2015 SUMMER ROAD TRIP ADVENTURE – PART 2: GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARKING LOT (North Rim)

Our next day at the Grand Canyon was spent exploring the North Rim sights. This side of the canyon was far less crowded with tourists and we got to enjoy a little more sights. Although, still ever disappointingly we frequently encountered these discriminating signs… No Dogs 2

And often on some of the most unlikely of trails, like this one… No Dogs 1

But of course as the Canine Good Citizens that we are, we waited with Mom in the shade while Dad went and checked out what was down the trail… Waiting in the shade

We did find other places with in the park with trails that we checked out, like this old abandoned salt storage shed… salt House

And got to check out some of these other scenic overlooks… Grand Canyon North Rim - overlook IMGP1007 IMGP1012 IMGP1017 IMGP1010

Back at camp, we enjoyed the cooler climate of the North Rim, Mom and Dad enjoyed Happy Hour, while I settled in for my pre-dinner siesta… IMGP0973

At least that was until Butthead woke me up because he said he saw some Kaibab Squirrels! I leaped up in anticipation that Mom was cooking up some Squirrel Kabobs for dinner! I thought PAWsome I’ve never had squirrel kabobs before but I bet they are fantastic! Well, you can imagine my extreme disappointment when I learned that I was not getting any squirrel kabobs but in fact there are these strange looking creatures that are only found in this particular forest and they are called Kaibab Squirrels! Kaibab Squirrel

It was discouraging to see so many natural and wild places that Man has banned Man’s Best Friend! Especially when the trails are paved and designed to be ADA accessible and a park ranger then tells us that Dogs cannot go on these trails for their own safety! What kind of ridiculous nonsense is that? Now, it is certainly understandable to restrict pets (and children for that matter) on trails that are extremely treacherous and steep, but really, on a paved trail with less than a 8% grade and safety rails on the sides? C’mon NP peeps the canine discrimination needs to STOP!

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2015 SUMMER ROAD TRIP ADVENTURE – PART 1: GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARKING LOT (South Rim)

I had mentioned that our spring camping trip was a trial run with the new camper in preparation for this year’s summer road trip. Well, as Mom promised me, in late June Mom, Dad, Butthead, and I packed up the suburban, hooked up the camper, and took off for a grand adventure! On the Road

First stop was the Grand Canyon! Ole Teddy Roosevelt himself said it’s “the one great sight which every American should see.” Naturally, I was excited to see all the Grandeur that is our Grand Canyon National Park.

We left Las Cruces and drove for what seemed like an eternity! Along the way we stopped and checked out the Petrified Forest National Park (http://www.nps.gov/pefo/index.htm)… Petrified Forest 1

And continued our drive thru the Painted Desert… Painted Desert - 1

We spent the first night at the BIG dog friendly Howard Johnson’s in Flagstaff, AZ.

Up early the next morning we headed towards the south rim of the Grand Canyon. The south rim is the most popular and gets most tourists. According to Dad, trying to drive thru the park was equally tedious as driving thru downtown Dallas! Despite the traffic, we were able to check out a few scenic overlooks…Grand Canyon S Rim OverlookGrand Canyon S Rim View 2 Grand Canyon S Rim View 1

And check out a few of the interesting sites like this lookout tower near the east visitor’s center… Grand Canyon NP S Rim Tower

The life of a celebriDOG is not always an easy one.  I’m always getting stopped by someone who wants to shake my paw or get their photo taken with me.  I even had a young Japanese tourist ask Mom if he could take a photo with me and his baby, and then there are the few who use a selfie stick to grab a quick anonymous photo op!  Even when just taking a break from the heat it, I can’t let the young fans down ya know…CelebriDOG 1

It was incredibly HOT and since we were planning on camping along the North Rim we didn’t linger too long here. We got back on the road so we could get to camp in time for Yappy Hour. Our drive to the North Rim took us through the sweltering Marble Canyon and past the Vermillion Cliffs. We also came across this unusual sight… Tree Driving Down the Road

We made it to the Kaibab Camper Village just in time to get camp set up and enjoy Yappy Hour. Kaibab Camper Village was a nice little privately run RV Park and Campsite located near Jacob Lake, AZ and surrounded by Kaibab National Forest land (http://www.kaibabcampervillage.com/). It offered clean facilities and was reasonably priced. This place super dog friendly and had immediate access to walking trails to the pond (Jacob Lake) and into the National Forest area. I give Kaibab Camper Village 5 PAWS Walter PUPproval rating for dog friendliness.

