My pup Stevie and I recently added another place to our travel repertoire: Sedona, Arizona! Immediately when we drove into town we had to slam on the brakes for a pack of four Javelinas, a wild pig that are apparently quite aggressive. It was definitely a shock…I knew I had to keep an eye on Stevie, there were crazy carnivorous pigs wandering around in this new town!
The first night we stayed in a pet friendly hotel and let’s just say it was rough. All of the dogs were in the same wing of the hotel, and what we didn’t know was our window was left open by the cleaning crew. So everyone that checked in that night made an immense racket that woke up Stevie and started a raucous barking fest. What we also didn’t know, was another dog next door that sounded just like Stevie. Apparently, only Stevie could hear its barking…but they “talked” ALL night to each other. The next day, my mom and I were not up for much hiking, with all the travel, the time change, and getting about two hours of sleep. We did share a lovely meal – Stevie got her own “Puppy Menu” with so many choices of yummy dog friendly meals. We ended up choosing a hamburger, rice, and kibble combo that was served in a very nice bowl with another bowl of ice-cold water to accompany it. Really 5 star pup treatment! For the rest of the trip, we were able to find an amazing house out on a 2-acre ranch with a creek running behind it. Stevie could bark to her heart’s content!
I was pleasantly surprised when my city dog saw the creek and was immediately running along the rocks, drinking the water, and dipping her paws in. It was like she was showing me her favorite haunts. We were able to take her on some hikes in the red rocks; I had never fully appreciated her blue merle coloring until we were out, surrounded by the red soil, she truly looked blue! March is a great time of the year to bring a dog for hikes in Sedona because the soil is not too hot yet.
Sedona is also known for its great spiritual atmosphere. The house we were staying at was right next to some energy vortexes. Apparently because of these vortexes, the trees had grown in twisted, gnarly ways and were bleached white. There are also trails along these energy lines that you can hike (we did a couple) and meditate. In addition to the vortexes, the town holds a lot of crystal shops, aura readings, and shamans. I was able to go to a shaman and was frankly in awe of all the details he knew about me just upon my entrance into the room. The skeptic in me was a little confused to be honest!
We also had the opportunity to visit the Out of Africa Wildlife Park. We were able to see animals tons of amazing animals, feed a giraffe and a white tiger (separately of course), and pet a rhino named Jericho. My good friend from Iowa State works there, and my mom and I had the privilege of taking one of his tours and seeing, up close and personal, he and his giraffe friend share a nice long kiss. Which involved the giraffe’s 20-inch tongue.
On the plane ride home, there was a little bit of excitement when I told the flight attendant that Stevie was named after Stevie Nicks. She subsequently told everyone that Stevie Nicks was on the plane. I think they were a little disappointed when they found out it was actually the puppy in seat 8A. The last flight of the night, a couple sat down next to me and I could tell they were not dog people. As sometimes animals do, Stevie seemed to love them even more despite their disdain. She sat there breathing in the lady’s face, despite all my best efforts, for the better part of 20 minutes. Overall it was a very fun, successful trip. I definitely recommend taking the two-hour trip outside of Phoenix and experiencing all Sedona has to offer (I wish we had been able to stay longer than a week). And definitely consider bringing your furry friend!