River Dog

Something has happened to our crazy P girl this year. She has absolutely completely fallen in love with the river. It is the only place she wants to go. The only place that matters to her, besides like my bed and the bottom of a chicken dinner.

This winter we experienced a big personal tragedy. The best thing we could do to start to heal was to go out in nature. Each weekend we would take ourselves and our dog out for longish nature walks. We went to the Verde River one day in Clarkdale and some lite up inside Penny. We had taken her to creeks and rivers and lakes before but she never seemed all that interested unless it was teeming with ducks.

On this particular day though something changed.

We were walking along the shore and Penny wanted to walk into the water. We let her and she kept skimming the surface of the water. Checking things out, smelling the leaves, taking a poop. All the things dog love.

This kept up for a while. We would take her to the River she would wade in, look for a duck, and keep hiking.

Recently she has gotten more brave she has wadded in until she can’t touch the bottom and has to swim a bit to get around. She is swimming from one side of the river to the other now. Looking for any ducks that might cross her path.

Last month we were on one of our weekend river walks and she jumped from the shore into the water just to chase a duck. It wasn’t actually a duck but a stick sticking out of the water. She swan to it bit it and then swam back so visibly proud of her conquest.

Verde River, Clarkdale, Arizona

She is such a goofy little dog. She reminds me to love things with all my heart and to share those things with my “pack.” She is the joy in a dark and hard time and the crier who will remind us that it is 5:23 and we haven’t taken her on a walk today. She is simply the best.

Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park

This week we celebrated our fourth anniversary! We went back to one of our favorite places, Santa Fe, New Mexico. We went there on part one of our honeymoon and have wanted to go back for a long time.

One of the things we enjoy doing most is taking a long road trip. We find places to stop and hike around and enjoy the long journey to our destination. On our way home from Santa Fe we made three stops and the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona was one of them.

I had been to the park before when I was in high school. It stands out in my memory as one of the most interesting and beautiful landscapes I have ever seen. The first time I drove through was during a summer rainstorm and it made the colors of the desert even more vibrant and beautiful. Our adventure was on a bright and sunny day this time and it was still beautiful.

One of the things that strikes me the most is how ancient the things I am looking at are. The petrified wood formed millions of years ago and can still be observed at the park.

This is a petrified tree that is still preserved in the park.

We only spent about an hour in the park as we were driving home. We stopped at Tawa Point and did a short 2 mile walk along the badlands landscape which was beautiful.

Tawa Point Hike

We drove through the rest of the park. There are two entrances and we entered in the east entrance and exited the west entrance near Holbrook. Traveling this way provided a wonderful scenic drive on our way home and I would recommend this strategy if you are stopping by on a drive on the 40. We enjoyed driving through the park with our windows down and rocking out a little too hard to “Free Bird.” It felt like the right thing to do on a perfect Arizona afternoon.

Tawa Point hike

Check out the Petrified Forest National Park webpage for more information!