Walter’s PUPproval rating criteria: 0 PAW – No Dogs Allowed; 1 PAW – Dog breed/size discriminatory; 2 PAW – Dogs accommodated but not really Welcome; 3 PAW – Dog friendly, but could be more welcoming; 4 PAW – Dog friendly, happy to see us, water offered; 5 PAW – Super Dog Friendly, water & treats offered, operated by dog lovers;

RESTURAUNT REVIEW – PIE TOWN CAFÉ

That last night of camping at Quemado Lake a storm rolled in and with it sleet! It was April for goodness sake! Even after breakfast there was no indication that the freezing rain would cease so Mom and Dad had little choice but to pack up the tent trailer wet and wait til we got home to air it out.

After we got camp all packed up Mom and Dad decided to stop for lunch in Pie Town. Yep, a whole entire town named for PIE! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pie_Town,_New_Mexico)

It was a cute little town, and they chose to stop at the Pie Town Café (http://www.pietown.com/) because Mom was starting to get “hangry” and they had a sign claiming to have “Great Burgers and Fries”. That’s all it took to get Mom to stop there (she’s a sucker for greasy burgers and fries)… Pie Town Cafe

They also had a good selection of homemade pies, of course… Pie Town Cafe - Pie Chart

Because the weather was still cold and wet, Butthead and I got to wait in the car while Mom and Dad dined inside. Although, Dad did speak to the folks running the place and they were more than happy to let us pups dine on the patio if the weather weren’t so horrible.

Mom ordered the Cheeseburger and Fries, of course… Pie Town Cafe - Cheeseburger & Fries

While Dad ordered the Green Chile Patty Melt (photo’s not so great)… Pie Town Cafe - Patty Melt

Mom and Dad both said that the burgers were absolutely fantastic, perfectly seasoned and not over cooked. The hand cut fries had the perfect balance of crunch and tender potatoey goodness (Mom ate her’s with mustard and mayo, which Dad thinks is disgusting).

Although, they were full, they decided they couldn’t stop and eat in Pie Town and not have any pie.

So, Mom tried the Triple Berry… Pie Town Cafe - Triple Berry Pie

While Dad had the Green Chile Pinon Apple Pie (check their website for the recipe)… Pie Town Cafe - Green Chile Pinon Apple Pie

The Triple Berry had a great flaky crust and was not overly sweetened so you could still taste the tartness of the berries. The apples and spices went surprisingly well with the light heat of the green chile and nuttiness of the pinons.

Mom and Dad give Pie Town Café a thumbs up for the great food and friendly service. I hope to go back sometime soon to check it out for overall dog friendliness.

After lunch, we continued our short journey home. The drive took us thru a unique area of New Mexico and a site called the Very Large Array or VLA for short (http://www.vla.nrao.edu/). Operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, the VLA has 27 super sized radio antenna configured and oriented to search for all sorts of alien transmissions… VLA1

To seek out new life, and new civilizations…to go where no one has gone…oh, wait, wrong show…nevermind. VLA2

It’s a totally cool but pretty nerdy attraction. You should check it out if you’re in the area, otherwise just check out the movie ‘Contact’ with Miss Jodie Foster and you’ll get the idea.

SWEET POTATO OATMEAL MUFFINS

Here’s a great breakfast on the go treat or also perfect for a mid-morning snack!

SWEET POTATO OATMEAL MUFFINS

Sweet Potato Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients:

1 Can Sweet Potato Puree;

4 eggs;

1 tbsp Honey;

½ C Flax Seed Meal;

2 C Brown Rice Flour;

1 C Oatmeal;

½ C water;

How To:

Preheat oven to 375oF. In a food processor mix sweet potato puree, eggs, honey, and water. In separate bowl mix rice flour, flax seed meal, and oatmeal. Stir puree mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well. Spoon batter into silicone muffin cups or paper lined muffin tins and bake for approximately 30 minutes. Remove for oven and allow to cool completely before serving.

NOTE: ALWAYS consult with your pet’s veterinarian regarding ingredients, serving sizes, & special dietary requirements prior to changing your pet’s diet.

GRAIN FREE BANANA CAROB CHIP COOKIES

Can’t beat good old fashioned chocolate chip cookies, here’s a dog friendly version of the human favorite.

GRAIN FREE BANANA CAROB CHIP COOKIES

Grain Free Banana Carob Chip Cookies 1

Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas;

¼ C Dry Milk;

1 ½ C Water;

1 ¼ C Coconut Flour;

3 eggs;

¼ C Carob Chips;

How To:

Preheat oven to 400oF. In a food processor puree wet ingredients. Add in flour and dry milk powder and blend well. Fold in carob chips. Drop batter by tablespoon onto a parchment lined cookie sheet . Bake at 400oF for approximately 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving.  Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week, or gobble them up right away!

