Today is Thanksgiving. Rainy, cold, with heavy snow forcast for later in the day. So, what to do on a rainy day? We are going to tour a little known, but very important animal rescue facility - Best Friends Animal Society. It's the world's largest. Located in Angel Canyon, north of Kanab.
The reception building was once the home of a famous rancher, sitting on 3700 acres of land. This spread was the site of many western movies dating back to the 1920s. Also many television series were filmed here. The modified home is now a reception center for the hundreds of visitors that visit daily, and includes a souvenir store and registration desks for processing tours and cottage rentals as well as pet adoptions.
The petting room is just a teaser for the many sights and animals we will see on our tour.
The original 3700 acres of land has been expanded by another 17,000 acres of land leased from private and government sources. Best Friends will accept donated pets from all sources, including animal pounds which previously put unwanted animals to death. The goal of Best Friends is to stop animal euthanization completely. To accomplish this difficult goal they have built a large staff of professional and volunteer personnel backed up with the latest in modern treatment and housing facilities for all types of animals. They are supported by donations from millions of donors, large and small. Let's go on the tour.
Our tour guide had a great sense of humor and put all nine of us in a happy mood. The tour will last one hour.
Some of the many buildings we drove past. This is a supply warehouse for animal foods.
This is the vets office building for when they are not out in the field. Each building we saw was impressive in the quality of design and construction. Nothing but the best materials were used.
A training facility for puppies and difficult dogs.
This is a dog processing center where newcomers are evaluated before being transferred to their proper treatment facility or housing.
We get to pet a dog recovering from the major health problems he arrived with. Best Friends accepts animals regardless of their health condition.
A cat processing and evaluation center.
We enter a cat house.
This is the recovery room for sick cats.
This is a petting room for some of the healthy cats.
The spread of shelters, barns and paddocks for horses is impressive. The white quonset building is a horse hospital.
The mule paddock. The barn was built by Walt Disney for one of his movies.
There are two beautiful graveyards for deceased animals. Manicured.
Looking for the Hidden lake within a cave
Our guide on the tour of Best Friends told us about a hidden lake within a natural cave located across the canyon from their ranch. She said that the lake is large and quite deep - scuba divers dove into the lake but could not reach the bottom. We were intrigued by this and decided to look for it after lunch. Our guide drew a map for us to follow.
So, Thanksgiving afternoon. Rain squalls already turning to sleet. We park our car and set out along this dirt road towards the secret lake.
We are about a mile in from the parked car. Slightly uphill in light rain with a little spot of sunlight on the hill.
At last we find the cave, at the bottom of a beautiful cliff.
Is there a lake inside?
And here is the lake. We can't see the far side of the lake. Too dark to see much but black water. Be fun to explore it more in warm weather.
Audrey shows the scale of the beautiful cliff.
And, Cloe tries to climb up. But, too slick and cold. Better in summertime.
We follow a different route back to our car. Our guide from Best Friends told us about some ancient indian ruins here.
Sure enough. Must have been a small village here underneath the overhanging cliff. Time to head back to the house to warm up and get ready for Thanksgiving dinner.
Recovery time. Cocktails anyone?
Xander is waiting for a pool challenge match.
Thanksgiving dinner. Thanks for cooking the hamburgers, Karl, out in the snow and cold. Unfortunately, Abbi and Glenn and the kids must leave in the morning for Las Vegas to catch their flight home. Snowing heavily outside.