By: joealaska , 3:42 AM GMT on July 03, 2013

Day One of THE 4-C (Cross Country Cat Cruise) was pretty uneventful.

I left a bit late, as I still was packing in the morning.

A bit odd was the weather. COOL. It actually dropped over the morning until it bottomed out at 64 degrees F in Indiana and Illinois. That was around 1 PM. Then it increased until we were at 82 degrees F in Iowa. Normally I expect 85-100 around here.

I wanted to do 600 miles just to get a feel. I am right at 600 here. And it was a long day. About 9 hours. It would take four such days to get back from Ocean Shores. Dragging the cats.

There were a couple of nearby thunderstorms in Iowa to keep things interesting. Just as I entered Iowa I saw IOWA 80 TRUCK STOP in Walcott. Confirmed: Big.

So now I sit in Ankeny, Iowa, near Des Moines. In the morning I head north to Minneapolis, then northwest to Fargo. Then west across all of North Dakota.

Glad to be mostly done with moving into my apartment.

This could be my last trip for some time. May as well have some fun. I passed up a perfect golfing opportunity today. 36 holes In The Middle Of Nowhere, Illinois. A quick glance showed it to be wide open with nobody in sight. But I moved forward with a feline focus.

May look for a golf course in remote North Dakota tomorrow, just for kicks.

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10. Arbie
12:37 PM GMT on July 05, 2013
I never thought about what the laws are about pet restraint. I guess because I would never have thought about letting my cats loose in the car. Way too much of a chance to take for me.

I hope everyone in the US had a nice Fourth of July. One effect of the hot weather here in SE Texas is that the humidity burns off some so it is less sauna-like and actually more pleasant. So it was nice sitting outside for the fireworks with temps inthehe 80s and a breeze blowing.
Member Since: December 3, 2009 Posts: 5 Comments: 1147
9. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
12:33 PM GMT on July 05, 2013
joealaska has created a new entry.
8. joealaska
12:25 PM GMT on July 04, 2013
Stayed last night in Jamestown, North Dakota.

Gotta keep moving, but I want to slow down a bit today to enjoy AWESOME North Dakota. Never have taken I-94 across the state, and it is looking like it will only get better after going about 25% across the state.

Vast scenery and rolling hills.

Happy and safe 4th of July to all!

More tonight.
Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 902 Comments: 909
7. dotmom
12:07 AM GMT on July 04, 2013
Briarcraft: I just looked at the photos of you working in your garden. Your yellow and then black tortoise look like FranKY's cats that are living here with us. Are you sure those are yours? :)
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1499
6. BriarCraft
9:11 PM GMT on July 03, 2013
I'm glad DH read Dianna's account of Dutchie's nonchalance "I meant to do that" from the last blog. Oh yes, some of my best cat memories are of "I meant to do that!" I built a 6-foot-high cat tree of 2x4s and carpet remnants. It has several shelves of varying heights. The cats love it. And it's a source of great amusement for us, especially when 18-pound Charlie wakes up from a nap on the top shelf, stretches, and then steps off into thin air, having forgotten he's 6 feet up. Eyes go big as saucers as he does a comic-strip mid-air scramble, followed by a non-too-graceful landing, a bit of grooming, then "I meant to do that. Were you impressed?"

Oh, and the best part of taking cats on a road trip is the three hours of yowling before they finally settle down to the occasional, "Are we there yet?" And don't forget, Joe, you'll have to find a shady place to park the car and crack all the windows open before you can make even a brief pit-stop along the way. Been there. Done that. Didn't buy the T-shirt.

Have fun driving fast through North Dakota and eastern Montana, where the speed limit is 75mph and I've never seen a single speed trap. You should manage 900 miles that day, no problem.

And, by the way, I have put in a request over at OSDianna's place for a photo or six of your reunion with Dutchie and Fluffer.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4697
5. osdianna
4:02 PM GMT on July 03, 2013
No laws that I know of regarding restraining pets in cars, but we actually had a dog owner get a ticket for allowing their tiny dog to ride on the drivers lap and hang out the window (across the driver's arm). I see that all the time and despair for the poor dog who will be flung out and probably killed in the event of an accident.

