Texas windfarms
dogs,  senior dogs,  senior dogs,  travel

Across the US in 5 Days

Most of my pictures from our Cross-Country trip look like this. Deuce at the end of the leash sniffing something.

We left Tucson on Sunday morning and arrived in Williamsburg, VA on Thursday afternoon.

Deuce has hip and knee issues and arthritis. She’s a good traveler but really hated getting back in the car for a 2 or 3 hour stint several times a day. Some hotels were better than others, too. A quick run-down is in this post, but I’ll provide more details in coming days.


Magnuson Hotel in Odessa TX. This was by far the worst hotel we stayed in. I guess it’s okay to get the worst out of the way on your first night of travel – it sets the bar low and gives you plenty of time to cry through the next state so you can sleep the next night. I’ll give you a more detailed run-down soon however some of the short-comings were – a thick coating of dust as you walked in the room. This was because the “hotel” name is a misnomer – this is a motel. In my days in hotel sales and management we would share this info stating, “you’ll enjoy staying at our property with our ample exterior corridors!”

We were smack dab in the middle of a huge family reunion – complete with drinking dads arguing into the night, children running, crying and screaming well past midnight and banging of doors approximately every 2.4 seconds throughout the night. Apparently the family had reserved one room and showed up needing 5. So they were spread across the property around the people who already were ensconced. Despite numerous phone calls to the front desk the noise didn’t stop – although it did escalate every time the manager came out to ask them to quiet down.

Deuce hated this noise and so did I – I may be the lightest sleeper on the planet and every time I woke up, my trusty old dog woke up too. Quite a night to say the least. I’m glad we made it to Arkansas in one piece.

It’s not their fault, but Odessa, TX (and frankly all of East and West Texas) are not places I’d like to stay again. I hear Austin and San Antonio are nice, but you’d be hard-pressed to get me to drive across Texas again. (Yes. I know I’ll tick off the three readers I have that live or have loved ones in Texas but I can’t lie – you don’t want to drive across Texas if you can help it.)

the most interesting part of Texas

It wasn’t all bad – there was a great smoked trout dip we had with our dinner from a local restaurant. Deuce was pretty excited about that!


After passing through Faith, we made it to Hope, Arkansas. It was such a relief to be out of Texas that I thought about getting out at the state border and kissing the “Welcome to Arkansas” sign. Alas, time was of the essence and I decided to stay put in the driver’s seat. Besides, every time I stopped the car, Deuce wanted to get out and every time we returned to the car it was a production to get her back in her seat.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Hope. The staff was friendly, the room was clean (and had INTERIOR hallways!) and the Dos Locos Gringos restaurant was walking distance from the property. They were hopping on a Monday night and the staff was friendly and accommodating – a terrific salad made the night complete as we settled in to watch hometown visits on the Bachelor. (WHAT WAS COLTON THINKING???!!!)

A good night’s sleep and we were back on the road aiming for the farmhouse of friends in Tennessee. And, as my Sister-in-Law pointed out on Instagram, I was finally beyond Hope after night two on the road.


We got to stay with some lovely humans, a horse, a few cats and another dog in Nashville. If it were an AirBNB I’d give it 20 stars! The food was top-notch, the company divine and eventually Deuce and the resident dog decided to ignore each other.

Deuce was perplexed by the horse that moved around the property at her own pace. Deuce also would have dug the entire yard (about 5+ acres) to get to the voles living underground.

Tennessee is a long state. I swear it wasn’t that long on the way West 2 years ago. Maybe they annexed something else? The plus to Tennessee is that the landscape changed. There were many twisty roads and lots of ear-popping elevations that made Deuce and I feel a little crabby – but otherwise the people and the drive were lovely.


Ah, Virginia. I was happy to cross out of Tennessee and make it to the destination state. Figuring it would be a shorter day of driving – mentally and physically – if only I could get to Virginia. Bristol seems like a sweet little town/city with a good choice of hotels, restaurants and it’s just across the border from Bristol, TN.

Our room was fine, although a little small for Deuce to settle down and still smelled of smoke despite being a non-smoking room. The back parking lot and grassy area isn’t well lit, so I recommend a flashlight if you’re going to walk your pup at night.

My favorite part was the nearby Starbucks for a decent cup of coffee before getting on the road for our final day of driving.

Home Sweet Temporary Home

We arrived at our final destination midday and were greeted with hugs and an amazing home-cooked meal. I was in bed by 7:30 and sound asleep by 7:35!

Be sure to check back in to read full reviews, see more pictures and get the details about driving with your elderly dog across the country!

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Writer and dog lover, helping pet-related businesses tell their stories.


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