May in Utah

My friends Martine and Patrick picked me up at Terry’s home and we drove to the airport in Bellington, WA to catch a flight to Las Vegas from the US side.  The discount airline was bare bones but relatively inexpensive. We arrived safely amidst the cheers of a well-lubricated planeful of party-goers. A few hours later we drove into St. George, UT for the ‘mostly’ annual Akbash Dogs International Gathering. Our gracious and brave host was Rene Fleming, long-time treasurer for our dog club.

Our first full day found us getting lost in a city that is currently the fastest growing urban centre in the US, so I’m told. Thank goodness for GPS! We spend a hot, dry afternoon checking out a desert botanical garden (Red Hills Parkway) and the arts village in Ivins at the northwest edge of the city.

 

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Patrick and Martine, my fellow travellers

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I’m enjoying a chilled, fruity Sangria at the cafe in the arts village of Ivins

The next day Martine and I joined our host, Rene, and Akbash Dog owners Diane Spisak and Kat Medrea on an outing to Zion National Park.

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Zion National Park

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Meanwhile, Patrick had a blast mountain biking.  No photos of all his fun, however.

We enjoyed our gathering today, and had the opportunity to visit with friends we had not seen in years, plus meet several new members. A guest speaker introduced us to the concept of using healing energy to help our pets with health issues and to relieve stress. And we discussed club business and had discussions about how to reduce the number of dogs that are abandoned by sheep ranchers and other dog owners, and who end up in rescue.

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A giant spider installation made from recycled metal, including a head made of old license plates!
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Another art work based on Jules Verne’s fantasy world in the middle of old town St. George

After the meeting, Rene took us on a short tour of old town St. George, adorned with several fascinating art installations. The day ended with a meal together at a local Mexican restaurant. On the menu for tomorrow –  a walk to see some of the local petroglyphs, then to say farewell to our host and other friends. Martine and Patrick will head home, and I will await the arrival of my dear friend, Elaine Dillingham, who I have not seen in 22 years!

 

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