Peace Love and Tearstock

Click Here for a Photo Gallery from our trip!

We had to get up before the sun but that was okay because the sun didn’t even bother to get up today.  Luckily Dad hooked us up so we could leave quickly and get to Eva.   Dad was running around outside in the rain and looked like a polka dot ghost.  He did a masterful job getting us off the mountain on the slick roads and winding pavement.  They were in such a hurry I didn’t even get breakfast!  We made it to Eva and she took one look at me and called me Aubie – a CAT that lives next to Eileen.   Mom is trying to teach her to say Gracie.  Eva is trying to be sweet to me but keeps telling me NO.  It’s very interesting to be here but I am sure ready to get home.

What a wonderful morning. It was so chilly we slept under the blankets and wore long sleeves!  After a most unhealthy breakfast since I refused to take my medicine without lots and lots of sprinkle cheese and some peanut butter we took off for some incredible hikes.  First, I hiked with Dad down a small hill and found a snail that looked a lot like Mom trying to walk uphill. Then we hiked around a lake with exactly one duck and one goose and for a short time, one beagle, in it.  Mom thought I wanted to swim leash free and convinced Dad to let me free. I went wild hunting for bear.  They were really sad with me but we got to take a second hike to Greasy Creek Falls with Barry and my new friend, Kaleb. We had a blast!   No nap for Gracie. Mom packed a picnic lunch and we were off to the Lake Burton Fish Hatchery to see the trout.  I wasn’t supposed to go inside but the Ranger said I look like such a well-behaved dog that I could stay. He wanted Dad to hold me but I was soaking wet from a recent dip in a nearby pond.   The trout were really fun to see swimming all around. There were so many of them.   We had a great lunch. Mom wasn’t sad with me anymore and packed me some roast beef and cheese! Yummy.  It got really hot in the valley so we thought we might just go back up on the mountain and take that nap I had been missing.  It’s ten degrees cooler here and I am snoring at Mom’s feet.  It’s been a good day so far!

The campground host said the park would be full tonight and she wasn’t kidding.  We saw a camper from Illinois try to get into site 23 and not make it.  When we got back from Lake Burton someone with loud music had a pop-up there. I tried to go say hello but dad quickly put me on the zipline. I’ll go over later.  Secretly, dad is pleased the trailer couldn’t get in and maybe a bit sad the pop-up could. Yesterday he was determined to make that our spot but we just didn’t fit.  I hope these folks are get quiet and like beagles.

We had a great fire and an incredible sunset. I met Chuck and Meg from Orlando who are tent camping. I was really worried about them in the middle of the night when the storm came. It was so rainy and windy we had to close the windows so we wouldn’t get too wet. I was snuggly warm in bed and exhausted from the day of hiking.

We left at sunrise so we could get to Georgia early. And we did.  I got a bit carsick over all the mountains, down in the valleys and around the turns!  But this is a perfect spot for us.  I met a purebred lab whose owner is my new best friend.  He asked first if I was purebred, too. I looked like it, and, second, if I was a puppy.  That made me feel so good since I am on the cusp of becoming a senior dog.   I met a family at the  Black Rock Mountain State Park overlook and they took tons of pictures with me. I was really cute since the little boy had a can of Pringles he wanted to share.

We wanted to park the Max in site 23 – Mom has this thing about prime numbers and it was a great site but we almost lost the trailer and the truck over the side of the mountain so we ended up next door in 22. It was still quite a challenge to park there but we did it and set up a great camp. There is a culvert right by [site 23] and lots of woods for wandering.  We’ve got firewood and very cool temps for snoozing and hiking. I have already been on two hikes – one with over 130 man-made steps and the other with lots of hills.  We’ve been shopping and I am allowed into some of the stores because I am so cute! I even got a doggie pig in the blanket at the Reeves ACE Hardware!

It’s really nice to be back in Georgia.  I can smell the difference.

We had a great campfire and Dad fixed me up with a zipline.  We went to the Pot Luck for the park employees and had a blast.  I enjoyed some mac and cheese and a mini-dog on the porch. We got to meet some really nice folks who petted me a lot.

