Rattlesnake

Yesterday morning, we dropped the motor home off to get the heater fixed and headed out to a hike in the Red Cliff Recreation Area.  We opted for a hike through a canyon, hoping it would be cooler.  Once we got close to the bottom of the canyon, Regis saw a rattlesnake on the path.  We reversed our steps and I decided it was too hot to take Dart for a walk.  We abandoned our hike, but not without attempting to get a picture of the rattler.

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Rattlesnake
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Red Cliff Recreation Area Nevada

Our heater did not get fixed.  They have to order a “kit” and it will take about 3 weeks.  We are going to proceed north and head back this way later when the parts come in to get the heater fixed.  We will have to plan to make sure we don’t try to camp where it is too cold.

 

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Dart was at Cedar Breaks National Monument yesterday.

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Dart at Cedar Breaks National Monument.
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Cedar Breaks National Monument

We spent the morning scoping out campgrounds for a future visit and planned to stop at Cedar Breaks National Monument for a hike.  I managed to route us the long way around (significantly longer).  Because of the elevation, we thought Dart would be very happy with the temperature and we could get in a full hike.  When we got to the trailhead, we encountered snow and it was at least 20 degrees cooler than the valley.

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Trailhead at Cedar Breaks National Monument. We didn’t bring our snow mobile!!

I spoke to the Park Ranger and he didn’t recommend hiking the trail.  There was 14-30 inches of snow everywhere! Regis and I did not have the proper footwear for a hike through snow.  We decided to settle for a couple pictures from the overlook and head for another adventure.

We took off to see some petroglyphs at Parowan Gap.  It was very interesting.  We also saw some dinosaur tracks nearby.  Fortunately, there were markers identifying several dinosaur tracks.  Otherwise, we would have never seen them.  It is a good thing I didn’t make a career of being a paleontologist.  I would have been fired for never finding anything.  The tracks aren’t obvious, but interesting to see once you realize they are there.

While there, we noticed an active Raven’s nest on the cliffs above us.  I went back to the car to get the binoculars and long lens for the camera and when I came back, I couldn’t find Regis and Dart.  I thought they had been abducted by aliens (perhaps getting back at us for Roswell).  I eventually found them hiding in the shade under a rock.

Perhaps one of the more emotional things we did yesterday was visit the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.  It is one of the largest sanctuaries of its kind in the world.  It is a no-kill sanctuary with room and help for every animal that makes its way to Angel Canyon where the sanctuary is located.  If you have never heard of this place, I highly recommend looking it up on the internet and seeing the amazing things they do.  We toured the facilities on a past visit.  Since we had Dart with us, we only drove through the sanctuary and stopped at the cemetery.  You would have to have a cold heart not to be moved by being there.  There are numerous chimes throughout the cemetery that are hung in memory of pets that have passed away.  Many pets are buried there and there are stones, toys, collars, and other items placed in memory of pets that have passed away.

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Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Angel’s Rest Cemetery
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Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Angel’s Rest Cemetery
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Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Angel’s Rest Cemetery
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Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, Kanab, Utah

When we come back through this way, I hope to volunteer for a few days.  They are always looking for volunteers.  One of the things you can do is borrow a dog while you are visiting the area.  This gives the dog a chance to interact with people and the sanctuary can get feedback that will help them better be able to place the animal.  A lot of local hotels and restaurants in Kanab allow you to bring the dog.  That is so cool!

If you remember, earlier this week we said the temperature in the motor home plummeted to 41 degrees one night.  When we got back from yesterday’s adventures, it is 101 degrees in the motor home.  Next time we leave on a hot day, we’ll turn the air conditioner on.  I had some Adkins bars in the cabinet and they melted.

 

Alien Encounter

We have had terrible problems getting internet access the last couple days.  Even our hot spot doesn’t have enough oompf to load a page.  We’re sitting here at Starbucks and I’m still having problems with my computer but Regis is having no problems with his Apple.  Go figure.

