Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park – Bryce Canyon NP and Beyond

5/16 – Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park – Utah

Arrived yesterday afternoon on a whim as Steve spotted this park on the map while planning our next day activities. We were en route to Brice Canyon National Park in order to up our batting average but decided to follow the paved road off Rt. 89 for 10 miles to this amazing place covered in pink/coral colored sand dunes.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, UT.  Note the coral pink sand dune in the center of the picture – pointing out the obvious was a skill he learned during his years as a consultant.
Small reptile tracks, he thinks

These active dunes source their sand from the Navajo Sandstone, 80 miles to the south. The Navajo itself is over 2,000 feet of consolidated sandstone deposited the Jurassic Period some 175 million years ago as massive sand dunes. So the sand in these active dunes has come full circle and the sand grains are once again in constant motion migrating over the current landscape (do you like these highly sophisticated geological vignettes? If not don’t read them next time as he makes me say this stuff and I’de rather leave them out).

The old man in full relaxation mode.
Airstream in the sunset…
Another reason he majored in geology

We share the “overflow” camping area with two other rigs, a welcome respite from the more crowded campgrounds surrounding Zion and the Grand Canyon (not to mention Las Vegas). He tells me now we are now seeking out the places “in between”, i.e. in the millions of acres surrounding the great parks of southern Utah where the scenery is still spectacular but the crowds are thin (just like his hair – and skin sometimes).  I like this new strategy.

5/17-18 – Bryce Canyon National Park

The scorecard improvement continues: RV shops 3 ; tire places 1; Las Vegas 1; National Parks 4; State Parks 1.

Not much to add to the photos below
Sunset at Bryce

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Crap, another national park. I know these places have incredible landscapes that draw visitors from around the world (just listen to the jabbering hoards getting off the tour busses and you’ll know what I mean) but they cramp my style with their no-dogs-on-trails restrictions. Luckily Bryce had recently installed a seven mile, paved, hiking and biking trail running just behind the rim trail – no views from this paved trail but that’s ok with me as long as there are bushes to pee on and small game to harass.

Bryce rainbow


The geezers would tie Sky and me up to a tree and hike to the view points to ooh and ah at the rocks and take dozens of Iphone photos, most of which could have been shot by me they were so lame.

Co-pilot – I keep him focused

5/19 – BLM land off of Devils Rock Garden Road, 10 miles east of Escalante, UT

Yippie, back to the in-between country on BLM land which means I can be off leash around the trailer as there are no other campers within 5 miles of our spot. For you boat people reading this it’s like being anchored in a remote Bahamian island with not other boats in sight.

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The Devils Rock Road cuts through a valley and ridge for 55 miles surrounded by spectacular scenery that gets the geo boys very excited. We spend 1.5 days driving and hiking in the area and get to see only about 15% of the good stuff; one could easily spend two weeks in this small region of Utah and see something new every day.

Volcanic boulders transported during the last ice age
Sky and I playing by the stream
Indian Paintbrush – what a great name
“In between” camping, no other people or dogs here


5/20 – BLM land off of Burr Trail Road, 12 miles east of Boulder, UT

We drive 35 miles on Hwy 12 to the small town of Boulder, named for the large volcanic boulders strewn around the town that were deposited there during the melting of the glaciers 30-40,000 years ago. The boulders originated over 50 miles away and could only have been transported by massive glacier runoff capable of picking up rocks this size of trucks. I’m beginning to get the hang of this geology stuff, although it pales in comparison to chasing rabbits and chip monks around the campgrounds.

Laminated sandstone
Yellow lichens on desert varnish
Cactus flowers


We launch off in Steve’s truck early in the morning bound for the southern entrance to Capital Reef National Park, making it the 5th NP visited on this trip, so the number of NP’s now is greater than the number of RV repair shops and tire stores (5 and 4 if you are keeping score at home), he seems to be getting his shit together…finally!

Your roots are showing

Las Vegas – Hurricane, UT

5/13-16 – WillowWind (yes, one word) RV Park, Hurricane, UT

We arrived early afternoon after a 2.5 hr drive from Las Vegas. I couldn’t wait to get out of that town as I spent two days cooped up in his trailer (the AC and soft bed were nice and he did return every 3-4 hours to walk me) but the only wildlife I was able to find were some stupid pigeons pan handling for popcorn on the sidewalks.