We slept in!  Dad wanted to stop at the Cincinnati outlet mall and they didn’t open til 10 so they piddled until time to leave, about 9.

Yep. We stopped at the mall. Lots of good smells.  On our way to Tennessee.  I overheard Mom asking Dad about the plan. Dad is famous for his trip spreadsheets.  Turns out these two day were not planned.  Caesar Creek was great.  They opted to find a place in Tennessee. After A LOT of driving around we landed in the west campground at the Norris Dam State Park in Rocky Top, Tennessee.  It’s nice.  We had a great walk on two of the many trails and I got a quick swim at the Marina.  We are going to bed early so we can get an early start to Clayton – our last stop before I get to see Eva.

I am feeling better but threw up my supper on our walk.  Dad got a lot of ticks on him from our walk.  Lucky for me, ticks just die on me. They are really being nice to me. I get the bed and two pillows so I can relax and feel better.

What a day. Mom and Dad went on a LONG bike ride on the Little Miami Scenic Trail but worried about me the entire time!  Just as they were leaving the CO detector beeped in fault mode. A beep every 40 seconds. Mom, of course, freaked out and wanted not to ride.  She also freaked out since we weren’t paid for the day/night. Mom was worried that the camp host, who took my blue water travel bowl yesterday, would hear the beeping and see me in the LGM and break down the door, unplug the power, or tow the trailer away. Mom’s crazy like that.  They really wanted to ride and were meeting a friend, Scott Smith, so Mom turned on the air, the fan and the TV so there was noise to hide the beeping.  I was expecting them home about lunchtime but they didn’t get home until after 4.  Mom said they had an issue on the trail with Scott but that he is fine and so was I.  We had a great walk, I got to see some deer – a mom and three babies and we met Laura who has a TAB named Sunshine. She’s a girl camper, biker and an all around interesting lady. She has a Facebook page, Veggies via Vespa, about her quest to feed the hungry children around her job at Cincinnati Children’s’ Hospital.  She was really interesting.

Today we woke up in the Swain’s Lake County Park Campground.  All campgrounds are not created equal. Mom wants to add a page detailing the differences and I will let her do that so check for that link.  We were packed up and hooked up at 7:45 and on the way to the Concord Veterinary Clinic.  Seems I have subluxated patella – just like my Mom and this was causing me to hop on three legs. The wonderful vet, Dr. Anthony Klingler, checked me out and gave me an anti-inflammatory. Mom crushed it up good in my food. It might make me sick.  You know the best time to get sick, if you are a dog, is in the middle of the night and just start making hacking noises.  It really gets a human’s attention! Mom and Dad were going to stay at Swain’s Lake for two nights but after we got in, they dressed and left me to go ride the Falling Waters Trail. They loved it – few road crossings – more than a few tractor crossings and just flat. They weren’t gone long at all.  Did you know dog’s cannot really tell time? I can, though. I know when it’s time to eat and when it’s time for the weekend.  Dad lost his money that he paid for the second night here but he doesn’t mind at all. It was not a good site for them. For me, I loved chasing the geese, swimming in the lake – which was beautiful- and sniffing in the woods.

We drove from Michigan to Wilmington, Ohio, in record time including a great rain storm, a stop at the store and a stop for gas.  Arriving at the Caesar Creek State Park, we opted for a walk-in site.  Something new.  You get to drive around and find one you like, park and pay. We are at site 168 and it is the trifecta of sites – shady with woods, bunny rabbits all around and a culvert that I can walk in from end to end.  Since I have to take it easy on my leg I am trying to be good but it’s so hard.

Dad busted a tire on his bike so we got an extra car ride to the bike shop and because I was so good and didn’t eat the cat food at the shop [nor did I chase the cat there] I got a pup cup at the Dairy Shed. It was delicious.

