I am glad you’ve joined me on my adventure from the Napa Valley to the midwest for the annual LCC K9 Conference in Northbrook Illinois. Follow along as I share some really cool pictures and some fun facts.
Our first night was spent in Reno, Nevada. Reno was named after a man who never actually came to Reno. Jesse Lee Reno was mortally wounded during a battle in Maryland. It was customary to name train stops after fallen soldiers.
On the way to Wyoming, we stopped in Wells, Nevada, to take a break.
Our next night was spent at Green River, Wyoming. Originally known as the Spanish River, it was renamed Green River in 1824, probably for its color derived in places from green soapstone banks along its course.
Next stop: Lincoln, Nebraska! Did you know that the state of Nebraska is famous for a special sandwich called the Runza? A Runza (also called a bierock, krautburger, fleischkuche, or kraut pirok) is a yeast dough bread pocket with a filling consisting of beef, cabbage or sauerkraut, onions, and seasonings. Who’s hungry? Now you know how I felt smelling these sandwiches.
After we drove through Nebraska (Boy, did we see lots of corn!), we continued through Iowa. Here is a question for you… What famous Meredith Willson musical takes place in Iowa?
Answer: The Music Man
Our final destination was Illinois. 😊
I got to stop and play after our long journey!
We arrived at Lutheran Church Charities headquarters in Northbrook, IL, for our annual K9 Comfort Dog Conference where we had some training, listened to guest speakers and spent time with our West Coast Region members as well as my fellow LCC K9 Comfort Dogs from all over the nation. There were 96 of us in attendance! That’s a lot of paws!
Question for you… What year did Lutheran Church Charities begin their K9 Comfort Dog ministry?
Here is my team from St. John’s Napa:
We also had our annual “Meet and Greet” for the LCC Comfort Dog Ministry supporters. People came from all over the US to see 96 Goldens all in one place.
When in Chicago, you have to go eat at Portillo’s! My team loves eating there. I wish I could have tasted some of the food – it smelled SO delicious! Here’s a picture of Teams Reuben, Marie, and Aaron after our lunch.
After the conference, I was able to spend time with my Top Dogs’ families.
I also got to hang out with Jeremiah Comfort Dog and my new Sheltie friend Montana. It was like being in Napa…poolside.
Before I knew it, I was back on the road to California.
Our first stop was the town in Illinois where President Ronald Reagan grew up. Do you know where that was?
Answer: Dixon, IL.
Ronald Reagan was the only American president born and raised in the state of Illinois. In seven summers as a lifeguard, he saved 77 lives and notched a mark on a wooden log for every life he saved. That’s an amazing accomplishment!
Back through Iowa… Did you know that there are more hogs than humans in Iowa? As of 2013, the state’s hog population was 21.2 million animals, whereas the human population was just more than three million. Hmmm, that’s 7 pigs for every human. They must like their bacon.
Back through Nebraska…
We spent the night in Grand Junction, Colorado. Oh, the Rocky Mountains are so beautiful!
After Colorado, we drove through Utah and stopped at Arches National Park where we saw some incredible rock formations. There were some that looked like sheep, elephants, and even an organ!
Next stop was Canyonlands National Park. It has been called a mini Grand Canyon – but it was really big! It was filled with so many beautiful colors. We got another glimpse of the same Green River that we saw in Wyoming.
After visiting some beautiful national parks in Utah, we spent the night in Las Vegas, Nevada, home of LCC K9 Comfort Dog Lois. We love doing ministry together whenever we get the chance. This photo is from Lois’ visit to Napa this spring.
Next stop: beautiful Yosemite National Park!
“Sierra” or “Sierras”? As we traveled through this beautiful mountain range on our journey back to Napa, we pondered the question. The Spanish words “Sierra Nevada” mean “snowy range of mountains”; therefore there is no need to put an “s” on the end since there is only one range. You also shouldn’t call it the “Sierra Nevada Mountains,” since that would be redundant. : )
When we got to Yosemite National Park, we saw some more of God’s amazing creation. So many new sights and smells for me to discover! The waterfalls were amazing, and I wish I could have played in them!
I am back home in Napa, resting up and looking forward to getting back to local ministry. Thanks for following me on my journey, and thank you, Lord, for safe travels and Your beautiful creation!