4gslivingthedream

Adventures of Steve, Patti, Sami and Ozzie

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What’s new and introducing RVillage!

Boy I knew it had been sometime since we’ve blogged, but didn’t realize just how long it had been until I logged in today.   It’s been a crazy couple of months!!

Quartzsite, AZ was a great experience.  It wasn’t the typical place where we took day trips to see the sights and experience nature and try to capture it in pictures.  No, this was more of an experience on the human level and meeting people from all over the country,  from all walks of life and talent (or no talent) of any or every kind.  We worked and lived in the middle of the desert on a gravel lot where the population went from nothing to over 250,000 people over the course of  a little more than a week.  We met folks from Northern WI, who ran a popcorn stand…they had the best popcorn!  Then there was the young man from Europe who originally carved his craft in South America and came here to sell in the middle of nowhere.  The German guy who was a full-time RVer,  he somehow made his living doing shows selling stretchable lids and grill mats.  So many wonderful and some very talented people.  All so nice and willing to sit down and tell you their story.

Before we left the area, we did hit one small little RV show.  I don’t even know if it was advertised, but when you saw this, you knew you had to stop.  If any of you have watched those extreme RV shows on TV, this may look familiar.  I only wish we could have gone inside.

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There were  some amazing coaches there, it was just fun to browse.

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After a few very interesting weeks there, we headed back to somewhere we really never thought we’d return to…Las Vegas.   Since last December or so, we had been going through the interview process for something very cool and very new called RVillage.

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http://www.rvillage.com/

 http://youtu.be/M4lsZwC5Jqo

RVillage is a new social media website for RV’ers.  Whether you’re a full-time RV’er or weekend RV’er,  RVillage allows you to connect with other people at the RV park you are at, find people with like interests, create get togethers and  make friends and connect with them even after you leave the park.  Another cool feature is  that you can route your trips on the map, find other RVillage members  or RV parks you may want to stay and local advertisers of places you can eat or get your RV serviced.   This is pretty cool and there is nothing like it out there in the RV industry and it’s totally free to RV’ers and RV parks.

So this is now what we are doing , we spread the word and find local advertisers for the site.  This is an awesome opportunity to travel the country and also support ourselves doing it.  Plus we’ve been planning a trip back to WI and if all goes well we may be saying hello to friends and family members in a few months.

But back to what else we’ve been up to.  We finished up in Vegas with the training, tried to get some repairs done on the motor home (that’s just a whole other story and for the sake of our health, I am not even going to get into that) and had to think of where we wanted to be when this website launched.  It just made sense to head south and back to California again, but we had some places along the way we definitely we wanted to stop at.

First – The Hoover Dam.  This was the first time we ever got our motor home inspected by guards.  We had every compartment searched, our tow vehicle and they even came inside and searched around.  But that went pretty quickly and then we were good to go.  Very beautiful area and we were glad we stopped to see it.

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Second – Lake Havasu.  I don’t know if we really knew what to expect but it was a beautiful area and some really nice and pricy homes.  There were a lot of boat dealerships there as well, I guess when all the snow birds leave, the younger crowd takes over and the lake is crawling with boats.  The campground we were staying at was nice, we could see the Lake if you walked to one side of the park, but it was tight.  I think we had 5 inches between our slide and the neighbors slide.  We would definitely come back through this way..just not in the summer months.

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After Lake Havasu, we headed south back through the Quartzsite area.  Did some free camping on BLM land there.  It was very peaceful and the stars at night were amazing.  Steve loves boondocking and it’s starting to  grow on me. Now that we are all so connected to our computers and smart phones for most of the day, the power thing is hard.  We just need to figure out solar and how we can get that to run just basic things.  Otherwise, the generator works great to power everything.  It’s not that loud, but if the wind blows wrong, you get the exhaust smell.  I am sure we’ll get it figured out.