It is our last day at Tearstock.  I think everyone has had a great time.  I think I will start at the end of the story and work my way to the beginning.  We packed up early since we had a long driving day to get to the south part of Michigan.  Things were dewy – Mom and Dad now know why folks pack up the outside stuff the night before.  We said goodbye to Janine and returned her converter cord.  I chased a few more Canada Geese and we took a Tearstock sign for a memento. Chris said we could. I had a great time.  Several of the campers knew me – they said, Hello Gracie but they couldn’t remember Mom and Dad’s names. Janine invited us to camp with her at Rabun Gap in October! It will be fun!

On Saturday we left early in the morning for Ste Saint Marie, Michigan on the UP and at the Canadian border. The Soo Locks are there.  It was very foggy but we made it in plenty of time for the first tour at 10.  Well, to my surprise, I was not going on the boat. I was going in a kennel. I have not been in an outside kennel in my life so this was quite an experience. The lady gave Mom a water bowl and said to put in my comfort items.  My comfort items are Mom and Dad and they weren’t going in the kennel; they were going on the boat!  The boat was delayed by the Coast Guard since it was so foggy.  They walked me around, let me swim and chase the beaver before they locked me in the Captain’s kennel.  I never let them know I had a good time.  I met a new friend who was the cook!  After their two hour tour they came and got me.  After some discussion Mom and Dad thought it would be fun to make me an international dog and drive me across the Canadian border.  There is a really cool bridge that crosses the St. Mary’s River and off we went.  Did you know you need a passport to get into Canada and that once you are on the bridge you cannot turn around? Yep,  we drove up to the gate, Dad handed the lady his driver’s license; he declared he had a live animal – me; and then, the trouble began. Where is your passport?  Do you have papers on the dog? You are going to have to report to the Customs Officer.  We can’t just turn around?  We just wanted Gracie to be in Canada for just a minute. Nope. Park there and go in that building. No dogs allowed. Almost an hour later, Mom and Dad, with some admonishment from the Custom agent were allowed to leave and so was I. Mom had my paperwork so I didn’t need to be quarantined.  The agent said that since we had been cleared we could go ahead into Canada if we wanted. Nope. Mom and Dad were ready to go back to the USA.  Dad was in such a hurry he made a wrong turn and we got to see some extra parts of Canada.  At the USA border crossing that lady was just mean.  We don’t think she even knew I was in the car since she was so busy fussing at Dad for being such a dummy.  No worries.  We are back on US soil.

After we got home I got to tour some of the other teardrops. I am such a well-behaved dog I got to go in trailers. Heard once that someone got bitten by a dog during one of these so I was on my best behavior!

We had to go the laundromat – for two folks they sure go through a lot of clothes! They had steaks for supper and mom cooked potatoes in the waffle iron. Delicious!

Friday morning we took a nice long walk and explored the campground.  Lots of smells and lots of dogs. Other than labs, I think beagles are the next most popular dog in Michigan.  There were at least four  more.  Mom and Dad went to camper college and I got to guard the trailer. After college  I got a nice long walk and Mom and Dad took off for a bike ride on one of the many Michigan trails. From what I hear it was quite a ride. Mom got attacked by horse flies and Dad rode beside her trying to hit them until they finally got to Carp Lake and got some bug spray.

After that, Mom had to make a dish for the potluck supper.  It was really funny to watch Mom and Dad trying to cook shrimp and grits for twelve in our trailer.  I got some delicious bacon grease on my supper and her dish turned out pretty well.  It was the first time they used the stove inside and they both even showered in the wet bath.  It was a good day.

We got to watch the sunset and then fireworks. They were so far away that we could see them but they didn’t scare me or the other dogs at all.

Thursday night we had an incredible thunderstorm but we stayed nice and dry and I didn’t get scared at all. I am such a brave dog!

