Roving Retrievers-Tails and Trails

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

Day 23, St George, UT-Sedona, AZ 304 miles, 6 hours 10 min

Our stay in St George was fantastic. The area is vast and beautiful offering a diverse selection of activities to keep our day busy. As I had unloaded the bikes upon our arrival to St George Sue and I contemplated going for a bike ride as years ago we use to come to the area to ride our road bikes. Unfortunately the weather turned cooler, cold actually, which made it difficult to look forward to putting cold weather gear on for a ride so hiking and scouting out the area is what we chose to do. The early morning temperatures were in the low 30’s, mid day temps in the 50’s but there were golfers on the course every day. I guess our blood is simply getting thinner as we age so we’ll hold off on the bike ride until we get to La Quinta, CA.

As much as we like the St George area it’s time to load up and get this show back on the road. Today’s car trip will take us to Sedona, AZ. I have only been to Sedona once before but I remember the areas unique beauty quite well and can’t wait to see it once again.

Today we woke early, fed and let the dogs outside as we were going to go to Pioneer Park to watch this mornings sunrise. Head lamps and an extra layer of clothes were in order so once we gathered our gear it was time to put the boys in the car to head out. Pioneer Park is on the north side of St George. It is about 400 feet above town but only about ¼ mile north of town offering spectacular views from above. As the red rock bluffs tower above town and continue north there are no buildings or houses. There is no transition from town to the bluffs which really is very unique. The park has many red rocks, some perhaps as high as 75 feet, which are rather easy to climb so once we get the dogs leashed up, off we go to find a great vantage point. It’s been said the sun is never guaranteed to rise every day but the eastern sky is just beginning to show the break of a new day indicating the sun will surely rise at least one more time. As expected, we were all treated to an absolutely beautiful sunrise but not much time to hang out as today, we’ll be on the move again.

2019-01-24 07.10.05

Back at the house it’ time for a quick breakfast. Sue and I hustle to get the house back in order while we each pack our things. Sue decided to take the dogs on another hike while I load the bikes and the car top carrier as this mornings sunrise hike didn’t offer much energy expenditure for the dogs and we’ll be in the car for a while today.

Once Sue and the dogs return I’m just about ready to go. Geographically we don’t have far to go today but the Grand Canyon is in the way. Straight line distance about 175 miles but we’re going to have to drive over 300 miles as we circumvent the canyon. In route we are treated to a beautiful ride. Our trip begins by driving through Zion National Park. State Hwy 9 serpentines through the park and after climbing a couple thousand feet we drove through a narrow 1.1-mile-long tunnel that cuts right through the middle of the park. Spectacular views! As we continue on our route of travel, we cross the Colorado river at the east end of the Grand Canyon. Glen Canyon Dam, which forms Lake Powell offers the last bridge north of the Grand Canyon to cross the Colorado. Our route takes us through Flagstaff, the ride from Flagstaff to Sedona brings us to a decent that is not for the faint of heart. Switch backs which have 15 mph speed limits for almost 8 miles.

View from car in Zion

View from car in Zion

We arrive into town which is where our rental through Home Away is located. The owner, Jackie, greeted us as we arrived, showed us around and even treated us to a bottle of red wine. Jackie provided some local intel of the best places to eat and where to grocery shop. The dogs have been in he car a long time today so first thing first, a hike is in order. A quick search on the All Trails app tells us there is a hike within walking distance of our rental so off we go. 3+quick miles on a beautiful trail and it’s time for the boy’s dinner.

They were great in the car again today but tomorrow Sue has a special spot to take the boys. Sedona is host to perhaps the most beautiful dog park in the country. Three huge fenced in areas providing ample space to run hard and meet new four legged friends. The views from the park are simply breath taking. Sue had been here once before and the park lived up to her review. While there we met several locals who are all happy to provide ideas for additional hikes while we are in the area.

Sedona - Devil's Bridge

Sedona – Devil’s Bridge

Sedona - spectacular view

Sedona – spectacular view

Another great point of interest along our route of travel but it will be short lived. In two short days we will be in the car again headed to the Phoenix area to see Pam and Fred. Fred is an old running partner of ours. He and Pam retired and moved to Arizona 5 years ago and we can’t wait to catch up!