After Quartzsite, we went back to Desert Hot Springs and Sky Valley for a visit.  After almost a year of being away, it seemed like only yesterday we were there.  We had such a nice welcome back and it was good to see old friends.   After that, we wanted explore more of the area.   Did a little more boondocking and then stayed at a nice county park on Lake Cahuilla.  Nice area, huge pool..but it doesn’t open until after Easter.

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So that is about it.  We have been doing more boondocking  the last few days until we move on tomorrow.  We are looking forward to updating more often on places we haven’t seen on our trip back to Wisconsin.

Hopefully see you all soon!  Stay tuned.


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Ringing in 2014 in Quartzsite, AZ

Overall, I think that we were in Vegas for about 2 and a half months.  Thinking back, I can’t believe that we celebrated Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas there.  Time goes by so fast lately.  Even though we celebrated most of the major holidays in Vegas, I think the biggest thing that happened while we were there was the arrival of Britney Spears and her new show at Planet Hollywood.  They even closed down the strip when she arrived.  We passed on getting tickets to that one.

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But finally we decided to move on and south to warmer weather.  After looking at a few options, we decided to head to Quartzsite, AZ.

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We crossed the Colorado River in Parker, NV.

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Quartzsite is a very small AZ town with only a little over 3000 year round residents, however in the winter months that population explodes with RV’rs.  Many come for one or all 3 shows that take place on the Tyson Wells grounds.  The first is the Rock and Gem Show, the second is the Sell-A-Rama and the last is the Art & Craft Fair.  The first show starts January 3rd and the last one ends Feb 9th.  We have been here for almost a week now and it’s fun to see all the vendors who are coming to set up for the Rock and Gem show.  Buyers will come from all over the country in the next few days and this place will be packed.  We started walking around and checking out all the rocks, gems and jewelry..some are down right pricey, but hear that they are actually quite reasonable which is why so many people come to the show.  There are other items for sale here like clothes and tools, heck you name it you can find it.

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Believe it or not these big rocks sell for $300-500 a piece!

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Beads everywhere…from everywhere!

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Buckets of rocks..well not just rocks, but whatever they are people are buying them.

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Found this cute little outdoor bar between some of the tents.  Called Beer Bellies “Adult Day Care”!  They have an outdoor jam session going on most of the day.

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Looking for custom tables?  Maybe a sink?  No worries, just bring lots of cash and you’ll find what you’re looking for.  This coffee table is a steal at $675!

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Other neat stuff for sale.

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Now it’s been awhile since we had Fair food, and there is quite a bit of it set up here, but I don’t think I would ever spend $30 on 6 cinnamon rolls!

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So this building is where we are going to spending a lot of our for the next few months.  We were able to find some decent work out here to keep us busy through March.  Great people, lots of shopping, nice weather…can’t ask for more than that.

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Lastly, a picture of our site..minus one bike…someone in Vegas had a good Christmas when they cut through the lock and stole Steve’s bike.  But, I am sure we’ll find him a new one at the Sell-A-Rama!  ;0)

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Happy New Year to all our friends, family and blog followers.  We hope that 2014 brings you much success and happiness.

Until next time…still Living the Dream!

Steve, Patti, Sami and Ozzie


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Off to Vegas and warmer weather

It’s only been about a year and a half now that we’ve been on the road, but it’s obvious we have lost our tolerance for colder weather.  Well at least I have, Steve can handle it better than I can.  Fall has skipped us from what I hear in Utah and it’s colder than usual and snow has hit the valley a few times but it melts quickly.

We had a great time this past summer at Lucerne Valley Marina and Campground in the Flaming Gorge and we met some awesome people.  We knew we would have to leave eventually, but when we came back from shopping one day to find that they closed the campground down due to the government shutdown, we knew it would be very soon, in fact at first we thought we had only two days to leave but fortunately, we worked for some of the best people out there and they let us stay in a separate area that is for employees only.  We stayed there for about two weeks planning where we would travel next.  We pretty much had the place to ourselves other than these guys.

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The dogs loved having the run of the place and we went on a lot of long walks enjoying the fall weather.

