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Part 8 (Continued)
Great American Dog-Friendly Road TripTM
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We finally made it through Texas and into New Mexico. We stopped for the night at the dog-friendly Best Western Mesilla Valley Inn in Las Cruces. 
The Best Western Inn had an onsite restaurant with great outdoor seating. Toby was able to join us on the patio. We had a very enjoyable dinner and dessert.
The next day back on the road we stopped at Steins Railroad Ghost Town. It is located near the New Mexico and Arizona border. Steins was once a thriving railroad station town named after Captain Stein, a U.S. Army officer, who was the first Anglo witness to sign a treaty with the Apache Indians. At the town's peak, between 1905 to 1945, Steins supported 1300 residents. You can take a step back in time and walk through the preserved Old West frontier town with your pup. You can purchase some souvenirs and cold drinks at the Steins Mercantile or purchase a guided tour for $2.50 per person. The self-guided tour is free. This is a nice place to stop when traveling along I-10. Just be sure to keep your dog leashed because there are several cats on the premises.
This photo of a passing train was taken at Steins Railroad Ghost Town.
Here is one of the farm animals at Steins.

Continuing along Interstate 10, we entered into Arizona.
Upon arriving into Phoenix, Arizona, we came upon a rush hour traffic jam. It took us awhile to get through to the other side of the city where we stayed for the night at a Holiday Inn in Goodyear, Arizona.  The hotel was right next to a Cracker Barrel Restaurant where we got dinner to go and brought it back to our room. My daughter also enjoyed a visit to Michaels Arts and Crafts Store located just across the parking lot from our hotel.
Continuing along Interstate 10 the next day, we pulled over at a New Mexico rest stop. There was still a very desert-like terrain. There was a woman working there, I guess for the state, and she was walking around the rest stop picking up what looked like snakes with her stick and placing them into a bucket. Needless to say, we didn't want to stay too long. We let Toby have a very quick potty break.
The sign in this picture says something like "Welcome to California".  We were finally back in our home state. 
Here is a photo of southern California's dry desert.
We stopped for lunch at Cafe Totonaca in Palm Springs, California, which has dog-friendly outdoor seats. We took turns going inside getting our food while one of us waited outside with Toby. The food was delicious. 
Making our way around Los Angeles, we saw lots and lots of highways and freeways. 
This mountain pass on Interstate 5, just north of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, is also known as the "Grapevine".  From that point it would be just hours before we reached our home. 

Our 11,000 mile cross-country road trip had been quite a journey. It was great finding so many places that welcomed our entire family, including our family dog. While it was definitely one of the best experiences of a lifetime, there still is no place like home!

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