Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Stella carries us to Arizona

Once leaving Zion National Park we continued to Kanab where we had the most delicious lunch of family cooked Mexican food at Escobars Mexican Restaurant (rated #4 of 33 eateries in Kanab). This eatery also garnered "Certificate of Excellence 2014."

Juniper berries . . . so beautiful sparking in the sunlight.
Coyotes eat the berries in the Winter as do
many of the birds living in the Pinon/Juniper forests.

At Canyon de Chelly we saw a Bendire's Thrasher,
a new to us bird, gleening Juniper berries. It haas an awesome song!
The Native Peoples we encountered called this
tree a Cedar tree; using the dried berries in jewelry
and dreamcatchers like the one below we bought.

We back tracked to Best Friends Sancturary which is set in Angels' Canyon with its beautiful red sandstone cliffs. Best Friends owns nearly 3,700 acres, and they lease another 17,000 acres of state and federal land. What an awesome place and on a mission, not just local but nationally and internationally as well, advocating a "no kill" policy of animals, fostering spay and neutering programs, and working to eliminate "puppy mills." Shasta loved the place trotting about like she owned the place!

This Canyon Wren was at the overlook for the
Horseshoe Rock outside of Page, Arizona.
We saw our first one on the Riverwalk,
Zion National Park. What a stunning bird with a lovely voice.
Another spectacular view outside of Page, Arizona, of the Colorado River.
After three nights in Page, Arizona where we hiked a fabulous trail over red sandstone with panoramic views each morning with Shasta, we traveled to Goulding's, Utah. Both Dwight and I read Under the Eagle: Samuel Holiday Navajo Code Talker while on the Navajo Reservation. The use of the Navajo language during WWII to protect messaging hit me a so ironic since the United States government spent much money and effort in eradicating the Native Peoples' language. In many places we visited we noticed a conserted effort to save the languages from extinction. In New Mexico over half of the Native Peopes children in elementary school speak their native language.


We called the apartment on the bottom floor, left hand side,  of the right most building home
for three night and four days. The first two days there was rain/sleet/snow cancelling
the balloon launching those days of the annual three day event here.

We hiked even in the inclement weather enjoying the glorious surroundings.

The Navajo people were very welcoming of us to partake of their music and dancing.

For me hiking the circumference of West Mitten (the left butte) 
on the Wildcat Trail was the highlight 
of this incredibly magnificent spot on the planet. 
It is no wonder that this area is one of the most photographed on the planet.
We took with us on our hike a brochured identifying some
of the native plants we might see along the path. The information
included medicinal uses as well as the dyeing, and the Navajo name.
Monuement Valley is actually inhabited by the Navajo.
They are gracious to allow us to visit and hike on their lands.
We felt honored to see this Navajo family's home. Some still live in the "old
way" while others have running water and electricity.

Spider Rock from Spider Rock Overlook
Ancient ruins from the White House Overlook
On the canyon floor farming is still carried out by the Native Peoples.
Shasta and Cathie taking in the view from Antelope House Overlook.

As you soak in the beauty of these places, may you


  1. Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing. Also, I had no idea Stella was electric blue! :)

  2. An email from Shasta's "grandpa" who is the human grandpa for Coco, Shasta's favorite dog for a playdate: "I can't show Coco these pictures of Shasta on vacation....she'd be SO jealous! What beautiful places you visited! Pete"