Two months goes by in a flash when you’re semi-retired! It feels like nothing and everything has happened since the last blog update. A life of hiking, biking, and dog training really makes the days tick by much too fast. Has anyone figured out a way to slow it down yet? Even though we try, we’re failing miserably. The seconds keep ticking. I suppose we’re doing our best to squeeze all the juice we can out of life for those precious minutes, hours, days, months, and hopefully years we have left!
I do have lots of updates though, so let’s get right to it!
After visiting my mom for a few weeks in St. George, UT (where I wrote the last Grizz Update) we headed to Nevada. With the exception of Sin City (Las Vegas) and Lake Tahoe, neither Eric or I knew much about the state. What a shame! This part of Nevada is both diverse and beautiful. If I could sum it up in just one word it would be: Layers.
Wow, wow, wow, wow….W.O.W!
If you EVER have the chance, SKIP Vegas and head straight here! Highway 167 is a real treat and will take you to the Valley of Fire Hwy (which we opted to save for another time…which will be explained more later).
This was absolutely one of the most beautiful drives we’ve ever experienced and we’ve done some driving! I guarantee the photos below don’t even touch the true beauty of this area.
The City of Lights has nothing on this place if you ask me! It was stunning. See what I mean about LAYERS?
Grizz and I stretched our legs on the Redstone Trail which is right off of Hwy 167. There is a nice picnic area here with some good sized pavilions with BBQ grills and tables. Excellent pit stop with a short hiking opportunity to boot.
Not to mention, the rocks were so intricate with interesting shapes, swirls, and crevices! Fun for exploring, photographing, and observing. We even saw three eagles high above the rocks in what looked to be a large nesting spot.
A happy Grizz, who spent at least 25 minutes running circles and rolling around in the cool, damp sand.
And, of course, a happy Jenni. Stretching our legs never felt (or looked) so good!
Northshore Summit Trail
Another nice spot to stop is at the Northshore Summit Trail. A short, but steep(ish) trail with excellent views of the ever expansive mountains beyond. Even on a dreary day, the colors were really popping! Such a sight to see.
Lake Mead ended up being home for about 2.5 weeks. We fell in love with the area due to the views, miles of endless trails, and the peace and quiet. After spending a few weeks in the busy metropolis of St. George, it was a nice reprieve. Unfortunately, the lake is shrinking significantly due to climate change and overpopulation. According to experts, the rapid decline is a huge concern as Lake Mead supplies water to the states of Nevada, California, Arizona and parts of Mexico (over 25 million people). Just another reason we should think about our impact on the environment.
Not a bad place to park for a night or two. Can you spot the little white van on the far right? Places like this make us feel so small.
Initially, the weather was quite cool and damp. It made for perfect hiking weather. It didn’t take Grizz and I very long to kick into explorer mode!
One of us had a little more energy to burn than the other. I’m sure you could guess who that was!
Here are a few more photos of the area:
What a fun day of adventuring!
Uh…wait a sec. What was that???
After getting back from our walk about, Eric got out the binoculars and made an interesting find after hearing some very close, very loud yelps and howls…
Come to find out, the area is full of them! Coyotes, coyotes everywhere—day and night. At one point, they even walked about 20 ft from our camp. Luckily, we had Grizz inside. Scary for a dog owner. We think Grizz was big enough that they would probably leave him alone with the two of us around, but we didn’t want to take any chances!
But these views!
Not a bad front yard, eh?
This was by far our favorite spot. Tucked away from most all other campers who came and went over the course of our 15 days here, it was the perfect retreat! We hiked, biked, played in the crystal clear water. After the brief cold spell moved out, the temps climbed into the upper 60’s and 70’s which was absolutely perfect for February! It was pure bliss.
Here are some photos from our time here. Be prepared, there were too many to choose from and this is 3 weeks worth of adventure!
Grizz and the water, oh my.
This dog probably ran 10 miles while Eric and I picnicked in our own private oasis. He would zoom up and down the sandy hills like a wild banshee. Once he was brave enough to fetch sticks out of the lake we knew we had created a monster. Grizz would dive in, fetch, run out, shake…THEN that’s when the fun started. For some reason he thought it would be a great idea to wallow around in the sand and get completely filthy, sand deeply embedded in all that thick fur. He was a mess!
We tried to outsmart our little man by luring him back into the water to fetch a stick and try to grab him before he could repeat the process. Ha! Right. He’s too fast. We had to wear him out like this for about an hour and THEN try to get him as dry as we could before he rolled around in the sand. This is when we decided Grizz has some kind of super powers because by the time we got 7-8 miles down the road and back to the van, the dog was perfectly clean! What?!? Amazing.
Our final night was spent at this beautiful location that we had all to ourselves. While there was a bit of road noise during the daylight hours, the night was so quiet, you could still hear the coyotes singing their songs.
The earth consisted of a flaky crust of volcanic rock which was pretty rough on Grizz’s paws. Keeping a border collie in a designated area is not an easy task, but Grizz learned pretty quickly to stay on the softer gravel.
You have to admit, it was a pretty stunning front yard though!
Eric BBQ’d us a delicious dinner and we all stood together and watched the sun as it made it’s final debut for the day casting golden hues over the mountains.
The Big Idea
While in Lake Mead, sitting in the van one late afternoon contemplating life and what we were doing (or rather NOT doing), we cooked up a pretty big idea. Remember that bike trip we’ve been talking about for the last 5 years? Well, that journey may come to fruition after all. Next stop? Back to Utah to plan, gather, and train!
Stay tuned for more details on our big bike trip!
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