from the rangers.
Molson loved the drive and had his head outside the window about half of the drive.
We stopped at almost every overlook and took our time taking in the stunning scenery.
Looking across the mountains, valleys, and rivers is certainly enough to make you speechless. Molson certainly was. He didn’t say a word the whole trip. But, I could see in his face that he was loving it. Several times he would turn and look at me almost saying “Are you seeing this?”
He even climbed a rock to get a better look. Looking up at him, all I could think of was the Lion King.
He was quick to find trails leading off into the woods.
We explored a little at several locations before returning to the car to get Molson a drink and a cool blast of air conditioning.
It was a beautiful clear day with almost zero humidity so we took our time, driving with the windows down, gazing at the mountains, and watching for wildlife. We saw countless deer on our drive. Molson was intrigued by them.
We ended up spending the night at Big Meadows Lodge in the park (this will be in another post for “stay at a dog friendly hotel”). It allowed us to take our time and really enjoy the peaceful surroundings. The kids loved the journey and I heard “woah” about a thousand times.
Elliot decided he wanted to be a Junior Ranger and worked through his journal logging in things like “hug a tree”, find “wild animal fur”, and “find things growing out of, or living in rocks.” At one of our last stops, he took the Junior Ranger oath and earned his Junior Ranger badge.
On our trip we saw squirrels, bunnies, chipmunks, birds, deer, and bear. Molson seemed to be in his element and enjoyed hanging out in the woods. He didn’t really try to chase many animals but he watched them closely.
After the drive we headed down to the OBX to visit family. It was really hard leaving the Skyline Drive and getting on the regular highway. It felt like a different reality. It was actually kind of depressing returning to the real world. I really enjoyed the slower pace and peaceful nature of the park. I think I’m going to be spending a lot more time in the woods from now on. But, we were heading to the beach so I got over it pretty quickly.
The kids and Molson went to sleep once we left the park and settled in for a few more hours of drive time. Thanks Mister Molson for giving us a good reason to take this trip. I think we all had a great time in the mountains.