RVing With Dogs

Living The RVida Loca With Dogs

Traveling in an RV is an exciting and popular way to vacation. So this summer my family and I embarked on a whirlwind tour from Austin bound for Yellowstone National Park. The crazy part wasn’t just that we traveled 4,000 miles in 13 days – it was that we traveled with our 3 dogs!

If you’re considering RVing with dogs I humbly offer the following tips based on my experiences! Enjoy the ride. And the read!

Ridgway State Park Colorado

A Sensational Sunset In Ridgway State Park Colorado

RVing Isn’t For Everyone. If you’re more the room service, chocolate on the pillow, spacious room kinda person, RVing may not be most suitable for your traveler’s DNA. While I had to adjust on a few fronts, I was rewarded in many other ways. Things like ultimate freedom, big skies, and once-in-a-lifetime memorable moments with the family. If you’ve never been RVing you can get a good idea of the experience by watching the movie “RV” before your departure. The movie is hilarious and would only have been more funny with canine costars. Here’s the trailer:

Rent & Reserve Early. RVing is extremely popular! The RV Industry Association reports that the industry has tripled in size since 2009. With 25 million Americans RVing each year, if you plan to stay at state or national parks you’ll want to make your reservation early. 6 months would be a good starting advance timeframe to ensure you have ample time to “presearch” your itinerary and score the RV and campground you most desire. The Reserve America website was super helpful in securing our campsites, like our home away at Colorado’s Mueller State Park.

Mueller State Park Colorado

Me And The Pups In Mueller State Park Colorado

Flex Your Creativity. When we discovered we couldn’t find available state parks within an hour of Santa Fe and Yellowstone we took a left turn (figuratively speaking). We rented through Airbnb which resulted in a welcomed relief from the RV. Our modern cabin rental had a full-size washer and dryer, shower, satellite TV, and a large kitchen which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Bear Lake Utah

Harley, Libby, and Lucca in Bear Lake, Utah

Consider All Costs. RVs can be an affordable way to travel per the RV Industry Association. You’ll want to consider things like the daily rental fee, estimated gas, campground fees, and any extras – our rental levied a mileage fee and an hourly generator cost to run the supplemental AC (luckily we didn’t use the generator once we left Texas).

Right-Size Your Trip. 4,000 miles across 6 states in 13 days isn’t for everyone! In retrospect we should have taken more time to stop and smell the roses. Our friends have been asking “would you take another RV trip again?” I would but I’d opt for a much shorter travel distance like a weekend trip to the Texas Coast, a Round Top rendevoux, an outing into Texas Wine Country, or even colorful Colorado, which is not that far away.

Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area

You’ll Want To Stop In Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area

Travel With Tech. We used our grocery store app to make a convenient/portable list of things to take on the trip. You should be able to score forgotten items or restock ice/water, food, or dog supplies along the way. Our iPad, USB chargers, LED camping lights, and iHome portable speaker ensured we had a few comforts of home on the go.

Don’t Forget The Dogs! Remember to take food, medications, special toys, beds/blankets, bowls, collars and leads. We purchased a 7-gallon water container to ensure the pack was never thirsty.

Palo Duro Canyon Texas

Palo Duro Canyon, Texas

Explore. There’s so much to see and do! Just in Texas alone we were able to enjoy Palo Duro Canyon State Park which is the second largest canyon in the US. Dubbed the “Grand Canyon of Texas” this park treated us to impressive, colorful views of the ruggedness of Texas. Did you know Texas has an official bison herd? Neither did I until we decided to stay at Caprock Canyons State Park. In addition to wild bison, you can enjoy the The Bats Of Clarity Tunnel plus over 90 miles of trails! In Telluride we rode their dog-friendly gondola which treated us to free and unforgettable 365° views of the valley from 10,540 feet above the valley below!

My Dogs Lucca And Libby In Telluride Colorado

The Dog-Friendly Gondola In Telluride, Colorado Is Tops (Literally)

There was so much to see on our six state adventure! Perhaps the best part of RVing with dogs is the bountiful bond you’ll create. This form of travel will gift you with unique views and experiences that a plane or train simply cannot. Truly “home was where we parked it” and having the dogs with us only made the family vacation complete.