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So we headed out, next destination….Vegas!  We drove north into Wyoming and cut across to Salt Lake City.  This took us a bit out of the way, but anything was better than the way we came in.  Those mountains and 8% grades were killers.  It was very cool to see what fall looks like in the high desert.  We also agreed that Utah has to be one of the most beautiful states.  It has so much to offer as far as National Parks – Zion National Park, Glen Canyon, Canyon Lands, Capital Reef, Bryce Canyon and of course Flaming Gorge and so much more.

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It took two days but we made it to Vegas….up ahead you can see the buildings and the smog!

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We found a place that is about 4 miles from the strip, but it seems everything is easily accessible in this town.  The strip is so much different than I remember in 1997… but we were here for such a short time.  There is so much to see and do, I don’t know how anyone can do it all.  I think the most fun is people watching…there are some interesting characters walking around out there, some just trying to sell you tickets, others working for tips…the others…not so sure……

There are human statues….

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Chucky even likes Vegas…

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A little something for the ladies…..

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A little something for the guys….

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Even a little Micheal J.

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But we never quite figured out who this guy was for…..but he was hilarious!

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Had to stop at M&M world.  It was 4 stories of M&M everything!  At $12 something a pound for bagging your own flavors…we decided we’d get our chocolate fix at Walmart on the way home :0)!

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The hotels were all so cool and different in there own way.  First Wynn…

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Treasure Island…

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Pool at Caesar’s Palace,

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So much shopping to be done, Prada, Tiffanys, Fendi…check out these shoes at the Fendi Store.   Not sure that I would have anywhere to wear these, so we passed on by! Ha! Ha!

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Fashion Mall

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Inside Sams Town, closer to where we are staying off the strip.  This is inside the hotel area.

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Tried to find his Irish Pub one day inside one of the hotels, but didn’t.  We will go back and try again.

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I think this is inside the MGM, but they all start blurring together after a while.
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We have been here for a few weeks now.  Tomorrow is Halloween and may hit the strip to see what’s all going on.

Until next time….Happy Halloween.


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Great Birthday Day in the Flaming Gorge at Lucerne Valley Marina!

Sorry, it’s been a while since our last post.  LIfe on the Gorge has been pretty fun so far.  We just came off a really busy weekend over Labor Day.  Saturday night the Yacht Club hosts a Parade of Lights on the water, it’s where boats get all decked out and cruise the shore line of the Marina and Stateline Cove.  They are even judged in different categories and we got the honor of being the judges this year.  Once the boats  get back to the Marina, the fireworks start.  For a small marina, they sure put on quite a show!  We could sit right in the motor home and watch them go off just up the hill.  I only wish our camera took good night-time photos!

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Today for my Birthday, we decided to use one of the perks of working at the Marina.  We took out one of the ski boats to explore a bit.  We get to use them for free, just have to pay for the gas we use.  Steve and I have never went boating by ourselves before, I think we are hooked.  If only we could figure out how to tow the Jeep and a boat behind the motor home!

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Going through the canyons was very peaceful, there was hardly anyone out today other than a few fisherman.

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Stopped for lunch at a boat – in only campground called Kingfisher Island.  Not a soul around.  The weather was beautiful, upper 80′s however the water was a little chilly for swimming.  During the summer months, this place is packed with reservations.  People just pull up and camp in their boats.

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I even took a turn at driving, it’s a lot easier than driving the motor home, that is for sure!

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Every corner or turn, the landscape changed.

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Today was such a great day, I think we will definitely be taking a boat out again very soon!  Next time we’ll take the patio boat and take Sami and Ozzie out with us.  They would love it!  We took them on a walk on the beach here and they couldn’t wait to run into the water.

Hope you all had a wonderful Summer!  Until next time……


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Change in plans – heading back north!

After leaving Lake Powell, we headed south to Flagstaff, AZ.  Looking forward to cooling off a bit.  We arrived during monsoon season in Arizona and every afternoon, there were flash flood warnings.  We got some pretty nasty storms but no flooding where we were, thank goodness.

