Have you heard of the Hank the Cowdog series by John Erickson? Bookmama introduced me to this fun series last year and since then, Hank has become a much loved character in our house.
Hank, as the title suggests, is a cowdog. He is head of ranch security and the series follows him as he bumbles through one precarious adventure after another. Hank is aided on all of his missions by his less than trusty sidekick Drover and endures constant tormenting from the mean barn cat.
We visit California on a fairly regular basis and have figured out that if we get up early at 4AM, we can push through and be at Nana & Gramps’ house by dinnertime. That is a really long day, especially with kids in the backseat. When we started making these trips about five years ago, I initially tried hard to make every moment of the road trip educational and fun. It probably was fun, for all of three minutes. But then of course, they got bored, and to be fair, they were pretty young, and 13 hours in the car is a looong time. After a few trips with an ornery toddler in the backseat, we caved and invested in a really nice dual DVD player system. All of a sudden, the grownups in the car were able to have long, uninterrupted conversations as we passed through the mountains of Utah and across the Mojave desert. However, quiet bliss in the car aside, I started feeling the nagging guilt that comes with letting your kids watch too much TV.
Enter Hank the Cowdog. On our most recent trip to California, we went to the library and checked out a few different Hank stories (there are over 50 written). Within five minutes, both kids were mesmerized. They sat and quietly listened and laughed hysterically at the funny parts. When it was over, they begged for another one. And another. Before we knew it, we were at our halfway point in Utah. The best part was that it was equally enjoyable for my husband and I. We laughed right alongside them. It was a great. Hank is a really funny dog.
Hank the Cowdog is now as important to our road trips as gas is. I can’t say enough good things about this series. If you are planning a road trip for the holidays and need some entertainment for the whole family, go get yourself some Hank.
SJPmama is the schemer, founder, and the editor at San Juan Parent. She created San Juan Parent because she wanted to find fun activities for families in the San Juan Mountain Region that would tire her kids out and make them go to bed at a decent hour. She has been banging away on computers for longer than she can remember and freelances at various tech jobs. She considers herself extremely lucky to have such awesome friends and family who are willing to let SJP feature their stories on the interwebs.