My Trip around the country in 2001 with Halley

Friday, July 15, 2011

Leg 9: Zion National Park and The Grand Canyon (again)

July 15

When we got up to leave Vegas, Halley and I were excited but Shawn and Siobhan were not one bit. Drinking all night in Vegas doesn't work well when you need to be up extra early on a 100'+ day. They were tired and groggy and struggled getting their stuff in the car. That was probably the hottest I have ever felt. Once we were all set, we grabbed drinks and a bite and got on the road. Without the air conditioning, it was hot to even to breathe the air, but we stopped to get cold water and ice cream every so often so that Shawn and Siobhan were ok and Halley wasnt overheating. We passed through the northwest corner of Arizona and then crossed into Utah. This was the start of one of the most interesting experiences of my life.
Leg 9: 270 miles
            As we entered Utah, we stopped at a gas station to refuel and get some food. Shawn started talking to a very tall black guy with dreads down his back. He was sitting near some bushes while his dog went to the bathroom. I was a bit taken back because my impression of Utah was white people everywhere. This was still somewhat true since it turned out this guy and his girlfriend and dog were simply passing through town and headed to somewhere in New Mexico or Texas, I can't recall that part for certain. Shawn learned that they were from Humboldt County, California. At the time, I had no idea what that meant, but taking Shawn's lead, we decided to go to Zion National Park together, as it was on the way to both of our destinations, and hang out afterwards. It sounded like a plan and a half.

            We all got in our cars and headed over to Zion National Park, which seemed like nothing more than a big drive-thru park since we didn't really get into the park much, as our final destination was still a few hours away in Arizona. The views were amazing and the roads steep but we trucked on through and made it up to the a crest where there was a one-way tunnel that took us out of the park. Once out, we all pulled over to the side of the road to take a break and admire the scenery. (This is where I really regret not taking a lot of pictures on this trip)

            Halley was wondering what was up with the other dog, so I found out the dog is part wolf, which made me in awe, but also a bit nervous. He was tame and calm and Halley followed him around intently, almost in admiration. When he started to dig a shallow hole just his size, he made sure to even it all out, then he walked around in circles until he finally he laid down and relaxed. So Halley followed suit. She had never done this before to my recollection and the instinct seemed to kick in. She dug a bit of dirt up, moved around in a circle which seemed to press it down nice and smooth, and then her plopped her body down in the dirt. It was much cooler and for a bit she was finally not panting from the heat; it was her own personal den. Since this time, Halley was picked up this habit and made herself a den wherever she wants to lay down: on the beach, in the woods, on my bed, on her bed, on the couch and pretty much everywhere she decides to relax.

            It was getting dark and we said goodbye to the couple from Humboldt who were nice enough to share with us, and we headed off to the North rim of the Grand Canyon. I left me in the car so he could setup the tent and then got her inside the tent and underneath her blanket as it was now in the high 40s and cold as hell. I could have let Halley sleep in the but it wouldn’t be safe with all the other animals out there. We slept quickly and rested after a long day of driving.

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