Grain Free Banana Carob Chip Cookies 2

NOTE: ALWAYS consult with your pet’s veterinarian regarding ingredients, serving sizes, & special dietary requirements prior to changing your pet’s diet.

CAMPING & FISHING – QUEMADO LAKE, NM

Mom FINALLY got some photos downloaded from our spring camping trip and maiden voyage with our brand new used tent trailer that Santa brought us last Christmas. We took this trip back in April to get to know our new tent trailer and adjust from tent camping on the ground to tent camping on wheels, prior to our big summer road trip I’m going to tell you about in a later series of posts.

Mom and Dad decided to take a weekend in April to head up to Quemado Lake Recreation Area located in the San Francisco Mountains between the Town of Quemado and Pie Town, NM. This lake is supposed to have some of the best Trout Fishing in the entire State of New Mexico. I personally think that’s just what NM Game & Fish tell people to sell more fishing permits.

We arrived at camp midafternoon on a Friday and located an open campsite. Mom and Dad got camp all set up relatively quickly while Butthead and I explored and marked our campsite perimeter. Here’s a pic of the tent trailer all set up… Camp

While relaxing in camp with adult beverages, Dad started getting the campfire started, Mom grabbed her camera and snapped a few photos of our first campsite visitors a couple of Robins… Robin with Breakfast Robin 1 Camp Robin

Meanwhile, Butthead neurotically chased every squirrel, butterfly, reflection, and shadow within camp… IMGP0753

And I made the most of being out in nature by relaxing in the warm sun… Lounging in the Sun

That evening, after dinner and putting out the campfire Butthead and I snuggled into our luxury accommodations for the night (it was still a little bit chilly in the evenings up in the mountains, good thing Mom remembered to pack my custom made jammies)… IMGP0862

After breakfast the following morning… Yummy Camp Breakfast

We headed out for a hike down to the lake to do a little fishing. The hike was really more of an easy walk down a jeep trail… Hiking to the Lake

Along the way we kept an eye out for signs of other critters… Animal Tracks

Once at the lake Mom spotted this Great Blue Heron and other bird (Kingfisher maybe?) surveying the lake for a potential snack… GBH & Kingfisher

Then she caught a picture of this Egret fishing for his lunch… Egret with Breakfast

I decided that fishing is boring and decided to take a nap while Dad attempted to catch something…IMGP0840 Good thing Mom knew better and brought food for us just on the off chance that they didn’t catch any fish for dinner (which they did not).

A cold front moved in that night shortly after dinnertime while we were resting by the fire. I decided that it was too cold to relax on the ground next to Mom and the minute she got up to get herself another beverage I snagged her warm chair by the fire… Staying Warm By the Campfire

She of course is too much of a softie and didn’t make me move!

WHEAT FREE PIZZA SNAX

This is a great crunchy biscuit recipe that I LOVE!  I mean really, who doesn’t love PIZZA?!  Mom even uses this dough recipe to make her own personal gluten free pizzas.

WHEAT FREE PIZZA SNAX

pizza

Ingredients:

2 C Brown Rice Flour;

½ C Corn Meal;

½ C Flax Seed Meal;

1 egg;

2 Tbsp Coconut Oil, melted;

1 Tsp Garlic Powder;

1 Tsp dried Basil;

1 Tsp Dried oregano;

½ C low sodium tomato sauce;

½ C shredded parmesan cheese;

How to:

Preheat oven to 400oF. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients until thoroughly blended. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until forming a stiff dough. Knead dough until all ingredients are thoroughly distributed. Divide dough and roll out sections to a 1/4″ thickness, between pieces or parchment paper or on a floured surface. Using cookie cutter, cut out shapes and place onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Brush with tomato sauce and sprinkle with shredded cheese.

IMGP0590

Human version – top with your choice of toppings…

IMGP0586

Bake for 30-45 minutes or until center of cookie is firm. Leaving cookies in the oven, turn off oven and allow cookies to completely cool.  (Humans, you don’t need to wait, eat it up ASAP)

IMGP0594

NOTE: ALWAYS consult with your pet’s veterinarian regarding ingredients, serving sizes, & special dietary requirements prior to changing your pet’s diet.

