Fuel for the Journey! Thank you IAMS !!!!!!


Today is day 21 on my coast-to-coast road trip with my dog. So far, I’ve stopped in: Springfield, (IL) Chicago, Holy Toledo!; Youngstown, OH; Philadelphia; NYC; Washington, DC; Waynesboro and Culpeper, VA; and tonight, I’m in Winston-Salem, a lovely little city in the Piedmont area of North Carolina, which places it conveniently about an hour and a half to the mountains, four hours to the blessed Carolina coast. Yes, this is a real photo below.

Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

I genuinely love it here. I’m staying with my good friends, the Dease’s, where I was feted with steak on the grill, potatoes, salad, the whole bit, and last night, at the Davis’, ceviche — a delightful, cold fish dish, kind of like a shrimp cocktail, only with fish, scallops, shrimp, cilantro and lime. It’s wonderful to reunite with folks I’d not been in touch with for over a decade AND have fabulous food along with it.

On the road, not so much. It’s slim pickin’s for anything healthy. I ask you, what in the Sam Hill is a bacon, cheddar, ranch, tender crisp? Somebody, anybody? In Waysneboro, Virginia, where I holed up for 2 days because the room was cheap, food, real food was as scarce as hen’s teeth. At one intersection alone, there was, and I’m not kidding, a Mickey D’s, Burger King, A&W, Arby’s, Long John Silvers, Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, Subway and of course, the perennial favorite, Starbucks. I have seen 9,245 Starbucks on this trip to date, 9,243 McDonald’s and six produce stands. And we wonder, why is our country so fat?

McDonald-Burger King

Bacon, cheddar, ranch, tender crispy heart attack

While I munch on granola bars, and loaded up the ice chest with really good peaches, Libby will have no interruption to her diet because the fine folks at IAMS dog food found out about our journey on Facebook.

(I’d snapped this shot with the Dennis kids in Philly)

Fuel for the trip - IAMs

Josie, Jack, Libby and her fuel for the trip, IAMs

And now, IAMS is providing Libby with free food for the whole trip! Isn’t that cool? It’s particularly convenient since the MiniChunks ProActive Health is what she really eats, (she prefers the small kibble, very lady like that way..) anyway, this is what she’s been eating since she got off the IAMS puppy food and it’s what she and King Louie both eat now.

The IAMS folks, (shout out to Sarah Costano, THANK YOU) called a few towns back, but it took a little coordination for me to be in one place long enough to get our care package. We received it the other day.

Supreme Court Libby

Supreme Court Libby

Libby digs her new duds and we got a cute new bowl and enough food and coupons to last us from here to California and back again!  One less thing for me to worry about, thank you Sarah and Bev at IAMS.

(And for the record, it’s really helped….cause, I don’t know if you know this, a consistent diet of a premium dog good, makes for less poop, always a good thing when one is on an 8400-mile journey.) You can take that to the bank.


Kleps kids from Seattle

Libby and the Kleps kids from Seattle, at the Capitol, D.C.


As for me, today’s my last day in Winston-Salem. Mitzi, Tyler and I are on our way to find a Carolina BBQ sandwich and some sweet tea.


Libby and Mitzi

Libby and Mitzi in Old Salem, Winston-Salem


About Jean Ellen Whatley

Writer. Dreamer. Sometimes schemer. Journalist/memoirist/observer and sometimes constructive irritant. Prisoner of demon muses. Mother to four humans and two dogs. In my spare time, I delete phone numbers of former boyfriends.

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  1. Such a joyous journey.

  2. Alysa S. says:

    CONGRATULATIONS! That is really cool for the people at IAMS to do! I never thought about the additional bonus of less poop for a dog that’s eating healthy – so congratulations for that, too! As for your observation about the food that’s easily available on the road, last year I took a roadtrip through parts of New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California. I expected that I’d lose a few pounds, since I wouldn’t be tempted by snacks lying around the house, etc. Instead, I held steady (okay, could be worse) because all we had to eat when we stopped somewhere were these fast food places! We would try as much as possible to go to Wal-Mart or a grocery store for food, but then again, when you can’t cook something, it’s hard to find an edible healthy meal. Good luck. I guess of all of them, Subway is considered the most healthy….. Also, some grocery stores we came across made their own sandwiches and those were probably with fresher ingredients than any fast food place. I hope that helps. Oh well, at least most fast food is delicious! :-)

  3. Good to hear that Libby is so well taken care of and will continue to eat healthy. That was a terrific thing to do for Libby. IAMs did a very kind and generous contribution. Great!
    Here in Albuquerque I have fresh squash, tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, and cucumbers growing in the garden, now that’s healthy eating. Too bad you aren’t closer, I’d share with you.

    • That sounds really good. Do you ever make cavalacitos? Not sure I’m spelling it right, but it’s squash, green chile, onion and half and half. Reallly yummy.

  4. Katy Mackay says:

    don’t leave WS without a tin of Moravian sugar cookies ! now THAT is good food.

  5. Hello Jean! So glad that we could help Libby go so many miles on Iams–she looks fabulous in that green bandana! We wish you all the best on your journey. And if you pass through Dayton or Cincinnati, be sure to let us know so we can meet
    –Bev Van Zant
    Iams, North America