Friday, September 11, 2015

The Great Southern Utah Road Trip - August 26 - Part XV - Kanab, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, Mt. Carmel

We had a reservation for a tour at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary for Wednesday morning, so decided to spend the night in Kanab at Aiken's Lodge, a mid-century style motel recommended by Best Friends. It poured with rain that night.

On Wednesday morning, it was still pouring with rain when we set off for our first tour at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
We enjoyed our 45-minute morning Wild Friends tour with a most delightful guide. (She talked non-stop. We were told that she arrives at 3 a.m. to feed the wild animals and that the 10:15 a.m. tour is her last duty of the day. Before she starts the tour, she is reputed to drink two Red Bulls!) 

Best Friends was not initially approved for wildlife. However, so many people brought wild animals to the sanctuary that they applied for state and federal licenses, hired licensed rehabilitators, and built a rehabilitation center. Among the animals we saw were a seagull, a snow goose, a European goose, three beautiful, playful sleek minks (one brown, one jet black, one pure white), a barn owl, a peacock, roosters, crows, a red-tailed hawk, and two ravens (Edgar and Nevermore).
We were directed to Angel Village for lunch. For $5 we were treated to a delicious buffet and salad bar. Since it was still pouring, we didn't see much of the beautiful canyon overlook from the dining room terrace.

We headed back on the highway to the sanctuary's main entrance for the general tour by van.

The road up Angel Canyon had become muddy and impassable during the night, so we were unable to see much of the canyon area or go to Angel's Rest. However, wwere able to visit a cat care faciity (for FELV cats) and a dog care facility. Because there were only five of us, we were privileged to feed treats to a very shy dog who was slowly being socialized.

On our way out we saw horse corrals and views of Angel Canyon.

Before heading back to St. George, we took a detour to Mt. Carmel. We visited the Thunderbird Foundation for the Arts, a lovely gallery devoted to the works of Maynard Dixon and artists who paint in the areas where he painted. The owners are also caretakers of the nearby Maynard Dixon residence.

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