We celebrated April Fool’s Day that year by taking our first trip in Lisa. Max had dutifully visited Dr. Zinger for his rabies shot and had behaved politely in spite of getting two needles. We set off at nine-thirty, having given Max a run in the woods before we left. However, it was a slow trip as the traffic was terrible and it took us an hour and a half to get to and through the border. Once there, we discovered that Max was a great asset going through customs. The officer in charge of our line was extremely picky and suspicious, and in spite of our declaration that we were not bringing in any prohibited foods, he decided to enter our motorhome and check for himself. One look at Max’s lowering mask and he changed his mind, reversed in a hurry and waved us through.
We discovered that travelling with a dog was easy in a motorhome. When we left Max and went for a late breakfast at Denny’s in Blaine, he was comfortable with his food dish, his water bowl, his chew toy and his bed. The trip to Copalis beach proved long and tiring as the traffic continued to be awful right through Seattle and Tacoma, but because he was in his house-on-wheels with all his people present, Max was not at all restless. It was late when we got in, but he seemed blissfully contented as he watched us prepare dinner and get ready to tuck down for the night.
Come morning, we decided that Max was coping better than we were. We woke up sore having discovered that the bed was rock hard. The girls slept in, so Hugh gallantly served me tea in bed, then took Max outside—lurch, lurch, rock, rock—Lisa’s suspension was definitely softer than the bed. The girls were having to adapt to camper life too. Once up, they went over to the communal shower where Katie acted helpfully as Caroline’s handmaiden until she ruined it all by dropping her sister’s ring down the sink. After much wailing from Caroline and assistance from the owner, the ring was retrieved and we headed back to make breakfast. Max seemed mildly bewildered at the amount of time his humans were taking to complete routine tasks, but he was rewarded for his patience once we set out for a walk to Copalis Beach. What a lovely route it proved to be. We crossed the bridge over the river, checked out the local store, then walked along a road bordered with grassy dunes and pretty ground cover until we reached the raging Pacific and an immense stretch of sand. Max tore about like a whirlwind, and he chased every gull in sight. It was windy but wonderful. How he enjoyed himself. The whole day evolved into a medley of walks on the magnificent beach and lazy coffee breaks back at base, climaxing with a marshmallow roast by the campfire at night. What a tired dog his was by bedtime. He was very happy to tuck up in the camper that night.
The second day was quieter for Max, since we were planning to sightsee. Hugh and I took him to the beach early but could only let him run for a while as the clammers were already out and cars were driving up and down the sands. After breakfast, we set off and toured through Ocean Shores and then down to Aberdeen, after which we visited Hoquiam’s Castle and admired all the beautiful antiques. Max didn’t seem to mind his enforced stays in the motorhome, since he was given a short walk at every stop where he could investigate a host of new and interesting smells. However, he was happy to return to our campsite, especially as we went straight down to the beach, where Hugh gave the girls their first driving lesson while I ran Max through the sand dunes.
The holiday came to an end far too soon, but before we left, we drove to the beach and ran Max on the dunes. While there, we made coffee, buttered buns, and enjoyed our last snack by the sea prior to setting off for home. We drove back via the inside of the Peninsula. This was a magnificent drive, particularly along the Hoat Canal. There was a three-hour ferry wait at Port Townsend, and once again, we discovered the benefits of road trips in a motorhome. Instead of being stuck in a car, we made lunch and ate in comfort, walked Max on the beach, then strolled along the waterfront where we bought ice creams and postcards.
Such a lovely Easter Weekend. The ferry crossing was picturesque. The trip home was lovely too, with the scenic drive across Whitby Island and through Deception Pass. Max continued to be patient throughout, not even seeming bothered when we left him to go shopping at Bellis Fair. Going back through the border was a breeze, since there was hardly anyone at the truck crossing, and we were back in Burnaby by seven o’clock. We unloaded our gear, weary but happy, but Max, reluctant to be unpacked, kept returning to his corner in Lisa. His house on wheels had become his home.
Next: Back to school.