Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sunny Fall in Arizona - 2008

   In the last travelog, I rambled on about my hike across the Grand Canyon, but neglected to tell you about the rest of our trip south.  We started out spending a night in Nephi at Gary’s cousin’s house.  We’ve been trying to do that for 2 years, but truck problems interceded.  This time we succeeded and Gary finally got to play the golf course there.  We spent a couple days at the Richfield Elks, where we always park right next to the golf course.  Then it was on to Kanab, We’ve always wanted to tour the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary about 5 miles north of Kanab, Utah, on hiway 89.  We pass it each Spring and Fall as we travel north and south, but have never taken time to stop.  This time since we were only driving from Richfield to Kanab, we called and reserved a spot on one of their tours.  Best Friends is the largest sanctuary for abused and neglected animals in the country.  On any given day about 2,000 dogs, cats, and other companion animals
receive special care at this 3,000 acre sanctuary in Angel Canyon, Utah.  The animals come from shelters and rescue groups all over the country.  Most of the animals are soon adopted into new homes, but for those too emotionally scarred by abuse, traumatized by injuries, or suffering from serious illnesses, Best Friends will be a true home and haven for the rest of their lives.  Besides dogs & cats, there are horses, feathered friends, bunnies, pot bellied pigs, and other animal friends as well.  You can learn more about them at 
     The tour lasted about 90 minutes and gave us a good look at their extensive operation.  You may have seen the series “Dog Town,” on the National Geographic Channel.  It’s filmed at Best Friends.  They took a lot of Katrina animals in there.  One of the dog compounds we drove past housed what are called the “Victory Dogs.”  They are the dogs from Michael Vicks, the Atlanta football player guilty of running a dog fighting ring.  Only staff work with these dogs at this time, as they are in the process of being resocialized and learning what it means to be a dog.  They’re hopeful most will be able to be adopted eventually, but it’s a slow process, when dogs are traumatized so severely as those were.
    We stayed at an RV park in Kanab, which gave us a chance to dump and fill with water before our 10 days of dry camping  at the Grand Canyon.  Of course, Gary played golf.  We also found several geocaches on our way south.  Since we’ve arrived back in Casa Grande, Gary had a couple of weeks off and was able to golf at several of the local courses. 
    I started back to work at Kokopelli Quilts right away, but only working 2 days a week. I’d helped with the move, but hadn’t worked in the new store yet.  It’s really nice to have so much room for the fabric and more room for classes and open sewing as well.   Sandy, the shop owner,  had  put a poster up on our shed, welcoming us back and was even there with hugs when we arrived.  It’s always nice to get back to our Arizona home and be welcomed back by our SKP, quilting, and golfing families down here.  
    About 3  weeks after we got back here, I had the good fortune of going to the International Quilt market in Houston Texas, with the shop owner.  Although very overwhelming, I learned a lot and really enjoyed the classes, workshops, and exhibits.  Unfortunately for Sandy, she was still wearing a boot and using a knee walker, following incomplete bone healing from bunion surgery.  It made the long days even longer, as it was very tiring and difficult for her to push herself around in the carpeted showroom and hallways.   We came back with lots of new ideas, patterns, and fabric to try out.  We also met quilters from all over the world and especially enjoyed the company of four women we met from New Zealand.  We wound up spending quite a bit of time with them, including a nice dinner our last night there.   We saw Marie Osmond promoting her line of fabric, asseccories, & a sewing machine by Janome.  Eleanor Burns was on our plane into Houston and I got to
talk with her several times, including taking a class with her.  She’s just as nice as she seems on TV and a real hoot.  Yes, we all tossed our fabric scraps over our shoulders, just like she does on TV!
    Gary and I took a day in mid-October and drove the Apache Trail.  Part of this is a 22 mile dirt road that does past Canyon and Apache Lakes, on its way from Apache Junction to Roosevelt Lake.  We also visited the cliff dwellings at Tonto National Monument.  The dirt road was really something, one lane in many parts, but not one way, so you had to work with the motorists going the other direction.  It was also very steep in sections, with steep drop offs on the side.  It was all gorgeous desert country, with the river cutting a green swath through it.  We had lunch sitting on the saddles at the Tortilla Flat bar, where several movies have been filmed.  Of course, we also found several geocaches along the way.
       Here in Casa Grande, Gary is playing pool both at the clubhouse and Senior Center, and has now joined a league in town.  We saw an awesome performance by the US Army Show Band one evening in the park in town.  They did everything from Big Band, to Country, to Patriotic songs.  We also went to a dinner dance at the local Senior Center.  They have a brand new dance floor, that was really nice to dance on.  We missed being able to go dancing this summer, so it was nice to get back to it again.  My quilt classes have resumed and quilt guild starts this week too.  I’m working on several projects at once, as  I have time.
       My phone quit charging and Gary was due for an upgrade on his phone.  We used it to replace my phone.  While we were at it, we switched the numbers so Gary’s phone is now the 801-455-2101 number and mine is the 307-679-8818 number. You can always leave a message at either phone.  A reminder that we no longer have Pocketmail, so this is our only e-mail address,  Our winter address is still 3241 S. Montgomery Road, Casa Grande, AZ 85293.  Other than when we hope to go to Quartzsite for a couple weeks in January, we’ll be here until at least the 1st of April.  If possible, please send any mail directly to us here, as it avoids us having to pay the mail forwarder to send it on to us.  We’ll let you know when it changes back to Wyoming for the summer.
      I think that brings you all up to date on our busy winter lives.  We’ve having fun!   Can you tell?   What are you all doing?  Dancing away in sunny Arizona.................................
Hugs, Katy, Gary, Rusty, and Spicy