Kim and Frankie at Spray Lakes.
We're just back from a road trip to meet my parents in Canmore for the Canmore Folk Music Festival. I think you always learn something about yourself when you go on a road trip, and this journey was no exception. I learned that, compared to my parents, I am a wimp.
On the last evening of the festival it was me, Mom and Dad all sitting in a row in our little camp chairs, listening to wonderful musicians work their magic surrounded by the mountains and trees and blue sky. Only it wasn't blue sky: after a blistering hot weekend the clouds had rolled in and the wind had picked up. I was just thinking that maybe I should have brought my rain jacket when the first stray drops hit my bare head. Then the stray drops turned into light rain, and the crowd around me began to move as people lazily reached for sweaters and jackets. Then the wind became a little more persistent and people hunkered down a little more. Then the light rain turned into official rain, then heavy rain, and the crowd started to scramble, zipping up jackets and flipping up hoods, huddling under the tarps they had been sitting on, opening umbrellas. I had just suggested to my parents that maybe it was time to reconsider our priorities when the sky really opened and the rain began pelting down. I hung onto the rain poncho my mom fished out of her bag for me, doing my best to keep it closed while the wind did its best to whip it open.
And then it began to hail.
That was it for me. No more trying to be a good sport. I leaned forward to shout through the din that maybe we should call it quits (my parents' townhouse being a convenient half-block away from the festival grounds) and the forward movement let a big puddle of water that had been accumulating in a dip in the poncho slide right down my back, soaking my butt. But Mom and Dad just looked at me in bemusement, politely wondering how a daughter they had raised could let a little rain get to her. I ran. They stayed, for the whole rest of the evening, through rain and hail and distant lightning that lit up the night sky, while I warmed up, dried off, and ate chocolate at home.
Frankie the Travellin' Dog asleep in the car.
I learned something else: Frankie the Farm Dog likes hotels. We've had this trip planned for a while, and of course we booked Frankie into a kennel. But in the last six months or so he has begun to show his age, and we started to feel awful about leaving him behind. So we did something we've never done before: we brought him with us.
Since it would take two days of driving to get to Canmore, this would mean finding a pet friendly hotel along the way. I was more than a little worried about how Frankie would do, since he's a creature of habit and routine and any changes in his environment make him anxious, but much to our surprise it turns out Frankie quite likes hotel life. He likes elevators, and long hallways, and drinking from hotel toilets. He was a butt-wiggling happy dog in the hotel on the way to Canmore, and a butt-wiggling happy (though somewhat tired) dog in the hotel on the way back home. Go figure.