Have questions about RVing with dogs? Reach out to me – I’d love to collaborate!

~ Joe Paul ReiderJoe Paul Reider

Home Style Austin Founder
Austin Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty

Email: JoePaul@KW.com
Mobile: 512-222-3302
Web: JoePaulReider.KW.com

The Nurture Of Nature

The Big Majestic Oak Tree Of Canyon Creek

One of the great things about living in Central Texas is that we’re never too far away from nature’s influence.

My family and I live in Northwest Austin near Lake Travis which means easy access to abundant hills and wildlife. So during the recent holiday break we went for many relaxing walks with friends and family alike – each trip pushing deeper into the nearby woods surrounding our neighborhood near Canyon Creek.

What my adventures taught me is to make the most of Austin’s magnificent views; to experience the wind, water, woods and wildlife as close as possible, not just from afar.

I first encountered the neighborhood trails from Trailhead Park then learned the area was much more than “just a park” – the lands are near the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve which provides a protected habitat for endangered song birds and invertebrates found nowhere else on Earth. So aside from the obvious beauty there’s a magnificent significance to this area.

Below are a few pictures from one of the nearby trails that connects with Trailhead Park. Tip: Click the pics for bigger photos.

While you can discover the trails from the back of Trailhead Park proper, I entered from a less obvious trail during a short walk with my Labs. Off Boulder Lane you’ll see this sign (below). Dart behind it and you’ve just entered one of the trail’s hidden entrances. Hint: veer right.

Dart Behind The Savannah Ridge Sign To Enter The Trail
This old gate can probably tell us a few stories … like answering the question “What were you doing the day your swing swung you into your resting position?” 

The Old Gate Of Canyon CreekThis fallen tree cast a pretty reflection in the water. When it fell was anyone around to hear if it made a sound?

A Fallen Tree In Northwest Austin

I wasn’t sure if this wild mushroom was poisonous or not but it sure was cool to look at. “Keep It Weird,” little shroom!

A Wild Mushroom In Austin Texas

Sometimes a “River Runs Through It.” In this case the trail runs straight through the middle of this tree. 
A Split Tree In Austin TexasCrossing a few of the creeks takes a little balance for both young and young at heart. 

Crossing The Creek Austin Texas

This field of green sure is impressive! I’ve never seen so many wild cacti in one blink of the eye.

Wild Cacti In Austin Texas

Kinda like the Tree of Souls from the movie “Avatar” this giant oak tree must be 150 or more years old. Look closely and you’ll see something I’ve never seen before – a cactus growing in a tree!

A Cactus Growing High Up In The Big Majestic Oak Tree Of Canyon Creek

The Big Majestic Oak Tree Of Canyon Creek, as we called it, is as beautiful as it is big – I could hardly capture the entire tree in one picture so let’s have a look of the tree in this video.

Near the Big Oak Tree was this stream of clear water. The water made a peaceful sound. I’m glad my Labs didn’t jump in the water so I could capture the water in its native state. What’s really interesting is that the water was running over and through a big hole in the rock that you see here.

Back on the trail this canopy of cedar trees seems to stretch for miles. 

A Trail Of Trees In Austin Texas

At the top of a hill near Trailhead Park is this great canyon view.

Spicewood At Bull Creek Canyon View

As the sun begins to set we pop back onto Boulder Lane and back to “civilization.” Funny, I never look at the tree-covered hills the same way these days.

A Sunset In Austin Texas

Whether you experience a hike, bike, run, walk or picnic always make sure to be careful when heading into the wild. Wear appropriate footwear for the rocky terrain, keep pets near (or at home) and your phone nearer, just in case. Have responsible fun, make a day of it, and “leave only footprints” as the saying goes!

~ Joe Paul Reider

Home Style Austin Founder
Austin Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty, Inc.

Email: JoePaul@KW.com
Mobile: 512.222.3302
Web: JoePaul.KWRealty.com