After we left Annette’s house, we continued east on I-40.

Our plan was to stay at a Cracker Barrel just north of Pigeon Forge.  We got there pretty late, almost at midnight and it was really cold.  There were a lot of other houses on wheels there that night too.

We got up early on Sunday morning, even before the sun came up and started to head to Roan Mountain.  I was really excited because we were only one day away from my birthday.  We stopped at a bunch of places on the way there for supplies and gas – Aldi, Wal-Mart, and Pilot.

Once we got to Roan Mountain State Park, we were greeted by Susan.  This was a different project than the normal Y2V projects that mommy and daddy help with.  It was called a Y2V2 project, which meant that there weren’t as many volunteers. It also meant that Phil and Shar wouldn’t be there either.  That part made me sad because I like Phil and Shar a lot.  That’s why Susan met us, because her and her husband Jeff were running this project.

Once we got to our site, it took us forever to get the house on wheels leveled.  Mommy was going forward and then backward and then forward and backward again and again and again.  Daddy was crawling under the house on wheels, moving blocks around, and saying some words that I’m not allowed to write about.  I was going back and forth from the passenger seat with mommy to side door to watch daddy.  By the time we got the house on wheels leveled, I had to pee so bad, I thought that I was going to float away.  I was also really hungry by that time too.  Daddy let me out to go potty and then I ran right back into the house on wheels to eat my dinner.  I was so hungry I didn’t even care about sniffing all of the new smells that were around me!

The next morning was Monday, March 28 – my 13th birthday!

I was so excited when I woke up.  Mommy and daddy sang happy birthday to me before they started working on their project.  After they were done for the day, daddy said that we were going to go on a short walk for my birthday.  It was a nice day, a little cool, but very sunny, a great day for a walk for sure.  I mean, not that there is ever a bad day for a walk.

As it turned out, we didn’t take a short walk at all.  We started out by going down to the campground and walked to the amphitheater.  Then we started on a trail that was supposed to take us back to the campground, but part of it was closed.  So, then we had to take a detour on the Fred Behrand Trail.  Well that trail took us all the way up the mountain.  I loved it!  It was the best unexpected birthday present ever.  Daddy didn’t have his hiking books on, but he still did ok.  I was so happy.  There were some steep hills and narrow parts of the trail, but I conquered it like a champ!  13 years old or not, I have no plans on slowing down any time soon!

When we got back to the house on wheels, mommy had supper ready for her and daddy, but I had to wait an hour to eat mine.  I still don’t understand that.  Mommy and daddy say that I have to wait an hour after I walk so that I don’t get bloat, but yet daddy walked just as far as I did and he came back and ate right away.  Worst part about this is that I have to sit there and watch mommy and daddy eat, but I have to wait an hour.  What’s up with that?!  Then they keep telling me to stop drooling when I’m watching them eat.  What do they expect me to do?

It really was a great birthday for me though.  That long surprise hike and mommy and daddy singing to me in the morning were great.  Being with mommy and daddy in our house on wheels every single day and traveling all over the country meeting new people and sniffing new things, I mean what else could a dog ask for?  I really couldn’t ask for a better life.  I feel young as ever and I still pull daddy on our walks sometimes.

I really liked our time at Roan Mountain State Park.  Daddy and I walked just about every day.  There were lots and lots of trees and hills and trails for me to explore.  The only thing that I didn’t like were the couple of bridges that had these really rough metal floors on them.  They kind of scared me a little bit, but daddy said that I was a really brave boy because I still crossed it.  He did have a treat in his hand that was just out of my reach while we were crossing the bridge, but I’m sticking with the “brave boy” story.

We did end up actually getting to see Phil and Shar for a few days and that made me really happy!

The weather was kind of crazy there though, one day it was sunny and 70-degrees and the next it was 45-degrees and windy as could be.  I think that mother nature is starting to get a little bi-polar nowadays because she’s all over the place lately.  No matter what the weather is like though, I always make the best out of every day.  I always wake up with a smile and set a goal to make as many people smile as I can throughout the day.  Other dogs though – sorry, not a fan.  I only ever liked my brothers, Buddy and Tucker, and my sister, Cheyenne.  All of the other dogs that I’ve ever met really scare me, so I don’t want to be near them.  But people – boy oh boy, I sure do love people!

With Mother Nature having her mood swings, mommy and daddy’s volunteer group worked on a Sunday and got everything that they needed to get finished done on Thursday because Friday was going to be so cold.  Then on Saturday, the weatherman was saying that we might get 3” of snow on the mountain!  Mommy and daddy had told me that we’d always be in 70-degree weather or warmer with the house on wheels, well it sure doesn’t snow in 70-degree weather, I know that!  Somehow, we’re not accomplishing that 70-degree goal, but I still love living in the house on wheels so much better than when we lived in the big house.  Even when it’s cold, it’s still the best life that I could have ever wished for.

So, with the forecast for snow on Saturday, I talked mommy and daddy into getting out of Dodge on Friday to miss the crummy weather.  I really don’t know what “getting out of Dodge” means, but I’ve heard daddy say it a few times, so that’s what I told mommy and daddy this time.

Mommy and daddy said that I had a good idea (of course I did), so we packed up and headed to Asheville, North Carolina right after mommy and daddy had one last group lunch with all of their friends.

We actually drove through some snow flurries on the way to Asheville, but it wasn’t too bad.

We ended up getting into Asheville a little before 4 PM.  Mommy went shopping for our supplies at Aldi and then we went and did all of our laundry before heading to Cracker Barrell for the night.  It was still cold, but at least we weren’t going to get 3” of snow.

Mommy and daddy ate dinner and breakfast at the Cracker Barrell and they didn’t bring out any bacon for me!  I couldn’t believe that!  I thought that we were past this by now.  I am going to have to call Aunt Cheryl and tell her to scold mommy and daddy for me.  They seem to listen to her better than they listen to me sometimes.  Maybe then they’ll start to remember that every time that we stay at a Cracker Barrell – this guy – me – Youkilis, the golden retriever is supposed to get some bacon!  Or at least a biscuit or something.  They come out smelling so good and talking about how full their bellies are and here I am with nothing but drool all over my chest!  If they saved some for me, their bellies wouldn’t be so full.

We drove through more snow on the way to Dillard, Georgia.  This made no sense to me at all.  It’s not supposed to snow in April in Georgia, but it certainly was.  It was still better than the 3” of snow that our friends that were still in Roan Mountain got though.

Once we get to the new campsite, I’m going to sit Mother Nature down and have a little talk with her!