As to loose cats in the car...well, I am preparing the cages anyway. Clean cage, clean towels; I worry about Dutchie in particular escaping. She is quick. Then there is her musical voice....hehehe.
Member Since: March 5, 2009 Posts: 35 Comments: 672
4. iaotter
3:59 PM GMT on July 03, 2013
Joe, if you went north on 35 you were within 20 miles of where I live. Ankeny is about 60 miles south of here. Glad you are going through while the weather is nice. It has been a great week weatherwise. Not too hot during the day and cooling down to the low 60s and even high 50s at night.
Last night it was cool enough that I put on a light jacket to go looking for the dog. I made the mistake of thinking she would come right back in from her last potty break of the evening, so I didn't put her on the rope. Well, she decided to go on a little night time excursion at about 11:00. This is a small town that pretty much closes down completely after 10 pm, so I wasn't worried about her getting hit by a car or anything bad. I watched some TV (DVDs of old MASH shows) for a while and by 1 she hadn't returned. So, I fell asleep on the sofa for a while counting on her barking to come in again when she finally returned home. At 3 I woke up with no dog on the deck, so went out to search for her. Thankfully most of the neighbors have air conditioning running so they didn't hear me whistling at that hour of the morning. I walked around the back yards and then took the sidewalk home and met dog trotting down the sidewalk to find me. She seemed very pleased with herself. Both of us are sleepy this morning. But, I have work to do and she will get to snooze on the sofa all day. It's not fair.

Member Since: March 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 272
3. cybersuze
3:02 PM GMT on July 03, 2013
Believe it or not, we have a good friend that lives in Ankeny!

That's wild that UK requires pets to be restrained -- well, maybe not wild, maybe makes some sense. We do have a harness that doubles as a seat belt for our dog but have not used it. she's an odd dog and rarely even looks out the window so nobody would likely know she's there. But she would still be in harms way.

110 here (Boise, Idaho) on Monday, I think only 105 yesterday and today. It is hot.
Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 305
2. insideuk
9:57 AM GMT on July 03, 2013
Watching America melting under the sun is becoming a daily feature on the British news services. The press are reporting on each and every British tourist who ends up needing treatment for heat exhaustion after flying in to Las Vegas – one young woman from Scotland was receiving medical treatment within 2 hours of stepping off her flight. She headed straight to an outdoor music festival in 117f heat. There should be a clause in foreign travel insurance that allows for a sizeable excess to be paid in the event that you failed to declare your chronic stupidity when taking out the policy.

My weather has been a delight.

I’m not rubbing it in on purpose….I promise….

We have mostly dry and largely sunny stuff with temperatures topping out around 70f. That’s with comfortable light breezes which occasionally ramp up to 40mph gusts, apparently it does this just to mess my hair up. There can be no other purpose for it.

Next week the mercury starts to stir, there are threats of HOT STUFF (by UK standards), with Derbyshire burning under 30c/ 86f by Thursday.

I know – this is what you poor sods call a fresher feeling NIGHT in some parts of the US right now.

There is nothing for it but to bag up a few loose cotton t-shirts and keep them ‘ready-to-wear’ in the freezer. This is the OFFICIAL health advice we get for dealing with hot weather in a cool – and largely un-air conditioned – climate.

If it gets above 90f I will be sat in the freezer myself. I DON’T DO HEAT.

I have 2 questions to ask.

1. Are road surfaces melting in this heatwave you are suffering in the western states? I haven’t seen any reports about this from the US but over here we get trubba with it well before the mercury hits 100f. I have read reports in the last few days where people in Arizona were told that the pavement could BURN them if they touched it/ fell on it.

I understand there is a point at which frozen t-shirts advice starts to sound quite silly.

2. Is it legal to travel with loose pets in ones car in the US? Does everyone do it?

Over here all pets must be restrained whilst travelling by car. A passing police car would stop and fine you for allowing a cat to stretch its legs on the rear parcel shelf. The police officer would politely inform the driver that in the event of a sudden deceleration eventage he could be decapitated by his beloved moggy, since his beloved moggy would be instantly transformed into a deadly missile. And a deadly missile with its claws out at that.

Plus, in the event of an accident your startled pet could escape the car and cause untold havoc on the road.

The best case scenario the police would come up with is that the pet could become trapped beneath the brake pedal.

Obviously 9 hours under constant restraint would be tough going.

Ask Joe….

But a pet guard rail, temporarily inserted just behind the front seats, would be a good investment. WOULD IT NOT?

Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1675
1. osdianna
6:01 AM GMT on July 03, 2013
Feline focus...I like that. I think Dutchie is aware...after the dive out the window, she has been roaming around the house a lot...window to window, outside, back inside, managed to knock down the tension bar holding up my lace drapes three times...what the heck is going on? Oh, I brought in their travel cages...might as well get used to them, not that they will be IN them much.

A cool 51 degrees right now at 11pm...actually shut the window where Fluffer likes to hang out during the day as it's a it breezy with the cool marine air pouring in; she's sleeping on the floor up there and I didn't want her chilled.

Lots of fireworks, but 11pm was the cutoff time this evening, and it has gone pretty silent, though I expect to hear a few of the big boomers.

Member Since: March 5, 2009 Posts: 35 Comments: 672

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About joealaska

After moving back to the lower 48, I have bought an RV and have been living on the road.

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