While there, we took the opportunity to visit another National Park – The Grand Canyon.  By now we were pretty grateful we bought a yearly pass to all the parks.  But we also agreed we saw to many parks in a short time frame, although it was quite breath-taking and amazing, they were all just starting to blend together.

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On our 3rd day in Flagstaff, we were offered seasonal positions in The Flaming Gorge National Recreational Area at the Lucerne Marina in northeastern Utah.  After thinking it over, we decided why not and headed back north through Utah to almost the Wyoming border.

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As we crossed over into Utah from Arizona, we drove through Monument Valley and got to see the Mexican Hat.  Really, just more rocks, but really cool!

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Below is the Mexican Hat.  How that rock balances up there is beyond me.

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We had only two days to get to the Flaming Gorge and we drove as much as we could for the day.  Pulled off at a very nice wayside along the way to catch some zzz’s.  Well that was the plan but the constant in and out of the semis made that a bit difficult.

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Got up early and got back on the road.  At about 5 pm, we pulled into our new home for the rest of the summer – Lucerne Marina. The campground here is really nice.

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Lots of animals around here.  The Antelope walk through the park, the marina and right in front of the window where I work.  Hummingbirds are everywhere too.

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Since we work here we get to take out boats free if they aren’t rented out.  Hoping to do that one day here soon.

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That’s about all that is new with us.  There is much to do and see here and we look forward to getting out and doing some exploring.


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Lake Powell! Good to be back!

If I could pick just one place where I would really like to be, well that would probably still be the Rivera Maya in Mexico.  However coming in at a very close second….Lake Powell.  It’s hard to explain the effect this place has on you and it hasn’t changed in the almost sixteen years since we’ve been here.

Back in 1997, my parents invited Steve and I out here, along my sister Laura and her husband Roger, to cruise around for 4 days/3 nights on a houseboat.  It was a blast and we took advantage of flying into Vegas were we eloped!  So to say we are a little partial to this area to begin with, is a bit of an understatement!  Speaking of my parents, we just want to wish them a wonderful 51st Wedding Anniversary, July 21st!!

It was hot when we got here, 108 degrees hot.   Dry heat or not, it was almost unbearable.

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The drive into the park.  It was really hazy out this day, wondering if we were getting some of the smoke and haze from the wildfires.

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Nice boat!

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We decided to stay in the Glen Canyon National Park for the first few nights.  Everything was really close and we hit the beach and the pool at the resort.  The dogs stayed nice and cool in the motor home.  Ozzie was so out of it, he couldn’t decide if he wanted to chew his bone or take a nap, so he did both!

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The campground was very nice and the views were very nice.  This is monsoon season here and thunderstorms can pop up out of no where.

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Oh boy does this bring back memories.  So much fun!

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Time for another cheesy picture!

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On our third day here, it was time to move on.  However we weren’t ready to leave the area so we headed into town to another park which was very nice.  We were only a few short miles from the lake and close to shopping.  Our site had a few shade trees, boy does that make a difference.  There is a pool too, but it’s indoors.  Too hot for an indoor pool.

Even though it was about 95 degrees, we decided to head out and find Horseshoe Bend, seen pictures but we didn’t see it last time we were here.  If you can read the sign, it says it’s a 3/4 mile hike up and down a hill.  It’s not an easy hike let me tell you and the sand was HOT!  Tennis shoes would have been a smart idea.  But we made it and it was worth it.

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These people found some shade, but there wasn’t much of it anywhere else and by the time we got to our destination,  I was ready to jump off the ledge and into the water below!

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Horseshoe Bend –  Awesome!  No railings, had to watch where you were stepping.

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You get just some idea of how high up we were by looking at the picture below, look for the speedboat in the water.

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We stayed for a while and took it all in.

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What’s Steve thinking?  The same thing I am….

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We gotta walk back up there?

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One more quick look and we headed back.

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Stopped by the Glen Canyon Dam and took some pictures up close.

