Kanab, UT

Kanab, UT
June 1 – July 2, 2018

We haven’t stayed an entire month in very many places. We spent one winter in Arkansas with my family, and one in Arizona with Brad’s family. Besides that we have only done the “month stay” in 3 locations…Wenatchee, WA, Pahrump, NV, and now Kanab, UT. Since we usually stay a week or less, it’s no surprise that after spending all of June in this small Southern Utah town, it had begun to feel a little bit like home.

If I’m totally honest, feeling “at home” in a place is now defined for me very differently than it once was. Basically, if I can run into a grocery store and know where to find what I need, then I basically feel like I own the place.  Unfamiliarity is our new normal, and I’m grateful for how it has stretched all of us. But its also really nice to settle into one location for an extended stay, and we hope to be able to do these month-long stays more often.  I even got to join a gym for the month!

Brad and I had originally come to Kanab, Utah in 2008 so that I could volunteer at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.  Kanab’s proximity to Zion, Bryce, the Grand Canyon, and a host of other less-known-but-just-as-amazing geographical features makes it an ideal spot from which to explore.

For that reason, we made it a point to return, and we were able to spend a couple of weeks here in 2016, just a few months into this grand adventure.  And just as we’d hoped, we were able to return again this year to the very same campground for an even MORE extended visit.

We explored some trails around the Kanab area. Lick Wash was particularly fun to explore.
I even joined a gym for the month! This gym was just a short bike ride away from our campground, so I really enjoyed getting into a bit of a fitness routine during our stay.
One of the best things about staying put for a whole month….CAMPGROUND FRIENDS!
This is an initial peek at the beautiful humming bird that nested right outside our front door. Or maybe I should say, we parked our front door right beside her nest. Either way, she became such a fascination (strike that…OBSESSION) of mine that she will get her own post, coming soon…
Kanab City Pool was so much fun on hot afternoons!
Zion was only about 30 minutes away from our campground, but during the summer monthS it is EXTREMELY CROWDED during the day. We heard people in Kanab talk about driving there at 5:00am to try to catch the first shuttle at 6:00am, but they still waited in line for 45 minutes for a seat! We took a different approach and visited in the evenings. We arrived about 5:00pm while a line of other visitors was streaming out of the park. There was plenty of parking, and we had the shuttles to ourselves! The only drawback was that we only had a few hours to explore, but we made the best of it!
Fancy girls exploring new trails in Zion N.P.
One major benefit of staying in the same place for a whole month….neighborhood friends! We celebrated Corals 6th birthday with our new friend Erica. We spent the afternoon at the city pool, then had a celebration back at the campground with cake, presents, and a piñata.
In addition to the massive sanctuary property that Best Friend operates outside of Kanab, they also have a downtown visitors center with an adoptable kittens room!  They were only a short bike ride away, so we couldn’t resist.
Sometimes we brought friends along on the bike ride to pet cats.
One sweet neighbor – Ginger from Arizona – taught Coral how to make jewelry. She gave us necklaces, earrings, and “doo-dahs” that she had created.
A nearby campground friend, Nancy, had these tiny baby praying mantises dropping out of the tree above her campsite! We captured several and marveled at them awhile before releasing them again.
These little baby mantises were SO TINY AND COOL!!
Grandpa stopped over for a couple of nights on his drive from Ohio back to Arizona! We enjoyed some of the best that Kanab has to offer…like goodies from the German Bakery up the highway.

One of the highlights of this stay was celebrating Coral’s 6th birthday. Six is the minimum age to volunteer at many of the Best Friends Animal Areas, so when we visited Kanab in 2018 she was too young, and sadly wasn’t able to participate when Sunny and I volunteered at the sanctuary. This year we were delighted to claim several volunteer shifts for all 3 of us!

The girls helped clean cat enclosures and took cats for walks (or strolls)! Walking 1 cat on a leash with 3 handles was pretty ridiculous.
This was one of my favorite sanctuary cats. His back legs don’t work, so he slides. His name is Slidell.
We were so excited for Coral to join us on some volunteer shifts at Best Friends this year! We cleaned bunny enclosures one day and spent a couple of afternoons playing with cats. It even turned out that the “Bunny Man” was our neighbor, Darren! The girls also got to attend Best Friends Summer Day Camp for a few days!
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary encourages volunteers to take adoptable animals home for “sleepovers”. This helps the animals be better acclimated to regular life outside of the sanctuary walls, making it more likely to be adopted into a forever home! We didn’t pass up this mutually advantageous arrangement. Pez spent the night in Stumbo with us. As you can see he helped with homeschooling, and was flattered by Coral’s travel journal entry dedicated wholly to him. The girls’ only complaint was that he was nocturnal!
THIS SWEET FAMILY!! Caroline, Stephane, Nina, Lu, and Mattias were so delightful. We were lucky enough that they parked right next door to us for a few days. We played board games, shared stories, practiced our French, played with kittens, and basically adopted Nina as a member of our family until trip logistics forced us to part ways.
We had such a blast with our new French-Canadian friends! It was also tiring to have so much fun…this was about 5 minutes after they drove away.
I’m not in the business of making fun of people, but this interpretation of “its Sarah with an H” plus the misspelling of my last name is just too hilarious to forget. I think that “Sahara FitzgeraDRED” is a great name for my alter-ego.
Teaser alert….COMPANY’S COMING!

Sitting in one place for a whole month made time speed up again – just like it had for us last in Yuma. We settle into what could almost be construed as a routine, we don’t rush around to see all the sights in a limited number of hours, and days begin to come and go like mist.  Days pass without anything noteworthy; no pictures taken, time slipping through our fingers. After 31 days in this location, it feels like a month has passed in the blink of an eye.  But it also feels like the locations we visited right before coming here were a lifetime ago.

When it was time to say goodbye to our site in Kanab, I found myself saying some difficult goodbyes…to our animal friends at Best Friends, to the circuit training room at my gym with free wifi, to our campground friends & neighbors, and my little hummers.  It’s amazing how quickly my heart wants to make a place feel like home.

1 Comment

  1. I’m looking forward to sitting still for two to three weeks and maybe some day a month. We have been traveling numerous times a week to get from one point to another, and work around my husband’s work schedule. And a gym membership! How amazing is that! Any ways, sounds like Kanab is a perfect place to call home for a month. Safe travels!

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