While sitting here, I am reminded of how tidy my dog is.  He doesn’t like to see crumbs on the floor, so he promptly cleans them up.  He feels the same way on the patio at Starbucks and feels compelled to clean up under the tables.

Early in our travels yesterday morning, we encountered an alien!

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This guy seems friendly. I guess he doesn’t know about Roswell.

 

Our Where’s Dart picture is:  (By the way, that’s snow.)

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Where’s Dart (3)?

 

Friday, we went to the Kolob Canyon entrance to Zion.  There is SIGNIFICANTLY less congestion at this entrance to the park.  We couldn’t walk Dart anywhere, so we drove through and took some pictures from the overlooks.  If you have never been to Zion, you must go.  The scenery must be experienced.  You can’t get a description or a picture that matches the experience of standing there and witnessing the grander of the natural spectacle before your eyes.

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Zion National Park.

On the way back, we traveled on a back road that cuts through the park.  I got the car washed on Wednesday.  You couldn’t tell after we finished our trek through the mountains.  A significant part of the way was dirt roads and some of them were very rutted.  I’m glad we have the jeep.  We had no problem with the roads and got to see more splendid scenery.  Regis got the following picture along the way.  It looks like someone set this spot up to be their living room.

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Chair strategically placed to see beautiful sunsets in Zion National Park.

Zion National Park

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Dart at the entrance to Zion National Park.

We had two correct guesses on Dart’s location.  He was in Zion National Park.  After we set up a new camp yesterday and scheduled maintenance for the motor home, we set out for Zion National Park.  It was a beautiful drive.  We were not able to see Zion canyon because private vehicles are not allowed in the canyon and dogs are not allowed on the shuttles.  The Park Service runs shuttles through the canyon.  We have done that before and it is great way to experience the Park.

Dogs are allowed on one trail that begins at the visitor’s center, so we embarked upon that hike.  The scenery was stunning.  The trail is paved and it is wheelchair accessible.  We saw several folks on motorized scooters enjoying the scenery.  These are people who would not otherwise have been able to enjoy this view if the park service did not provide this accessibility.  The Park Service should be applauded for doing such a great job making our public lands accessible to everyone.

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Zion National Park viewed from the dog friendly hike we took.

There is not much shade on this hike, so we couldn’t go the whole way.  It is 1.75 miles one way.  We probably got half way before we turned back because Dart started shutting down.

At the beginning of the hike, we saw a mother deer with her young one.  He looked to be a second year fawn because he was sporting some antlers.  The mother deer was upset about Dart and concerned about him getting between her and her son.  When we realized her discomfort, we backed off and waited until it was safe to pass without causing her anxiety.  Dart was oblivious to all this.

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Mother deer at Zion National Park.
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Baby male deer at Zion National Park.

Today we did domestic things.  The windshield repair folks showed up this morning but had the wrong windshield, so they will return tomorrow morning.  We hung around the motor home this afternoon and Regis found a pool table in the game room.  We played several games of pool and Regis won every one of them.

As I finish up this post, we are watching a storm head this way.  The weather is beautiful at this elevation.  We were able to sleep with the windows open last night and it was very comfortable.   (In stark contrast to the night before.)

Brrrr and Where’s Dart 2?

I have two pictures of Dart’s location.  He will be in a National Park or National Monument.

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Where is Dart? (2)
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Where is Dart? (2)

Today we had a big change in plans.  Yesterday, we set up camp at a higher elevation.  Since our heater is out, we can use the heat pump instead.  Regis warned me it wouldn’t work well if it got too cold.  Last night it got too cold.  In fact, the heat pump gave out altogether and spewed cold air.  The temperature outside dropped to 32 degrees.  Inside the motor home it was 41 degrees.  One of the reasons I like having a motor home is to escape cold temperatures.  Regis and I froze last night.  Dart was fine.  He slept between us and we sucked as much warmth out of him as we could.  Last night, Dart wasn’t big enough.

