Monday, June 29, 2015

Back at it

I left Anchorage Thursday, June 25, and dropped into the bowels of hell called Phoenix.  Hotter than hot, 109 degrees.  My God, what am I thinking?  I’m not, except about that next ride.  And so it will begin; I’ll be back at it.

My friend, Verlie, picked me up at the airport.  It’s always great to see her, and why my Lower 48 bike is kept at her and Joe’s place.
It doesn't hurt that my friends have a dog to play with.
We spent the evening chatting, and Saturday packing.  They were heading to Colorado and I was heading to Utah.  We would leave at the same time but go different directions.  There wasn’t much blog fodder during that time.
There was one attraction ... a dove that had made a nest on their patio.  She kept giving me the evil eye.
On Saturday we all left, and I was on the road again, back at it.  It wasn’t a great ride as I had a sinus headache, but the plus was that I was going to north Phoenix to have lunch with some friends.  Another plus was that we were going to Cracker Barrel.

I was back on the road about 12:30 heading north to Sedona on Highway 17.  But, the best of plans … an accident had shut the northbound down.  Baking in the heat was not my idea of a fun day, and I was grateful that there was a rest stop I could get to.  I wasn’t the only one that had thought of that.  I later found out that not only was there the one accident, but there were three more near the rest stop … lookie lou’s, I guess. 

Hanging around a rest stop isn’t my idea of fun, and in talking to a lady who lived in Sedona, she told me she was going to go back and go around through Prescott.  That would add to my ride, but probably was my best option.  Off I went.

Yes, it added miles.  About 150.  By the time I reached my hotel I felt so bad and sick that the guy at the front desk handed me a bottle of water.  Headache, nausea, neck ache, extreme fatigue.  I’d been blowing snot and coughing up hairballs.  All-in-all it was a very unpleasant day.  By the time I got to the room, all I could do was drink, and fall into bed and sleep for 10 hours.
Maybe there was a bit of altitude sickness involved, too??
On Sunday, I was up, and feeling a bit better, but still sick to my stomach and headachy.  Must be the heat.  Drink, drink, drink.  Add electrolytes.  Get on the road.

Kanab was the destination of the day, and Jaz was waiting for me there, with towels from the freezer and cold water.  That made my day as once again I was extremely fatigued.  Dinner would not even help as I only picked at my food, and if you know me even slightly, you know that food is high on my list of priorities.  Not that night.

Another long night of sleep, this time for 11 hours.  I couldn’t get enough.

Monday, June 29, dawned and I finally felt more like myself.  Coffee, and all became right in my world.  My headache was gone and the nausea was, too.  Thank goodness.  Don’t like feeling crappy, and especially not when I’ve things to do, places to go, and things to see.

Today’s mission, besides riding, was to visit the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, located at a 5,500-foot elevation about 5 miles north of Kanab.  What a great place.  The 3,700-acre setting is absolutely stunning, although I’m not sure the 1,700 animals currently residing there know that.  Horses, pigs, bunnies, Guinea pigs, parrots, but mostly cats and my favorite, dogs, live here.  They have Beagles, but I never got close to one, only from a distance. 
There are lots of birds around and I'm sure they're not included in the animal count.
This place is unique, a no-kill shelter. They want to “save them all.”  And I expect my donation will help in a small way toward that.

We took a tour that took us to the puppy pre-school where we met Snowball, a little fluff ball who was very excited to meet us.  This is where they are spayed or neutered and learn some of the manners that they will need when they go to their new homes.
What a sweet baby.
Other areas have dogs that are older and need more training or rehabilitating prior to being put up for adoption. 

After our tour Jaz and I rode a dirt, and a bit of clay mud, to go back to the Angel’s Rest pet cemetery.  Again the scenery is spectacular with the red rock and cliffs, and there’s a beautiful solar-powered water fountain that is quite calming. 
All enter these beautiful gates.
The area is the perfect setting for what these people do here to save animals.
There are more than 7,500 buried here, and they aren’t just from the sanctuary.  People from all over have their beloved pets here, and many have some that are remembered on the wind chime trees. 
The wind chime trees are a wonderful addition to a pet cemetery,
Each wind chime tree has a loving memory.
While the breeze usually only starts up in the afternoon, while we were there a gentle breeze came through, and the chimes came alive making me feel I was being greeted by all those who had passed over the Rainbow Bridge.  In fact, they were quite noisy in making their presence known.  I couldn’t help but be emotional, thinking of all the wonderful pets I’ve had, knowing that I’ve also had a hand in rescuing as only one has been a puppy.
Everywhere you look there are mementos of pets past.

The layout and how the cemetery is laid out is astonishing and so beautiful.
How could I ignore a pet named Queenie?  I had no colored stones or glass, only pennies.

There are walls where people have the cremains and mementos of their pets.

And this beautiful stone sent me on my way.
This place also has a place in my heart because they took in 22 of the fighting dogs POS Michael Vick had.  They were able to rehabilitate and adopt out 13 of them, which is miraculous.  In fact, I met a dog who had been in that same type of situation, and what a sweetheart he was.  Buddy had no ears and had to have some reconstructive surgery on his head, but he was a pleasure to meet.  He gently nibbled my hand, and I could have spent an hour petting him. 
Look at that gentle face, a fighter?  No.  Shouldn't be.  Never.  Ever.  Him or any other animal.
A few friends got together and started this place, buying land when they realized they couldn’t adopt all the animals out or keep them all.  There are 600 paid staff with five vets.  Currently there are 400 dogs, 600 cats, 50 horses and the other variety of species completing the numbers.  Best of all, Best Friends has partners from Alaska to Florida.

The rest of the day was spent riding, and it was a great day … some cloud cover, a few little sprinkles to , cool everything off and get the bikes dirty ending in Price, Utah.