My Trip to the Harrier National with 1 hound, 1 daughter and 2 granddaughters...


San MateoCalifornia, here we come!    


The trip down was relatively uneventful – freeway driving.    I say relatively because we had to cross the Oakland Bay Bridge.    Keep in mind, I have a fear of precipaces that is marginally under control.    I think I would have been fine on such a nice contained bridge, in the middle lane, except that traffic dropped to a crawl.    I tried to focus on the horizon, and I LOVE the island in the middle of the bridge span.   And the whole thing was too beautiful to whine about the knot in my stomach.


Our hotel was great.    The girls (Caitlin, 3 and Meagan, 5) thought it was fun.   We had a wonderful breakfast on site, including waffles that we made ourselves in their way-cool waffle maker.   It was so nice, in fact, that Camille tells me that Caitlin is still talking about “our hotel” and is pretty much convinced we could just go there anytime.


The Specialty was SPECIAL!    The dogs were wonderful.    Pat Craig Trotter, the judge, commented afterwards on what a wonderful job the breeders had done of reviving this breed – and how really nice she thought all the dogs were.   There wasn’t even a National Breed Club until the late 90’s and our own Ellen Parr was one of the movers and shakers that got this going again.    Of course she breeds pretty darn nice Harriers – including our little Brighty who was BOS in Sweepstakes and WB at the National and RWB the next day.   Brighty is 11 months old and already has 10 points and both majors.    Her brother Vinnie is also major pointed and zooming right along.    Pictures please……..



Ellen and Vinnie with Sweeps judge                         Camille and Brighty in Sweeps


The girls got into the whole showing thing.    They did run back and forth to the snack table, with little Caitlin eating tons of strawberries and both of them getting into the candy dish.    But at ringside they were commenting that all the other dogs were going to lose and only Brighty would win.    But they did think all the dogs were good Brighty dogs.


 My job was to keep the kids entertained and here I am doing flips with Caitlin.    Meagan is a good photographer.    Isn’t the picture of her shoes just wonderful!    Mom’s not watching, she’s busy waiting for pictures.


The trip home was an adventure.   We took Highway 1 – a nice 35 MPH scenic drive along the coast.   Did I mention my fear of precipaces?   I think I’m nearly over it.    We took the Golden Gate Bridge, which is spectacular.    We stopped to dip our toes in the ocean.    We enjoyed the scenery and I  managed to cope with my fears. We did discover, on our first day in the hills, that California does have happy cows!   At least along Highway 1.



We drove and drove, winding and climbing and at days end were only at Fort Bragg.    But that wasn’t enough, we didn’t like the motel options so we kept going and drove and drove, winding and climbing, for another couple of hours and finally made a small town just south of Humbolt Redwoods with a great motel.   A good night’s sleep again.     Oh, did I mention that late in the day when we were exhausted, the windy road made both the girls carsick.   Caitlin threw up red punch all over my ribbons (which are clean now) and later Meagan, bless her heart, threw up in a baggie.    Oh, too much information?


The next morning, we had a hotel snack breakfast and headed off on Hwy 101.     In a short while we took a side road for a bit and found REDWOODS.    We took a nice ½ mile hike before getting back in the car.    Later, we found a nice tourist trap that charged $12.50 per person to take a hike of undetermined length – not!    But we did get to see Paul Bunyon and Babe the Blue Ox (Meagan insists he is a bull, not an OX).  



And by the end of day 2, by the time we reached I-5 in Grants Pass, I had pretty much gotten over that precipace thing.    I had to hang over the edge a bit to get this shot.


Brighty was an angel.   Only pee’d in her crate once and travelled like a trooper.    She even won Meagan over (non-dog lover) and she’s now thinking she’d like to show her.      


Home, sweet home……but that’s another story……….