Saturday, April 12, 2014

K is for Kanab: A Writer's Road Trip Series

     The Writer's Road Trip Series is brought to you by the Blogging from A-to-Z April Challenge. This month I'm blogging daily about ideal places for an afternoon, weekend or longer stay to focus on your writing. Need a retreat to finish that manuscript? Or maybe a virtual trip to inspire a scene? Take a minute, read, imagine. And thanks for stopping by!
     Two years ago, I rented a car in Flagstaff, Arizona, bought a road map, and drove 3 1/2 hours north to a little town a few miles over the southern border of Utah. I had made arrangements through Air bNb to rent a room in a private home so I could spend four days walking dogs, scooping hay, cleaning rabbit pens, and preparing breakfast for 19 pigs. At night, I sat at an antique desk, journaling about my day, and writing blog posts for my first A to Z Challenge. Sound fun? It was a blast!! 
      Imagine the size and scope of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, in Kanab, Utah, as I give you these numbers: it’s home to 1700 dogs, cats, birds, pigs, horses, rabbits, and wild animals in rehabilitation; the sanctuary employs 300 people (and is the largest employer in town); it welcomes 2500 volunteers; and over 20,000 people visit per year. 
     Sprawled throughout the red and white-marbled walls of Angel Canyon, the sanctuary is a beautiful respite for abused, neglected, and unwanted animals, and a fantastic destination vacation for animal lovers looking to lend a hand for a day, week, or however long one’s schedule allows. For some volunteers, walking and socializing the animals is enough. What animals you wish to interact with and to what extent is up to you. Best Friends is just happy to have you there.
     My stay at Best Friends included shifts in Dog Town, Piggy Paradise and Rescue Village, which was home to hundreds of rabbits. In those areas, I cleaned pens, fed, and exercized the animals. On my last day, I signed up for a Puppy Socialization class, where eight of us helped introduce four Chihuahua-terrier puppies to new skills. 
     If this sounds ideal, you probably don’t need to hear the added incentive that the sanctuary is in the heart of Arizona’s and Utah’s spectacular National Parks, like Bryce and Zion Canyons, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and Grand Canyon. They are all within a half-day drive. 
     Volunteering at Best Friends was a transforming experience. If you'd like more information about volunteering, visit  Best Friends Animal Sanctuary


  1. That sounds like a very fun, refreshing experience! :) Another great place I'll have to look into.

  2. What a great vacation - enjoying the sites AND doing some good!

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
    Minion, Capt. Alex's Ninja Minion Army
    The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge


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