To the Point

Dear Maia and Isaac,

Today came one of my favorite hike: Dead Horse Point State Park. This is a great dog friendly hike that even works for Sazi with her IVDD because it is fairly flat. And, it is a good distance. It takes up 3 hours out and back, but we are slow. I came here on a camping trip through the Southwest with your mom and Erica back in the 80s. That was the first time I walked out to the point. We discovered the kerns (piles of rock) that mark the trail on slick rock. I think that is the first time I ever saw those.

Dead Horse Point Visitor’s Center viewpoint

Since then, I have been back many times. In the 90s, I drove all the way from Montrose and back in one day to take my dog, Apache, on a walk. I brought Maizzy on a Christmas break trip in 2013 and I decided it was a place where I wanted to spend more time. So, since 2017, we have come every year for my birthday. We came through in 2016 as part of the Utah camping road trip.

The walk out to the point is an easy trail for dogs.

It was a beautiful, sunny late winter day. It started chilly, but by late afternoon, the sun did a good job of warming us up. The hike is a couple of miles out to the point. I carried Maizzy in her old Outward Hound pack and she did pretty well – better than she has in her other carriers this year. It is cause it keeps her flat and she can sleep, I think. The K-9 sportsack was better for my back, this is better for hers. She is old so she wins. Sazi walked a good portion of the way out and then rode in my roo shirt. I haven’t hiked with Maizzy in a pack for a while, I am a tad sore tonight.

Maizzy in her Outward Hound backpack

I love the vistas along the way and have fun taking photos of the dogs every time we visit. I always take them in the same place so I will have a record of the changes in them over the years. There have been a few movies shot here – my favorite is Thelma and Louise. Anyway, it at one point the neck of land is only wide enough for the 2-lane road. The lookout is an awesome overview of the Colorado River.

Kachina, Maizzy and Sazi pose (for treats) at the overlook

After we got back to the car, we continued 4 miles past Dead Horse to Canyonlands Island in the Sky. I first went here the time I was camping in the 1980. It is a nice drive and we got there earlier than usual. I felt a little more relaxed with more time and the dogs where tired from Dead Horse. Except Kachina, because Kachina never sleeps when there is an adventure. I love her terrier energy.

Overlook at Dead Horse Point

National Parks are boring for dogs because they can’t get out. And, I can’t get out much, but I can do roadside photography. Which was fun today because it was warm and the roads weren’t icy. The canyons are so deep and so far below, they look like tiny cracks but they are really canyons. I love how 3D canyons are here with all the layers of buttes. I wish my camera captured it better, but I have 2 dogs to carry in packs so I will take what photos I can.

Canyonlands Island in the Sky

Tomorrow we will go to Arches. I am thinking we may go downtown shopping first because photos are better a little later in the day and I want to let Kachina walk off some energy first.

A wild road into the canyon at Canyonlands National Park

I decided today that I will probably say goodbye to Maizzy in April. It is hard because she isn’t in pain much but she can’t walk on a leash due to vision, her knees are gone from arthritis, and she just gets so confused. When she gets a drink, it takes her 5 minutes. People say they know when there dog is ready to go but I don’t think it is that clear. I know her meds cost close to $200 a month. She depends on me for everything – she even needs a diaper at night so she stays sanitary. Today made me a little sad to think it is her last trip here. She use to walk the whole way out and back with me – I miss that.

Red canyon walls at Canyonlands: Icon of the Southwest

Love, GMH

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