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Also stopped at a viewing point in the park and had some lunch.  It was a busy day for houseboats and jet skis.  Pictures are a little fuzzy, I tried to get as close up as possible.  These boats are so cool, you have everything you need, a kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, living room, patio, water slide, gas grill and more…some even have hot tubs.

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Up ahead is the hotel and marina.

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Boat rental building.

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Lots of cool places to pull over and see some incredible sights.  Unfortunately, the best sights are seen only from being on lake Powell and traveling by boat.  But it was nice to explore the surrounding areas tool.

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We thought we’d only be here for a few days, well still here.  Enjoying the sights and deciding on our next destination.  We were thinking about heading to the Flagstaff area, but due to a collapse of the highway we were going to take and the detour taking us quite a bit out of our way, we may rethink it.   Or maybe we’ll stay here????

Until next time….stay cool and hope you are enjoying your summer.


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The Sanctuary

We debated whether or not we would dedicate a whole blog to our visit to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, but after looking back, it would be wrong not to.  After we left Bryce Canyon, we headed to Kanab, UT.  Cute little town, not much to it but it was a nice place to kick back and relax, plus it was only 7 miles away from the sanctuary.

On our way, we think we possibly found our next motor home, what do you think?

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But the main reason we were here was to tour this awesome NO KILL facility, home to more than 1700 cats, dogs, rabbits, horses, potbellied pigs, birds…you name it, on any given day.  The facility is  nestled in the red-rock canyons of southern Utah and is a healing place for homeless pets, really unlike anything we had ever seen.  They take in pets from all over the country, including a good portion of Micheal Vick’s dogs (the NFL player who spent 21 months in prison for running a dog fighting ring a few years back ), they got the worst of the bunch and pretty sure that our guide said that most been adopted out.  Also, a lot of Katrina rescues were relocated here.

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This is the main visitor center.  There is a reflection pond, gift store and movie room where you start the tour.  Outside there are humming birds flying everywhere.

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Even the drinking fountain is set up for four legged friends, adults and kids….

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Our tour was about 2 hours long touring the facility and seeing the horses, cats and dogs.   There was more you could come back to see on special tours, like the pot-bellied pigs, birds and other tenants.  On the way to our first stop, we passed by Angels Rest.  I don’t know if you will be able to see it, but this is the pet cemetery.  There are markers all over, some with pictures of  pets on them, some with collars or other special items..the polls have wind chimes and they are everywhere.  When the wind picks up in the afternoon, they say it’s quite magical.

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Our tour got to visit the cats with feline leukemia.  These cats would normally be put down if tested positive, but here, they can live out their lives happy and even be adopted.  The thing with feline leukemia is that it can only be spread from cat to cat by saliva.  It can’t be transmitted to humans, so in a one cat home they are fine, or you can adopt multiple cats and they will be fine.

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The facility was spotless, no odor, no dirt…it was very impressive.  Steve even found a friend…

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For those of you who have visited your local humane society, we know they do their best, but if all animals could live like this and in these conditions… until they are adopted out or just maybe live out their years…

If your local shelter is a no-kill shelter, they can partner with Best Friends and all their resources will be available to them as well.  Visit http://www.bestfriends.org for more information.

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Then it was time for Dog Town…yes..the same place that the National Geographic Channel show is about.  They go by a collar system here.  Green for go..or adoptable, Purple for needs work and Red for animals who volunteers or visitors can’t be by, only because they need work on their life plan  (yes, every dog, cat, etc.. has a life plan that is set for them by the staff) and are not ready, doesn’t mean that they won’t be someday.

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This guy still needs a home.  We didn’t get to meet to many dogs, but they sure seemed happy here.  You can stay here and have pets for sleep overs in their cottages, take them for lunch at their diner or just  take them for a drive.  Many just volunteer for an hour or move out here and volunteer year round.

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If anyone is out this way, please visit.  Or if you are looking for a worth while cause to support, this is it.  They receive no government funding and run only on private donations or adoption fees.

Next, Lake Powell….

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