Road Trip Recap (Plus a Dog Fight) and Life Update

Road Trip Recap (Plus a Dog Fight) and Life Update 16Happy Friday everyone! June’s almost over, isn’t that crazy? Life passes you by when you’re having fun.

Earlier this week, we finally arrived back home after a last second road trip. A few days after our wedding, Wes woke up and said that we should pack up our suitcases, take the dogs, and leave immediately to go on a road trip to wherever.

I thought he was crazy.

I tried to come up with multiple reasons for why this wouldn’t work. Yes, a road trip sounds nice, but I’m the type of person who likes a PLAN.

As I was trying to make excuses for why we shouldn’t go, I realized that all of my reasons were stupid. We can both work from wherever, so technically there was nothing holding us back from just packing our stuff and going on a road trip. We also both had a very busy past couple of months, with Wes working outside in the St. Louis heat (and humidity) nearly every single day for 2 months.

We had a few different ideas for this trip. When we first packed up, we were going to try to go to Colorado (and just spend a few days there), then go to Yellowstone, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and then take Route 66 home.

However, once we got to Colorado we realized that we loved the state. There were a ton of things to do so we then cut our itinerary and focused mainly on Colorado (with the exception of the Canyonlands and Moab).

Road Trip Recap and Life Update



Road Trip Recap (Plus a Dog Fight) and Life Update 12Here are the places we went:

  1. First we went to Wes’s family’s property in Warrenton, Missouri, which is about one hour away from our home. We stayed here for two nights. We camped the first night with Wes’s brother (along with his wife and their awesome children). The second night we camped by ourselves and stayed out there so that Wes could mow the grass (even with a tractor, it takes a full day to mow – there are lots and LOTS of acres).
  2. We went to Denver and stayed here for 2 days. We explored the area and I was probably most excited about their REI. I also loved all of the cool shops that seemed to be everywhere. Also, everyone is super friendly!
  3. We then left Denver and went to Silverthorne. We stayed at a hotel there and the next day went to Arapaho National Forest. We drove around on their dirt trails around the mountains. We also drove up UTE Pass and almost made it all the way around but then we came across trees that were on the road.
  4. After Arapaho National Forest, we drove north to Lake Granby and camped out for the first time in Colorado. I think the camp fee was $19. We also bought 2 bundles of wood for $12. There weren’t too many other people camping here, and we found a great spot right on the lake. We also saw a moose right next to our camp site. It was a fun spot, but we woke up FREEZING because the temperature dropped to 34 degrees while we were sleeping.
  5. After Lake Granby, we drove to Colorado National Monument. We spent the day driving around, and then found a hotel to stay at. We were trying to only camp every other day so that our dogs wouldn’t get stressed out. The next day though, we camped at Colorado National Monument. I think it was around $20.
  6. Then next morning, we woke up and started heading out to Canyonlands in Utah. It was a lot of fun there, but there wasn’t much to do with the dogs because of the heat (we have a runt French Bulldog and he can’t be out in the heat for long). We did find the famous Moab road that all Jeep people ride on and it was the scariest thing of my life. It was so scary that I made Wes turn around and go back up a dirt cliff because I was afraid of death! We sort of just drove straight through Canyonlands and Utah. We wanted to find a hotel but EVERY single hotel was sold out so we couldn’t even stay.
  7. That same day, we drove all the way to Mesa Verde National Park. We stayed at a hotel the first day because of the long car ride. The next morning we packed up our things though and camped at the national park. It was $30 to camp but it was sort of like a “village” because it had a restaurant, showers, laundry mat, a gas station, and a store all located on the campground.
  8. After Mesa Verde, we drove to Great Sand Dunes. It was a lot of fun, but we didn’t stay long. See below to read why…
  9. We then drove through Aspen and stayed the night in Eagle, CO. Everything was booked within a 2 drive so we found a lodge that had a two story suite for just $149. It was awesome!
  10. We then left, drove to Independence Pass, saw the second tallest mountain in the United States, and then drove to Boulder. We were going to camp again but the forecast was for rain for the rest of the week. This is when we decided that our trip was over and that we should start heading home.


One crazy thing that happened?

On our trip, we encountered many crazy things, but the craziest was when a dog tried to attack us at Great Sand Dunes. We were in the big creek that is there right before the dunes. We were walking around (with our dogs leashed), and a man started screaming at us “DOG DOG DOG!!!”

We have a funny looking French Bulldog, and we get a lot of people who run up to us and say weird things about him. We thought this was just the same thing happening.

Nope, we were wrong.

Road Trip Recap (Plus a Dog Fight) and Life Update 5He told us to turn around and he was yelling at us like our lives were in danger.

