Wednesday, April 1, 2009

the greatest earth on show

Hello and happy April ... a new month awaits! ...

As Sal and I drove out of Zion National Park on Monday, we snapped a few more photos there ... thought I'd share them as a short continuation of my previous post:

I spotted this unique rock formation and decided to check it out up-close ... take a look at the incredible layers and folds in the rock!
These plants are all over Zion, and their grayish-green color contrasts so beautifully with the desert sand:
bye-bye Zion!
The small towns across southern Utah are filled with roadside rock shops, sometimes several of them in a row!
After departing Zion, we took a little detour south to Kanab, Utah. It's a small town not far from the Utah-Arizona border, and is famous for its red rock formations ... as you enter Kanab this is the sign that greets you ... and WHOA, I love that clever motto!

Kanab is even more famous for the many TV shows and movies that have been filmed there (Gunsmoke, Planet of the Apes, and some Clint Eastwood movies). Sidebar: Utah has been the filming location for over 800 movies & TV shows, including several scenes in movies like Thelma & Louise, Forrest Gump, Footloose, Dumb and Dumber, and High School Musical 1, 2, & 3. Isn't that interesting?

But Sal and I were drawn to Kanab for another reason, to visit a very special place, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. With about 1,800 animals (yes, sadly, they have that many!), it's the largest no-kill sanctuary for domestic animals in the USA, located in beautiful (and aptly-named) Angel Canyon. They're celebrating their 25th anniverary this year, but I first heard about their great work back in the 90s, and ever since I've thought "...if I'm ever in southern Utah, I'll stop and visit...". Happily, that day finally came on Monday! Sal and I toured this gentle, peaceful place where animals get all the care, attention, and TLC that they need ... for the rest of their lives. BF's creed is "A better world through kindness to animals". How profound, I love it!
It was wonderful to meet some of the animals, to learn their stories ... what brought them there is always a sad tale, but now they're safe and will live happily ever after. It was difficult to be there at first, I knew it would be, hearing what caused these animals to require such sanctuary. And that includes some of the dogs rescued from Michael Vick's dogfighting case, and some animals rescued after Hurricane Katrina. Overall, though, it's an uplifting place. We met this sweet dog (below, right) who lived his entire life tied to a chain, unloved ... so when he first arrived at Best Friends, he was completely anxiety-ridden, and would pace around until his paws were bloody. Awful.

But the staff worked with him, and now he's calm and living the comfortable life that all animals deserve! Best Friends has a whole wall showcasing recently-adopted dogs, it's touching:

I renewed my BF membership during my visit, and so they asked me to pin my name to my hometown on their map ... I'm the first "pin" for southeast Florida!

This was such a special part of our trip to Utah! So if you're ever in the southern Utah area, please consider taking a tour of Best Friends. And they allow volunteering for a few hours, or even days, if you'd like.

After we said good-bye to our new "best friends", we were on our way to our next park for more of "the greatest earth on show". Along the way we passed by Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, and decided on a whim to check it out. Glad we did! As the name implies, it's a stunning display of unique and colorful geology, sand dunes. Sand that is eroded from nearby rock formations is deposited here and then forms orangey-pinkish, wind-swept dunes. Of course, the color is so fantastic because the original sandstone hue is too!

We spent all of Tuesday exploring gorgeous Bryce Canyon National Park. And I'm so pooped from hiking that I haven't sorted through our Bryce photos yet! But I'll be back here ASAP to post details and pics of that amazing park.

On Wednesday, we're driving the incredibly scenic Highway 12 to our next stop, Capitol Reef National Park.

By the way, thanks to everyone who has posted comments or e-mailed me to say how you've enjoyed joining me for this journey through Utah ... I really love knowing that! We're having a great trip (except that I miss Buddy & Aruba terribly!).


1 comment:

Momofboys said...

So glad you and Sal were able to stop in on the animal sanctuary since animals are so dear to your heart! Hope you enjoy the rest of your journey and thanks again for sharing!