Sunday, December 20, 2009

Staying Overnight at a State Rest Stop

While driving across country in a car or a camper van, you may find yourself lost (OK, I found myself lost) and not close to a hotel or campground. This almost happened to me. I did finally find a campground that was the worst I'd ever been in. I wasn't even real comfortable walking Seymour. I would have felt more comfortable staying at a truck stop or rest stop.

So, I started watching the signs in the rest stops along the highways and found that some allow you to stay overnight and some don't. I did a little more research through "google" and found a longer list of rest stop information. The website I dug through was Below are many of the States with rest stop details. Some say "as posted" so it will depend on which place you stop if overnights are allowed.

I do have to say that I met a woman who said she stayed at about 10 rest stops in different States while traveling in her car a few months ago and she was never asked to leave. So, if you are in a State that says they don't allow overnights and you see other cars there, I would probably join them if I was tired enough - with my doors locked, of course. And with a handy can of wasp spray that can substitute for pepper spray. This is important to me since I have to leave my car periodically to walk Seymour.

Arkansas - allow overnight parking
Texas - as posted
Louisiana - as posted
Georgia - No overnights
California - as posted
New Mexico - as posted
Nebraska - No overnights
Tennessee - allowed in rest areas
Pennsylvania - No overnights
North Carolina - as posted
Oklahoma - allowed in rest areas
Ohio - No overnights
Wisconsin - No overnights
Florida - No overnights
Colorado - No overnights
Mississippi - No overnights
Nevada - as posted
Arizona - permitted unless posted otherwise
Iowa - as posted
Michigan - as posted
New York - as posted

I'd love to know if anyone has stayed overnight at a rest stop in a State that says "No overnights". I plan to keep this list with me in my van on my next long distance trip.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Wimberley, Texas

This small community is mostly pet-friendly. I have taken Seymour into many of the shops - carrying him - without a problem. I always ask before going into each store the first time, just to be sure pets are allowed. I found one store that agreed to let me bring him in, but I could see that they weren't quite comfortable with it. I was lucky that Seymour was quiet and well-behaved in my arms as I browsed and I did make a small purchase. Hopefully, we helped them to be more open to pets. As a tip, when Seymour is dressed in a sweater or cute shirt, he seems to be more accepted in the stores. I'm not sure if it's because he looks more human or just looks cute - either works for me!

Continuing our shopping, we found an area called Garden Gate Shops just in back of the main Square of stores. This is currently made up of Legacy Hatters, Country Classics and Bent Tree Gallery. All of the shops there welcome pets but the Gallery stands out as the most pet-friendly. There was no problem walking my dog into the shop - on his leash - as I check out all of the local artist's works. On the porch of the Tea Room, which includes a coffee shop and more art, Seymour will always find a bowl full of water. It's the little things that stand out and that water bowl was so unexpected and thoughtful, I knew I would shop there often. Seymour just finished drinking and was ready to shop when I tool the picture!

When you get hungry, both restaurants on the Square have outdoor patios where they allow pets. Wimberley Cafe is on the Square and Inoz' is across the street. Sitting in a restaurant (even if it is outside) is a nice change from having to get a take-out meal or drive through a fast-food restaurant because you have a pet.

If you want to give your dog a break from shopping to enjoy some sniffing of nature, there is a small park and walking trail along the water just a few shops north of Inoz'. It's one of Seymours' favorite places to just be a dog.

Overall, Seymour and I have enjoyed our shopping trips in Wimberley.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Final Thoughts on Our Trip

I felt that I had almost everything I needed for Seymour on this trip. I was especially glad I had the Purse/Carrier because it did come in handy a few times. I used the bungee cord quite a bit. When I pulled into my camping site, I always tied Seymour to the van door handle or a close tree while I set up the camper.

What I should have brought, although I know I could have purchased some, were the Pet cleaning Wipes that I could have done a quick wipe down of Seymour. He always seemed to find something to roll in while I was setting up the camper. For a few days, I thought I was the one who stunk, even after I had taken a shower. Then I realized that since Seymour was always around me, I was smelling him. I had a Wet Wipe and used that but next time I will bring Doggie Wipes.

I also read in a AAA book that you should bring a picture of your dog in case they get lost. I think that is a great idea. In fact, possibly printing the picture on the top of a sheet of typing paper with the basic info about his under it would be an even better idea.

For now, the next few blog entries will be about Pet Friendly places near home.