I turn around and there is an Irish Wolfhound (these are one of the biggest dog breeds in the world) charging at us from over a hundred yards away with his teeth snarling at us. Even though he was far away, you could tell he was locked in on us, and everyone around us noticed it as well.

The first thing I did was pick up my Frenchie, who is only 12 pounds (he’s a runt).

I flung him onto my shoulders because I would rather get bit than him get killed. I didn’t know if he thought our smaller dog was a rabbit, squirrel, or what.

Our bigger dog who is about 80 to 90 pounds then turns around (she was happily sniffing the mud and didn’t notice the huge dog quickly approaching) right at the exact moment that this dog is jumping in the air to attack. She then pretty much saves us, jumps in the air, and fights the dog back.

She pinned him down on the ground and held her ground.

He ended up biting her on the head and she now has three small wounds to her head. Our dog was leashed and we kept trying to pull her back, so she didn’t hurt the dog badly. The owner then finally catches up and pins his dog to the ground until his wife (maybe a girlfriend or friend?) can catch up with the leash.

By this point, a crowd had gathered. People were scared, crying, and had their faces shield. People were yelling at the man for not having his dog leashed.

Now, some of you might not agree with us, whereas others of you might. After this crazy incident, all we did was walk away and leave. I was not about to press charges and have a dog get euthanized for his owner’s mistake. There is a reason why there are leash laws, dogs can get extremely stressed out when around so many people, and you never know what they may do.

I don’t know what would have happened if our dog wouldn’t have protected us though. And this is why I’m a crazy dog momma! :)

In the end, our dog was fine. A second after the dog fight, our dog had a little boy (and his mom) beg to play with her, and she was happily getting pet and loved on by a 4 year old.


Anyway, below are the rest of the pictures that I took on our trip. I really need to invest in a camera instead of just using my iPhone for everything! Is there a camera that you would recommend?

Road Trip Recap (Plus a Dog Fight) and Life Update 1

Road Trip Recap (Plus a Dog Fight) and Life Update 2

Road Trip Recap (Plus a Dog Fight) and Life Update 8

Road Trip Recap (Plus a Dog Fight) and Life Update 3

Road Trip Recap (Plus a Dog Fight) and Life Update 4

Road Trip Recap (Plus a Dog Fight) and Life Update 6


Road Trip Recap (Plus a Dog Fight) and Life Update 7


Road Trip Recap (Plus a Dog Fight) and Life Update 9

Road Trip Recap (Plus a Dog Fight) and Life Update 1-

Road Trip Recap (Plus a Dog Fight) and Life Update 11

Road Trip Recap (Plus a Dog Fight) and Life Update 13

Road Trip Recap (Plus a Dog Fight) and Life Update 14

Road Trip Recap (Plus a Dog Fight) and Life Update 15

Road Trip Recap (Plus a Dog Fight) and Life Update 17




We definitely spent a lot of money in the past two weeks. Our road trip cost us around $2,000 for two weeks.

This $2,000 included: We spent around $800 on gas, $600 on hotels, and around $100 on camping. We also had to buy food. Luckily, we did receive around $500 in gift cards to Target from our wedding, so we tried to buy all of our camping food and snacks from Target. That saved us a lot of money!

This past week, we also bought new tires. Tires for the Jeep cost $1,500. AH!

After this though, I don’t think we will have much out of the ordinary for spending. We will be going on a cruise in July, but that has already been budgeted in.


Business Income

June has been great for business so far. On our road trip, I spent most of the time thinking about business plans and goals. Wes did ALL of the driving (yes, all of it – he enjoys driving). I had my business planner and pen out the whole time and just wrote out ideas the whole time. I am super excited for the rest of this year as I have a lot of big goals that I am going to work towards.

If anyone needs any help, check out my Hire Me page and let me know what services you are interested in.


Being healthy

This has been nonexistent for the past few weeks. I’m going to try to get back on track with this in the next few days. I’m still playing catch up for now!


Recent posts on Making Sense of Cents:


Have you been doing well with your income, spending and being healthy?




    • says

      We’re still not sure what happened with the dog leash. I’m not sure if the owner’s leash snapped or if he let him off. Either way, he should have known better.

  1. says

    That’s an awesome trip, but poor pups! That’s awful that they got attacked, and I’m glad it didnt turn into anything serious. It’s a shame that the first thing the officers would’ve done is put the dog down… I’d say, punish the people, not the dogs! Very few dogs have natural killer instincts… makes you wonder if the owners are actually into that kind of stuff. Glad you had such a good time. The photos look great. What a fun out-of-nowhere trip. Do you see yourself making other unplanned trips like that in the future?
    Tania recently posted..YNAB on sale 75% offMy Profile

    • says

      Yes, that’s how I feel – punish the people not the dogs. I’m not mad at the owner nor the dog at all, I understand that things like this happen, and it wouldn’t have even happened if the dog had a leash.

