During our first trip south in 2011/12, we moved to a new location every three to five days, which means we visited a bunch of places. The stops I remember well typically involved something delicious to eat or some other doggy favourite thing. So when T and Nollind mentioned a return trip to a state park with red rocks that we visited on that first trip, well, it could have been any number of places.
And then she showed me the photos, and it all came back to me. You see, most of the red-rock places we visited that trip were in Utah’s national parks and therefore the trails were off limits to canines. Sad, right? But in Nevada, just north of Las Vegas, we visited a state park called Valley of Fire where dogs were welcome to hike the trails (on a leash, of course). So we got a bunch of great photos of us dogs on the red rocks.
My plan was to show you side-by-side images of us then and now, sans Logan, but there was only one spot where this was possible, at a roadside stop called “The Beehives” near the entrance to the park.
The other main activity of that day back in 2011 was walking a loop trail called White Domes. What none of us remembered, because it wasn’t important at the time, was how steep the trail is near the start and how deep the sand. This year I walked the first part of the trail until we got to the downhill over lumpy boulders into the canyon. I probably could have made it with some help from my peeps, but then I’d have had to climb up somewhere along the trail and the day was heating up, especially sandwiched as we were between the red cliffs on each side of the trail.
So, we returned to the parking lot and walked the last part of the loop until we reached a tricky rock to climb down right next to a nice shady spot to rest. Shady rest stop it was.
There is nothing quite like returning to something you once did to make a guy realize just how much older he is and how much less he’s capable of. I’ve actually been doing really well lately. At our last camp, I hiked to the top of a steep little hill for the sunset view every evening and felt quite proud of myself. But that steep little hill would be nothing for the young dog who hiked in the Valley of Fire in 2011.
We’re in the last week of our journey now, camping in another of Nevada’s state parks. The desert is heating up, so my peeps brought me to a higher elevation where it’s cooler. The few days of hot weather back in Lake Havasu had me feeling pretty melty and caused my digestive system to start rebelling again. Since I know they enjoy warm evenings in flip-flops and shorts, I feel bad that it’s too cool up here at night for that kind of attire, but I appreciate how good they are to me.
If all goes as planned, barring snowstorms on our route, we should be homeward bound next Fur-iday. I’ll try to check in from the road!