My typical day in Vegas, so happy to get out of here without him going broke or in jail

 Things improved in the afternoon as we drove to the Zion National Park Visitors center so he could read about the geology of the park – he’s seems to be quite fond of rocks as I see him bagging up small specimens he collects on our walks and writing some sort of information on the bag. The only variation on this behavior was in Las Vegas where he came home with his collection already in a bag, they weren’t rocks though, rather some sort of green leafy stuff with names like “Va Voom Vegas” and“Nevada Lift Off”.

Some more rocks
A valley in Zion

He was able to walk me three miles along the paved river-side trail by the Zion visitors center. FYI National Parks are not dog friendly. They say we freak out the natural inhabitants in the park, which I’m wired to do, so they got that right, but I say I’m not any worse than the hoards of tourists that descend from the countless busses stopping at overlooks; some of those people are really freaky…that’s what I’m sayin.

Saturday saw the arrival of Sky, an 80 lb Silver Lab who arrived with his geezer master (Steve Korte, the most famous coal geologist in southwestern Colorado, and currently unemployed like most of them) to join us for a week of fun and games. Sky traveled in a Ford 150 4×4 pickup with a 19’ Airstream Travel Trailer in tow. The scene was set; two old guys with great looking dogs towing large quantities of food and beer in their mobile homes looking for adventure in the wild west. Sky and I prayed every morning that they don’t get us lost.

My new pal Sky – now we can have some fun!

Kingman, AZ – Las Vegas, NV

5/9 – Adobe RV Park, Kingman, AZ

A three hour drive from the south rim brought us to Kingman, AZ, home to the Route 66 Museum, a large open pit copper mine, and a old downtown area which featured open mic night at the local wine bar. He had a silly smile on his face when he came home after his visit so I’m assuming he enjoyed the Kingman’s wine offerings.

Kingman wine bar – open mic night

We spent two days here in the hot Arizona sun checking out the local geological offerings, he would take pictures and get all excited about seeing the rocks while I mainly peed on them and sniffed for small game in the cracks.

Downtown Kingman, not much activity but he found a wine bar
Springtime in Arizona
Rocks outside of Kingman, for some reason he gets excited about this

5/11 – Circus Circus RV Park, Vegas baby

The RV park in Vegas, where are the trees and bushes? This place sucks.
Why Vegas? – I thought this was a National Park viewing adventure.

 Yes, this famed, but somewhat well worn strip casino has an RV park attached to it – he was so excited with this find because it afforded walking-distance access to 345 casino-enclosed bars and restaurants not to mention the potential to pay for the entire trip with one lucky roll of the dice.

One lucky pull and it’s easy street baby!
“I’m watching you” – Joyce Bolton

Due to the Vegas law that states (and I’m quoting directly from the Las Vegas Penal Code; page 69, paragraph 2: “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”. Not wanting to be jailed in Vegas there will be no further reports until we leave the city although there are a few photos he took that I can share.

Casino bar
“I like my sushi cooked” – Joyce Bolton
Where was this taken?
Nero’s scepter touching the Eiffel Tower – only in Vegas!
An honest man
He was bummed when they wouldn’t deliver to RV parks although the phone number was easy to remember.


Grand Canyon National Park

Before we move on I don’t want to hear anymore cheap shots about my spelling, after all I am a dog and this keyboard was not meant for my paws; in addition my hot shot editor almost had to repeat 5th grade due to F’s in spelling and penmanship (what’s penmanship you youngsters ask?)

Now back to our story…

5/7 – Tempe – Trailer Village, RV Site I-55, Grand Canyon National Park

 The score is beginning to improve: RV shops 3, tire places 1, National Parks 2 and no Walmart parking lots since Texas.

5/8 – Trailer Village Campground, Grand Canyon National Park

South Rim view, note the Kaibab limestone capping the north rim (light colored, very top of photo, it is the youngest formation exposed in the park,  270 million years since its deposition.
Afternoon shower

We arrived late yesterday afternoon after 5 hr drive north from Tempe. We both feel safer now that he had a backup camera installed on the trailer. Now we can watch on our 7” screen as irate drivers doing 85 mph approach our rear end as we lumber along at 57 (he’s trying to save gas but I think he has a death wish). At least no one’s flipped us the bird yet.

There’s a river down there somewhere that spent the last 6 million years creating this view, and more recently hosting scores of tourists running it’s rapids.  From what I’m told many get drunk at night and have sex with their fellow rafters – I read this on the internet.
1.8 billion years of earth history is documented in this picture (the last 270 million years is missing due to erosion).

