Roving Retrievers-Tails and Trails

A “tail” of two Golden Retrievers (and their humans)as they travel west:

Day 19, Moab, UT-St George, UT 339 miles, 7 hours

It was nighttime, I have no idea how I got here but I was outside on a hill. Below me and off in the distance I saw a factory. Steam was spewing out of the buildings tall chimney with an unusual rhythm. Rather than a steady stream of steam, it seemed to be billowing up like an Indian sending out smoke signals. Inside the factory I could clearly hear the Whap, Whap, Whap of raw material being converted into something marketable. The sort of noise which made me believe the factory could have been a metal stamping fabrication company, but I really wasn’t quite sure.

I woke, opened my eyes and was looking square into Bobby’s eyes. My bed, the perfect height for Bobby to rest his head on while he stood, his nose a mere three inches from mine. His tail displayed his excitement to start another day as it beat against the nightstand which was made from tin.

And so, another early start, our dog day begins…

Today, the joke is on Bobby. Although he beat the alarm, it was only by minutes. The dogs are unaware today is another travel day, an early start is on the schedule. Today Sue and I are planning the day’s travel a little differently. We packed up last night so as soon as the dogs eat, we’re in the car, the sun has yet to rise.

Dinosaur Megasteps will be this morning’s hike. While searching All TrailsSue found a hike along todays route from Moab to St George, UT. A short 30-minute car drive brings us to the trailhead and 30 minutes closer to our destination. Sue and I may be just as excited about today’s hike as the dogs. The trail information guide promises we will see fossilized dinosaur tracks. I don’t believe we have those in Geneva, IL so whether the dogs want to see them or not, they will.

Dinosaur Track Trail

Dinosaur Track Trail

Minutes before we reach the trailhead the sun breaks the plane of the horizon. The car thermometer reads 17 degrees, which is the coldest it’s been since leaving home. The sky is crystal clear but it’s chilly. It’s safe to say we won’t see any other hikers at this hour so we decide we will allow the dogs to go up the trail without their leases. We bundle up, get the dogs out of the car and head up the trail. In short order we come to an area of the trail with permanent display signs indicating a few billion years ago dinosaurs claimed stake to this same trail. As promised, fossilized dinosaur tracks are at our feet. Worth a car ride from Chicago…I’ll say no but certainly worth a stop along our way to somewhere else.

See the tracks beyond the sign?

See the tracks beyond the sign?

The trail continued up hill for another mile or so. At the end of the trail was an old mine of which we made certain the dogs stayed away from. Bobby being the discoverer he is can’t be trusted in dark holes of any sort so we turn around before he see’s its entrance.

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By the time we return to the car Sue and I walked over three miles. Bobby easily logged between four or five miles as he was running back and forth like a madman. MJ even got into the action and was having a good time too. MJ does exceptionally well in cooler weather, today a perfect morning for him.

Back in the car and within minutes, both MJ and Bobby were lights out. We didn’t hear or see them until our fuel stop three hours later. The slamming of the car door as I got out of the car to fill it up with fuel did not stir either one of them. Sue had to wake them so they could go out for a walk. Once back in the car they slept all the way to St George.

I love a plan when it comes together. Great thinking Sue!

We pull up to our rental in Washington, UT, which is minutes from downtown St George. An Internet search for a pet friendly house on “Home Away” found us the perfect house! The house is situated 100 feet above Coral Canyon Golf Course with mountain views in the distance. The small grassy area considered a back yard is about two and a half Golden Retrievers deep by eight Golden Retrievers wide. A perfect sized yard by our empty nester standards. We actually have a garage so I unload EVERYTHING out of the car. My gosh!, we have packed like the Beverly Hillbillies!

Upon our arrival the sun is shining, the temps in the upper 50’s, the golf course is busy. I believe cold weather is finally behind us. The next five days will be spent in the St George area before we depart for Sedona, AZ and then Goodyear, AZ. Safe to say we won’t see winter again for some time.

After a quick provisioning at the local general store, (Albertsons), “Cooky”, (me), lit the campfire, (Weber gas grill), and cooked a can of beans, (ribeye steaks actually), and popped the cork off a bottle of moonshine, (red wine truth be told). Frontiersman style living at it’s finest! Yeee-HAW!!!!!

Today was another great and fun day of travel. The boys are clearly accustomed to being in the car for an extended period of time and as long as we plan our travel days properly, the boys arrive at their destination well rested and are always ready to hit it hard tomorrow.

Sunset from our deck

Sunset from our deck