I found a new campground at a lower (warmer) elevation.  Then, I tried to move up our already scheduled repair appointment.  We were able to move it up two days.   We were scheduled to stay at the high elevation campground for 7 days and only stayed 1.  Fortunately, the campground didn’t charge me for the nights we didn’t use.  He said he could have but he was being nice by not doing so.

When I was selecting a new campground, I checked on the internet to see what their temperatures were last night.  I think we will be okay here until the heater gets fixed.  Unfortunately, we aren’t as strategically located next to the parks and monuments as we were but we’ll work through it and be happy for the warmth.

US 89

We spent a large portion of the day driving north on US Highway 89.  It was so unbelievably beautiful that I can’t begin to describe it.  I took a bunch of fly by pictures (from the motor home).  I don’t like the result when you do that but we can’t safely stop on the highway.  I think it is better than nothing.  I’ve selected a few pictures below, but they don’t begin to show how beautiful the route was.

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Cameron, Arizona, Highway 89 (on an Indian reservation)
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Highway 89, Arizona
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Highway 89 Arizona
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Highway 89 Arizona
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Vermillion Cliffs
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Highway 89 Arizona
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Lake Powell off of Highway 89 Arizona
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Highway 89 Utah

Tomorrow we go adventuring from our base spot in Utah.  There are several National Parks and Monuments not to mention scenic byways and backways and state parks, etc.  You could probably spend a life time exploring here.   Our jeep will come in handy because there are numerous roads to travel that require 4-wheel drive.  They aren’t passable if it rains, so we will alter plans depending on the weather.

Next week, we will spend time in St. George getting repairs.  Originally, we only had to get our heater fixed.  Now, we have to get the windshield fixed.  We met with a rock today.  The damage is 44 mm x 35 mm or 1 3/8 inches x 1 3/4 inches.  Hmmmm.  It’s always something.

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Windshield mishap on the motor home. Encounter with a rock.

The time zones out here are driving me crazy.  Arizona does not participate in daylight savings time so I have to really think about what time it is.  The phones are usually accurate but our other clocks that should automatically update, don’t always get it right.  Fortunately, we aren’t doing anything that requires us to be somewhere at a specific time.  So, if we don’t really know what time it is, who cares?

One last thing.  The wind is crazy.  Really crazy.  I guess not having trees is a significant contributor to the situation.  Every so often, we are ready to get to Oregon to get out of the wind.  It is REALLY HARD to play flying disk with Dart when the wind blows so hard.

Dart was in the Grand Canyon National Park

If you guessed it correctly, you are amazing.  Plus, you pay attention to what the US has to offer in its amazing public lands.

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Dart in Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon National Park is awesome.  Of course it is.  How could it not be amazing with such spectacular scenery?  But, I am awed at how well the Park Service handles that many people.  They do a great job and should be commended for it.  The Grand Canyon Village is well maintained and even though numerous people where there, it was a pleasant experience.

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Grand Canyon National Park

Of course, taking a blue merle sheltie with you causes a lot of people to stop and ask about him.  He is so beautiful that most people think he must be a female.  Dart was well behaved on our walk.

We walked on the rim trail because it is dog friendly.  I was amazed at how easy it was to fall to your death in the canyon.  It made me wonder how many people step one step too far and plunge.  I know it is a gruesome thing to say, but it looks very easy to do.  I don’t know the statistics, but I advise you to be careful while you are there and don’t worry so much about the selfie that you forget to be careful.

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Grand Canyon National Park

We arrived through the south entrance to the park, which was packed.  We exited through the east entrance to head back to Flagstaff.  It was not very congested.  We saw an elk with velvet on his antlers.  He caused a traffic jam but I am sure he thrilled all the folks who got to see him.

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Elk in Grand Canyon National Park

We left through an Indian reservation.  We will head this way again when we go to Utah, so I hope to stop and check out some of the art items they have for sale.

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Grand Canyon National Park
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Grand Canyon National Park
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Grand Canyon National Park