We were both wide-awake at 5 this morning in anticipation of our first look at the Grand Canyon. I actually think he had a tear in his eye when we reached the rim (he claimed it was dust but I think the grandeur of the canyon and a thought about Noah combined to briefly overwhelm him). I was very excited as the 14-mile rim trail is paved and dog-friendly, although he had to pull me back to the trail a few times when I started chasing wildlife near the rim (don’t tell Joyce).

This place is overwhelming


5/9 – Same place

After 10+ miles of trail hiking  yesterday(fit bit-verified) I was again ready to go when he started the coffee at 4:30 am in preparation for a sunrise photo opp. The temperature was below freezing and it was blowing 20kts from the north when we piled into the jeep at 5 headed for the “Duck on a Rock” overlook, famous for the rock hoodoo (that’s a geologic term meaning tower – geology – the most sophisticated of the sciences) in the foreground and the barbed summit of Vishnu Temple in the distance. 25 poor to mediocre pictures later he finally decided it was time for my walk and we headed off-trail a bit for some more exciting views.  I made my usual lunges toward the rim chasing birds etc. but he wouldn’t let me get too close thus spoiling my work time (it’s my job to seek out birds).

This is the best he could do? I got up at 4am for this?
This wasn’t taken at the Grand Canyon but I just thought you would want to see me
Artsy fartsy photo


Everything but dog food.
Why was I left behind? asked the erosional remnant

My goal is to force him to walk me at least 10 miles a day whenever possible. So far we’ve hit the mark only twice, yesterday, and one day in west Texas when he ran out of beer and the Walmart was closed and we had to walk into town (we never came close to 10 miles in Tucson as the Peak’s had a huge dog-friendly couch and plenty of beer, wine and tequila, plus Gordon and Lisa are both great cooks) .


Tucson – Tempe

5/6 – Tucson – Tempe, AZ (Jonathan and Jessica’s Place)

The Peaks kicked him out of their place this afternoon so we are headed north to Tempe to sponge/visit some other of friends of his, Jonathan and Jessica (everyone is shocked to learn that he has more than 1 or 2 friends). Being 20 something’s and living in a college town, he felt right at home in their Tempe apartment – finally some hip people to party with.

Jessica and Jonathan, in line for some really good barbeque – an hour wait but worth it
My first food picture – this was special, if not healthy

Jonathan, being an IT person, helped him set up this blog, which he had no shot of accomplishing on his own. Thanks for getting this off the ground Jonathan.

Peak’s Place – Tucson, AZ (address redacted at the owners request)

We arrived late afternoon after an uneventful drive from Silver City. Gordon and Lisa live in a community that prohibits RV parking (they have always been rather snobbish so this does not surprise us). Gordon has lined me up a nice inexpensive space in a state park 6 miles from his home so we dropped the trailer off and headed to his house for the beginning of 5 days of eating, drinking, happy houring, napping and an occasional walk around his neighborhood just so I could do my business outside his yard. As Gordon is originally from Canada we also watched some hockey on his computer and at the happy hour bar. Not his favorite sport but he and Lisa are great cooks and they let the old man nap anytime he wanted so it was a great visit.

Typical day at the Peaks – Wooby to my left

As previously mentioned, I made two new doggy friends, Weezie and Wooby, a combined 210 years of age in person terms and they can still get it on (walking and eating that is).

Happy Hour in Tucson – notice Gordon’s empty glass, he’s a real pro
Vickers Viscount – very popular turbo prop in the 1960’s
TWA Constellation – piston driven and popular in the 1950’s

The photos above was taken by the old man during a visit to the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, he said he used to fly on a Viscount like the one above from Beirut to Baghdad and on to Basra in 1960-61 when he lived in Beirut and his father lived and worked in Iraq. The top photo is a TWA Constellation which he flew from Pittsburg to San Francisco during his college days. Boy is he old, I just hope he doesn’t keel over while we’re on this trip.

He took advantage of the extended stay in Tucson by checking the trailer into another RV repair shop for some upgrades. He had the solar panel installed (solar panel courtesy of Andy of Annapolis) and purchased a backup camera as there have been some hairy moments on the I-10 when he wished he knew what was behind us.

New score: RV shops: 3; tire stores: 1; National Parks: 1.