CAT SPLATZ

Here’s a quick and easy recipe, I named them for some of the tasty cat offerings I often find when Mom and I are out on our morning run.  Sooo, yeah I have this fetish with cat poop. I find it almost as tasty as Elk!  It’s a little embarrassing but not as embarrassing as Butthead’s addiction with my poop, that’s just plain disgusting and undignified and a whole other story!  Mom has caught me on a number of occasions trying to scarf down the random cat poop I find while out on our walks. I am often capable of getting part of an offering down before Mom has a chance to pry it out of my mouth. This often happens in the early morning light and she really can’t see what it is I am trying to hide from her until she brings it up close to her face to get a good look at it. I really find it  rather entertaining to watch once she realizes what it is she pulled out of my mouth, freaks out, and starts yelling at the deaf dog in the middle of our neighborhood. Hahaha! I love her, but she’s fun to mess with.

Despite their name, trust me, they are quite tasty.  Enjoy!

CAT SPLATZ

Cat Splatz 2

Ingredients:

4 ripe bananas;

1 ½ C Gluten free oatmeal;

½ C all natural apple sauce;

1 Tbsp Carob Powder;

½ C Flax seed meal;

1 Tbsp dry milk powder;

1 egg;

 

How To:

Preheat oven to 350oF. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, mix ingredients thoroughly with hand mixer. Drop by Tablespoon onto greased or parchment lined cookie sheets and flatten with back of a spoon so cookies are of relatively even thickness. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until firm on outside. Leaving cookies in the oven, turn off oven and allow to cool completely. Cookies will be soft and chewy, store in air tight container in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

IMG_20141214_220956

NOTE: ALWAYS consult with your pet’s veterinarian regarding ingredients, serving sizes, & special dietary requirements prior to changing your pet’s diet.

GRAIN FREE QUICHE

Grain Free Quiche

Quiche 2

Ingredients:

1 C ground meat of choice (turkey, lamb, beef, venison, etc.);

1 C carrots (diced);

1 C celery (diced);

4 medium new potatoes (boiled, cooled, and thinly sliced);

4 eggs;

1 C low sodium beef or chicken broth (or homemade bone broth);

IMG_20141214_190136

How To:

Preheat oven to 425oF; Layer sliced potatoes in a greased pie plate starting from the center and overlapping the slices forming a ‘pie crust’. Bake the potato crust for approximately 10 min. Meanwhile, brown ground meat with carrots and celery until meat is cooked thru. Add meat mixture to the potato crust and evenly distribute. In separate bowl whisk together eggs with broth. Pour egg mixture evenly over meat mixture. Layer remaining potato slices over pie filling and bake at 425oF for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350oF and continue baking for 35-45 minutes until center of quiche sets. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before serving.

Quiche 3

NOTE: ALWAYS consult with your pet’s veterinarian regarding ingredients, serving sizes, & special dietary requirements prior to changing your pet’s diet.

RESTAURANT REVIEW – CAFE DE MESILLA

OMD!! I am SO behind on this blog thing. I’m sure you folks thought I had abandoned this blog completely. I assure you that is not the case at all. Mom and I have been super busy. Mom and Dad finished the renovation on the new office building and Dad got the office computers and network up and running. There is still the little details that are happening as time allows but most importantly, my new ‘home away from home’ is complete with indoor and outdoor play areas, nap areas, and watering stations.

I have lots to catch y’all up on…camping trips and many more recipes…

When we aren’t spending many hours at the office Café de Mesilla is starting to become one of our favorite weekend breakfast spots. We’ve made a few visits here for Sunday breakfast in the past few months. They have really quaint dog friendly patio with plenty of umbrellas for shade while dining al fresco.

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Us pups are always offered a bowl of fresh water and the peeps are super friendly. Occassionally, we also are offered a bite or two of BACON!20150314_120015

Dad of course orders the exact same thing every single time! The Grandisimo, is a monster protein breakfast with an extra kick of carbs for good measure. 3 eggs, bacon, ham, AND sausage, potatoes, toast, plus a side of French toast! Even though it’s not on the menu anymore they’ll still make it for those of you in the know… IMG_20150419_092805

Mom, mixes it up occasionally. She’s ordered the huevos rancheros before. Most recently she ordered the Red Chile Chicken Enchiladas w/ an Egg (of course)… 20150314_120750

And she’s also enjoyed the Biscuits and Sausage Gravy that came with 2 eggs and potatoes (Mom added a side of ham to ensure she wasn’t at risk for going vegetarian)… IMG_20150419_092800

Café de Mesilla gets a 4 PAW Walter PUPproval rating for good food, great atmosphere, and pup friendly peeps!  I can’t wait to go back!