Our destination was a home on Powder Horn Mountain in Deep Gap, NC – in the vicinity of Boone. The house was in a gated mountain community offering us privacy and a short walk to a large pond at the back of the property which had a nice trail around it for walking. It was owned by an acquaintance who was willing to let us take our dogs. The trip up and back was broken up by a stay at the Wyndam Wingate, just off I-95 around Savannah, GA.
We told the folks at the Wingate that we had Collies and were charged $20 each per night, so this added $40 (non-refundable) to our room each way (cheaper than kenneling them). With the dogs the cost of the room was around $110 per night. They were both very well behaved especially considering the strange new environment and occasional sudden sounds in the hotel. Despite the sounds around us, the dogs remained quiet, which was a great relief.
We had never taken them on a vacation before but as we adopted them at the ages of 3 and 1, respectively, we had little idea what they had been exposed to from a travel perspective. Lauren had originally been bred by the Southeastern Guide Dog School for the Blind, and we find she easily adapts to any situation. Sean was owned by an elderly lady for his first year of life, but I understand he spent that year in both Florida and Texas and traveled in a motor home. It was clear he had never been in an elevator before, but recovered and adjusted to that and his other new experiences (like climbing steps) well. I want to say it took about 7 hours to drive from our home in Sarasota to the hotel in the Savanah area and another 5 hours the next day to our destination near Boone, NC. We stopped for breaks every 2 or 3 hours and let them out of our Sienna van for a short walk and some water.
Both dogs have been crate trained. We brought their folding crates with us but never used them. What was actually handier were the padded crate mats we bought for them at Pet Smart. We put them down in our room at the cabin and found they would go to the room evenings when they wanted to lay down on their own. I recommend them for the hotel as well. We did not bring them in the first night and the dogs seemed more restless and struggled to settle down, which was not the case when we used them for our overnight stay on the return trip. (The mats also kept them from trying to paw the carpeting when laying down).
The Wingate by Wyndham was a good place to stay with the dogs. Many places won’t let you keep a dog over 50 lbs. When making the reservations you may want to request a room on the ground floor. Both times we were given rooms on the 2nd floor, which turned out to be fine, but I think a ground floor room makes more sense for the sake of convenience. Sean and Lauren have returned from their trip well rested and happy.