Alpine, TX – Silver City, NM

4/30 – Stillwell RV Park

Another sad day as he’s making me leave this rabbit-rich territory for a 7 hour drive to some person-infested city in New Mexico. The drive is less than charming, flat west Texas morphing into flat southern New Mexico, with not-so-scenic El Paso in the middle.

Flat ass west Texas – notice the border patrol blimp ready to launch

We arrive at some downtown RV park in Silver City, NM around 6pm. Although this place claims to be a city it’s a pretty quiet place with trees and a creek just behind our back-in slot (he’s getting better at backing in as it took him only 8 tries to get it docked and tied up this time). I was abandoned after my dinner as he struck off to sample the Saturday night lights of Silver City. He was back and snoozing before 10 so I assume the lights were not so bright (he mumbled something about no good place to dance as there was a cowboy comic in the only live music venue in town).

Downtown Silver City


5/1 – Silver City , NM – Tucson, AZ (The Peak’s Place)

Since he was home so early last night I woke him at 6 for our morning walk. We had the place to ourselves and were impressed by many artsy shops and art objects scattered throughout the town.

Is this art?

Cienga (silver) was discovered here in 1870 in a deposit that yielded 100 ounces/ton, the definition of a bonanza. The mine opening is located just behind the courthouse in downtown CS (see photo). There is a huge active copper mine south of town that employs 1,200 miners and supports virtually all of the economic activity in the region. The Spanish discovered copper here in 1804 and the early Indians (I’m quoting from the local tourist guide book so all you PC folks chill out…yes dogs can read guide books) mined turquoise for their arty projects.

First silver mine, circa 1870 – located just 2 blocks from the courthouse

My master told me this is a characteristic of western towns in general, from San Francisco to Leadville, CO and countless towns in between. The prospectors/miners discover something that a lot of people want and will pay big bucks for and the miners dig it out of the ground and some get very rich while others go home broke and get a job as a Walmart greeter. After years of prosperity, the ore body depletes and/or the environmentalists, who got to be environmentalists by voraciously consuming the stuff the miners produced, told the miners they were bad people and to go home and get a job at Walmart.

OK, enough of the old man’s rant – time to hit the road for his friend’s house in Tucson, AZ where there will be plenty of good food and drink awaiting our arrival, plus two 15 year old female dogs (Weezie and Wooby) just waiting for a stud like me.

The famous Silver City bottle wall – estimated 5,000 wine and beer bottles in this wall. I know some friends who could make this happen in 3 months.
Me running free in the Gila National Forrest – this was a fun day

Galveston – Big Bend National Park

4/13 – 4/25 Galveston

Nothing to report – me in Galveston, he in Annapolis, Iceland and Amsterdam (is it me and he or me and him ?- I missed the grammar lesion in doggy obedience school).

4/26 Galveston

He’s back – I was really enjoying life here in Texas where I was borne but all good things must end so we’re off tomorrow to pick up the trailer in Katy and continue westward.

4/27 Galveston – Kerrville, TX

Although I would have been perfectly happy staying another month or so in Galveston he told me the best was yet to come and to get my butt in the back seat for the interminable ride across Texas. The repair guys in Katy ($130/hr labor rate, this is more expensive than owning a boat!) had the hole closed up and we rolled west on the I-10 around 2 pm.

The score so far: two trailer repair shops, one tire place and zero national parks; this has to get better, right?

Well maybe, as we put into another Walmart around 7:30 in Kerrville about 100 miles west of San Antonio. The highlight of this stay (beside the free parking) is the shopping experience early in the morning when he has the entire store to himself. He remembered my doggy treats this time so maybe things are getting better.

We study the map and notice Big Bend National Park about 300 miles to the southwest of Kerrville, so the score was about to improve.

4/28 – Stillwell Store & RV Park, Alpine, TX

The view across the street from the RV park in Stillwell

We arrived late in the afternoon after a half-day drive from Kerrville. Temperatures were near 100 degrees and the RV park guy warned him to be aware of bobcats, rattle snakes, coyotes and wild pigs, all critters that could make life miserable for me.


Stillwell Ranch, Alpine Texas

After a gourmet meal on board the trailer (he had a steak, I ate my usual dry food and some table droppings, we broke out the flash light for an evening walk in the desert. I love this place as its full of jack-rabbits, quail, lizards and other small game that I love to chase but never catch. No snakes or bobcats tonight thankfully. Also very few people as its the end of the winter season and we had the place to ourselves. The road leading to the RV averaged a car every 3 hours.