Ya’ll.  My Mom.  I’ve never seen her like this.  You would have thought it was my birthday, Christmas, Eva – not just another campground.  She asked Dad to wash the RV before we left so it would be clean. Not to mention she was up at five in the morning cleaning and organizing the inside stuff.  We arrive at the Mill Creek Campground in Mackinaw City, Michigan for the start of Tearstock 2018.  We pull in and there are other Little Guys – just like us!  She screams – I mean she really hollers – “There’s Janine!!!”  Dad about wrecks!  To Mom, Janine Pettit is the princess of RVing [I am, of course, the princess of the dog world].  I really could write about every second of every minute of every hour while we are here but it would make my paws hurt.  First thing that happens is this guy comes up to welcome us to Tearstock.  It was Chris Baum, second only to Janine in importance to my Mom.  We left Dad to hook up the RV and we went in search of Janine.  We found her at her adorable RV – the Mini Max. She petted me and loaned us a Camco PowerGrip so we could hook up. It was like Christmas to Mom.  It seems we are off to a fantastic start!  This is a HUGE campground so they did it.  They put me in the Hound-about and took me exploring.  It wasn’t really as bad this time as before and, at least, the wheel didn’t fall off. When I had dinner I had to fight off some sea birds that must also like low-fat dog food. Thankfully they left me to guard the Little Guy while they went to the Rally welcome.  Yep, they have name badges, door prize tickets and karaoke.  Last night we had an incredible lightning and thunderstorm but we were all snuggly warm and dry in the Little Guy Max.   What a great day.

After a tasty breakfast of human leftovers which I only get on vacation, Mom and Dad left me to guard the Little Guy Max and they got some great riding done. They rode the Dune Trail and then the Betsie River Trail. Mom drew the short straw and had to do the laundry while Dad and I explored. I got in the best swim. I’ve made so many new four-legged friends: Bailey, Maggie, and Quigley and others. We are headed to Tearstock today!It is just exhausting hanging your head out of a window.  We made it to the Timberline Campground in record time.  Mom has discovered that not all campgrounds are alike. Did you know that you can own a space in a campground just like you can own a house or condo at the beach? Yep, we are nestled in between two long term and very big campers – houses, really.  An advantage, says Dad, is that these campgrounds usually have WiFi so I can have Mom update my pages easier than when she has to do it on her phone.   After we checked in, wandered around, and napped Dad was ready to go the Sleeping Bear Dunes.   They really wanted to take me but, I was still tired from the ride. When Dad took me for a quick stroll I just sat down and wouldn’t move.  He got the message.  They left me to nap, and of course, guard the trailer.  I was working so hard at both I didn’t hear them come back.  Everybody was happy.Leftover pizza. For breakfast. My favorite! Ionia State Recreation Area was wonderful. I enjoyed a long long walk this morning, chased a ton of rabbits,  and then we packed up for a much shorter ride through the countryside. Window down!!!img_6537I told Mom and Dad to go enjoy themselves today and I’d guard the trailer. They did…42 miles biking and I got in a great snooze. When they got back we went for ice cream at the Mooville Creamery which was voted the best in Michigan. I got a pup cup and then a short hike along a creek. I am exhausted!!It’s been a busy two days getting to Michigan. Last night in Berea, Kentucky, we stayed at our first RV Park- Oh! Kentucky. It’s quite different from a campground. We met the nicest young fellas, Caleb and Gage, who are in the Kentucky state trapshooting tournament. Caleb has a beagle but she had to stay home. Their dads were making breakfast. I got just a nibble. Tasty. On our 8 hour drive today we chased some windmills. Did you know Indiana hosts a windmill museum? Dad won’t let me look out my window if he’s going over 50 so I slept a lot on the way. We made it to the Ionia State Recreation Area which has a beach, lake, horses and a great hiking trail that I insisted we walk today. I got to swim with new friends!!! Mom and Dad are exhausted.

We are off!!


One day away.This is what I will feel like in the morning.  If you don’t follow this Twitter account, you should:  thoughts


Just two days away. Mom is packing – she’s packing my stuff, too.  Mom packs too much. Dad agrees with me.I’m getting ready for the biggest adventure of my life.   Two weeks with Mom and Dad and the Little Guy Max.  We are going to the Tearstock festival in Michigan.  Follow me as I see the world from the backseat of a Ford!