Pax and I packed up my car, shipped our stuff in a U-Haul box and hit the road — just the two of us.
If you’re dying to hear about all the reasons why, I’ll explain a bit at the end of this blog. But for now, I want to share my experiences of road-tripping with a pig.
This video should explain about 90 percent of it ….
Pax is great in the car normally, so I figured a 25+ hour drive would be hard, but doable. I got one of those back seat slings (for dogs typically) which creates almost like a hammock in the back seat to keep Pax from falling forward off the seat — or sticking his head too far in the front to snag a bite of whatever I’m eating.
Pax had a pillow and several blankets to keep him comfy, he slept most of the time but was definitely sure to pop his head up as soon as he heard me rummaging for food.
We took four days for the trip, I originally was supposed to drive with a friend but that fell through in the last minute. So, I chose to make the drive alone. I have a brand new Jeep so I felt pretty confident that if I took my time and booked pet-friendly AirBnBs with fenced-in yards, Pax and I would be OK. I also wanted this to be an adventure!
Night 1: Tallahassee
OK, this story is pretty funny … I last-minute booked a cool house in Tally. It was pet-friendly so I figured it would be fine to bring my … pig. However, I didn’t realize the owner would be there when I got there, and would also be sleeping next door at his daughter’s house.
He wanted to give me a tour. Hoping it would be quick, I left Pax in the car. But this guy kept talking so I had to admit I had a pet in the car. Hoping he’d say, “Oh, OK, here’s the key, I’ll let you get settled,” but no, he wanted to meet my pet.
So I had to admit it was a pig … and though he hesitated for a moment, he then said he was a vegan, that I was welcome to use anything in the kitchen and he was so excited to meet a pig.
So we got Pax out of the car, into his wagon (because he refuses to walk if he can just stand there and eat) and wheeled him to the backyard where he immediately pooped right in front of this guy.
Apologetic, I said I had bags to pick it up. He told me not to worry and to just throw it under a tree because it’s good fertilizer.
(Sigh of relief)
The place was really cool:
Night 2 & 3: Memphis
We got up pretty early to hit the road for Memphis, about nine hours away.
We stopped once, in Alabama at a rest stop where a cop was casually hanging out (I wanted to be really safe on this trip, I carried a pocket knife with me everywhere!).
Driving into Memphis was a little scary, it was congested and it wasn’t in the nicest area. That worried me a bit as far as where my next house was located. Luckily I pulled off a main street right by a university into the ultra-hip yet historic Cooper-Young neighborhood.
I had to carry Pax up the stairs at the home, and a neighbor totally busted me! She was nice, just had a lot of questions as most people do. Inside were beautiful, original wood floors. Pax hates the floors because he slips and slides. I practically had to pull him through the house and out to the backyard.
The house was adorable, it had a big deck out back with a rocking chair so I could hang out and enjoy a glass of wine while trying to keep Pax from digging holes all over 🤦🏼♀️ (I failed, he totally dug a big hole.)
We stayed here two nights to give both of us a break from the car. I ventured out to Beale Street and I roamed my neighborhood which had a fantastic used bookstore and vegan cafe!
Night 4: Kansas City, Kansas
By the time we got to Kansas, I was over it.
Pax was still being great, despite the weather getting pretty cold, especially for a Florida native pig.
We got to our house in KC, it had been restored and inside was beautiful. There was no easy access to the backyard but to walk along the side of the house and open the gate. Pax hates walking so I had to bribe him down the drive with carrots. There were too many rocks to pull him in his wagon.
I then had to lock him back there while I unpacked the car.
And then I realized the house was haunted. The feeling I got when I walked inside was so dark and heavy …
Pax and I spent some time on the back patio, it was cool but the people before me left a bunch of trash.
And we finally went inside our haunted little house where I drank wine, shared dinner with Pax and slept with all the lights on until I couldn’t take being in there anymore and we left at 6 a.m.
About eight hours later, we finally made it to Denver where it was snowing … in May.
We crashed at my dad’s for a bit until we found a place. Details on that adventure in my next blog.
And finally … the reasons why we left are this: I was in a relationship that was no longer serving me and I felt like I had outgrown my job.
When I first moved to Florida, I was a very small fish in a big pond. Over five years I grew a lot, and it got to the point where I knew, in order to level up, I had to stretch my wings and fly again. I didn’t intend on landing back in Denver, I applied to jobs all over the country with hopes set on Nashville or the New England area.
The Universe, however, brought me back to Denver with two incredible career opportunities and some family who have helped me with Pax and supported me in my move.
It took months of planning and hard work to find a job and figure out if I could really make a move with a pig, luckily the split was clean and he was supportive.
As for Cooper, I miss that little guy so so much, but he stayed with his dad, they are best friends. Cooper is doing so well without his big brother beating up on him all the time. So in the end, this shift was great for everyone 💜
Thanks for reading.