I have this road all to myself every morning and evening
He took me on this nature walk and all I wanted to do was chase rabbits and birds

4/29 – Stillwell Store and RV Park – Big Bend National Park

We spend the day driving throughout the park with numerous stops for hikes, water, lunch, and peeing (mostly him). This place is remote, empty, hot and beautiful, all at the same time. The geology ranges from all sorts of igneous rocks in the eastern half to the sedimentary layers outcropping along the western portion of the park and near the Rio Grande River.

Big Bend National Park – late spring flowers
Erosional remnant

Mountain ranges are everywhere including the Sierra Del Carmen to the east, The Chisos to the south, and the Sierra Del Caballio Muerto in the park. After getting a glimpse of the harsh conditions that characterize the US-Mexico border it’s hard to imagine how any of the IA’s survive the crossing. If the desert doesn’t get them they should have no problem with Trump’s wall.

Rio Grande River – Cretaceous limestone walls
Early morning mist in Big Bend

New Orleans – Galveston

4/7 – 4/10 NOLA, French Quarter RV Park

This strategically located RV park is 2 blocks from the FQ and therefore allows him to ditch me during the day in the trailer (complete with AC and a soft bed) while he and Joyce take in the 25 music stages and countless food, beer and booze stalls along the river and throughout the quarter. They (mostly he) stagger back for occasional naps and to make sure I have not found the hole in the bottom of the trailer and made my escape. After 3 days of music, dancing (mostly him alone), eating and drinking we drive to Kent’s lakeside house in Metairie for a quiet night of recovery.

Joyce in Jackson Square, nice hat
My Master and me in the FQ RV Park


Burbon St. – where else?


French Quarter Fest
Ariel, Jeff and Emily – his beautiful nieces
Andy would be right at home with these dudes


New Orleans health food

One night during the festival, after he had consumed many adult beverages and Joyce was asleep, he told me about how 36 years ago he arrived in New Orleans on his home-finished 31’ Southern Cross sloop after a 1,200 mile river voyage from Parkersburg WV with first mate Andy White and his father as crew. He intended to continue sailing to “the islands of the half-naked women” (this quote appeared in the November 7, 1979 edition of the Marietta Times who sent a reporter to cover the launching) but ran into a girl named Lilly and the course of his life was dramatically altered.

Bare hull, deck and engine delivered to Signal Mtn, TN 1976
Starsplitter launching, Marietta, OH – fall 1979
Captain and crew (Andy White in beard, reporter from the Marietta Times) can’t remember her name Mississippi River 1979
Steve Korte and Lilly, Dry Tortugas, FL 1979















4/11 – NOLA – Galveston

En route from NO to Galveston, TX via Katy, TX where he will drop off the trailer for final bottom repairs. Joyce is with us now, thank god (yes dogs believe in god too) as she is there to remind him to drive carefully and feed me twice a day. Galveston is the home of Christina, Joyce’s good friend and old sailing and MRE buddy in Annapolis and her husband Bob. They kindly offered to take care of me while my master takes a vacation from his vacation.

My favorite person walking me on in Galveston
Blue crabs are big in Texas






4/12 – Galveston


We found these guys in the yard of a downtown Galveston house. Coach now wants a pig

After a morning walk they ditch me at the house and drive to Houston to meet Christina for a tour of her workspace. As she is employed by NASA and hopes to go to Mars one day so I’m sure they saw a lot of cool stuff during the visit. If he doesn’t improve his RV driving skills soon I would be glad to sign on to the Mars trip just to remain safe.

Joyce at the controls of the space shuttle – watch out below
Christina with here fellow astronaut buddies
Inside the Soyuz space capsule – not much room for 3 people
Taken in the actual Apollo control room. Houston – we have a problem

4/15 Annapolis – Iceland – Amsterdam

He and three college buddies (Tom, Bill and Steve) decided it would be fun to re-live their youth and return to Amsterdam to celebrate the 45th anniversary of a previous trip. Since I stayed in Galveston enjoying walks on the beach and park and two squares a day plus treats, I am not able to provide any details of the “Amsterdam four”.

Steve, Bill and Tom – Wittenberg U class of 69
The Tulip Fest
Amsterdam after dark
More flowers
Iceland or Amsterdam – I forget