      Yes, I would like to take other unplanned trips. Is was nice to just plan things day by day!

  2. says

    Ahhh dog fight are so scary but the rest of the road trip sounds amazing! Good for you for taking a break after the wedding, you and Wes deserve it. The pictures look beautiful even with the iPhone camera haha

    Have a great weekend, Michelle!
    Charlotte recently posted..Roadtrip ReadyMy Profile

    • says

      Yes, irresponsible dog owners make me mad because too many people think that all big dogs are evil.

      The first question I always get with my two dogs is if people can pet my smaller dog because the bigger one looks like a pit bull. I always reply to them and say that the smaller one actually hates people and should not be pet, but the bigger one is the nicest dog on the planet!

    • says

      Yes, she is a hero! We’re not sure what she is. We adopted her and all we know is that she’s a mutt :) The vet thinks she may be a Boxer/Brittany mix though.

  3. says

    sounds like a fun trip and love your photos. so scary about that dog but glad you and your dogs are ok. and i think walking away makes sense. as you said, it’s the owner’s fault he wasn’t on a leash and not the dog’s.
    jackie recently posted..#PerfectWeight ChallengeMy Profile

  4. says

    Sometimes it can really help to just sit and think about business plans/ideas. I think the biggest thing I’m lacking in my life right now is time to just sit and think. If I did this for even 20 minutes a day I think I could formulate some great ideas, and probably think of better ways of doing things that I already do.

    I’m glad your dog is okay. When we were running with my wife’s Dad’s dog a few years ago this big dog went after him and the owner was in the front yard yelling for his dog to come back. I could have very easily yelled at the guy and told him to get his dog on a f**** leash, but I resisted. I don’t know if it was the right choice, because this wasn’t a travel-related incident and our dog wasn’t small. We just kept running and pulled Ragnar and we got out of there. I’m still upset about it, though, because a leash would have been so easy for the owner to use instead of letting a misbehaved dog roam free.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted..4 Steps to Manage Your Busy Work LifeMy Profile

  5. says

    I’m so glad your dogs are okay! I can’t imagine how scary that must have been in the moment. Your big dog is awesome for saving the day =). Count me in with being angry at irresponsible pet owners. I saw some horrible things when I worked at an animal shelter, mostly because owners simply didn’t care. Beautiful pictures, too. Sounds like you had a lot of fun besides that incident!
    E.M. recently posted..Being Grateful: Thirty-Second EditionMy Profile

    • says

      Yes, it kills me that some people just don’t care about dogs enough. I’m giving the guy the benefit of the doubt that it was just a one time mistake though. I’m sure after that incident that he will know from now on.

  6. Adrienne says

    I just bought a Nikon D3200 camera, and am starting a photography class on Monday…I’ll let you know how I like it! I had been wanting a nice camera for a while too, and I found it on groupon for a good price. Glad you guys had such a great trip (minus the whole dog fight incident)!

  7. Melissa says

    Oh my gosh, Michelle, that is insane!! I’m so glad you picked up your Frenchie and were willing to get bit – I almost had to protect my dog once and I was so scared, but definitely willing to get bit. It’s not necessarily something you go out seeking though…

    I think it’s fine that you didn’t press charges, but jeez, this is why I HATE people who don’t follow leash laws! Now, I don’t know if dogs are allowed to be off-leash there, but still. A big giant dog like an Irish Wolfhound??? Just keep it leashed, for goodness’ sakes.

    We keep our 60-lb. dog leashed at all times, but that’s more because she’s a spaz and will definitely run away if we don’t!

    I’m so glad your dogs are okay!! What a fun trip, otherwise!

    • says

      Dogs are not allowed to be off leash there, and that’s why everyone was super mad at the guy for not having his dog leashed.

      And yes, that’s the main reason why we keep our bigger dog leashed, she is overly friendly and will spaz out and lick people to death! haha

  8. says

    Everyone has a Jeep here and I’ve never heard of the “Jeep Wave.” It must be a Mid-Western thing :) Next time you visit Colorado you have to let us (anyone whose in town) show you around! I’m glad you had a great time and that your dog didn’t get hurt. That drives me INSANE when people keep their dogs off leash!

    • says

      That is weird that you’ve never heard of the Jeep Wave! It’s definitely a national thing (we’ve done the wave in Hawaii haha), so maybe Colorado just hasn’t gotten the memo :)

  9. says

    Glad that your dog is OK and that you had such a good time in CO. I grew up there, and your map basically shows that you missed nothing (unless you skipped the cliff dwellings).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge