Written by: Maria Schultz - Jolly Llama, Grand Trunk Brand Ambassador @sup_with_pup

Maria Schultz hammocking with her dog

I have always said that adventures are better shared, and that’s something I’ve decided to live my life by. It’s the theme that dictates my travels, where I go, how far I go, how I get there, where I stay. The list goes on and on. And if you know me, you know that there is always at least one dog by my side at pretty much all times.

Traveling with dogs means making sacrifices. Sometimes I don’t get to hike the best trails because dogs aren’t allowed. Or sometimes I won’t even get to visit a park, like Rocky Mountain National Park, because they don’t allow dogs. And while all this bums me out, that sadness only lasts a few minutes. All of the sudden I’m forced to find something else to do, this has led me to find new places and have experiences that are simple and awesome. Here is great website to see if a park is dog friendly

I was actually planning to visit RMNP(Rocky Mountain National Park) this summer, but as soon as I learned that dogs couldn’t enjoy the park too, I knew I had to find something else. So, my next trip is a road trip around the Great Lakes! Starting this weekend, 2 people, 2 dogs, 2 paddle boards, and 2 mountain bikes will be hitting the road for 2 weeks. Our goal is simply to bike, camp, paddleboard and relax along all 5 Great lakes. 

Benefits of Traveling with Dogs

  • They help find solitude.

    Sometimes the top rated hikes are crowded. I prefer trails where there are less people. I crave quiet, and I like to let my dogs off leash as often as it’s safe to. So finding the less popular trails means more solitude, freedom, and more tired pups.
  • My dogs keep me safe.

    I have 2 Australian Shepherds, and Shepherds they are – they protect. Nobody is getting close to my campsite without me knowing. Plus Riley looks a little bit like a coyote, or so people say – so let anyone think twice before approaching!
  • They are more in tune with nature.

    There’s just something special about sharing an outdoor experience with an animal. My dogs see things and smell things that I would have otherwise missed; they are truly the best guides. I’ve witnessed bear cubs playing and deer in the distance because Riley saw them first.
  • Social buffers.

    When I meet someone along a journey, Riley is always the first to greet someone. I hang back a second to see how that person responds to him, then I generally have a better sense of what that person is like. I’ve actually come to trust my dog’s judgment.
  • There’s really nothing better than having a giant warm teddy bear sleeping next to you on a cool fall night.

 We’ll be posting along the way so please follow along with us on Instagram @sup_with_pup to hear about the adventure. Tim Cahill says it best, “a journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” Couldn’t agree more, Tim!

dog on the beach

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Belinda Neff