BEACHED

Three and half years ago I paid my first visit to Lone Rock Beach with my inflatable alligator Wally.

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After completing the 47 mile hike through Paria Canyon I thought this beach would be a great place to recuperate and lay low for the day. I vowed to return to this stunning beach at some point in the future, I just never knew I would be living in the area.

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Lone Rock Beach lies 12 miles north of Page, Arizona. It is one of the few places in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area where one can drive right to the water’s edge, just be mindful of the sand hazard. During the summer the beach can look more like a tailgating parking lot for bayside motor homes and water enthusiasts.

On this summer day though, I returned to the beach with my dog child, Shadow. For Shadow, this would be lake number four to add to his canine travel resume.

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It would also be the first time he ever had to negotiate waves. Definitely not big waves, however new experiences for Shadow can make him timid at times. Uncertainty in Shadow’s world equates to; stay close to mama until his confidence is established.

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For me life is all about first’s, and on this day being around boats and inflatable watercraft was a first for Shadow.

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Usually Shadow gets to experience the wilderness leash free, like his mamma he likes to discover the planet on his own terms. Today was leashed play, and I don’t blame Shadow for being oppositional defiant. In his world, you cannot be footloose and fancy free when someone is pulling your strings.

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Yet somehow we found a way to tear it up together!

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After a brief visit to the beach we decided to take a different sandy route back to the main road. Note to self: the last time I ventured through the sand pit I had an AWD van. However on this day, a sports car succumbed to the sand.

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Over the past few months Shadow’s pointer side has started to show it’s self. Verbal cues like the word “check” encourages him to investigate a situation and seek out a solution.

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Shadow felt the best plan of attack was to dig, yes that’s right, he thought he could free the buried tire.

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After 30 minutes of “doggy digging” Shadow was unable to unearth the car. Fortunately a 4WD truck drove by and offered us a tow to firmer ground.

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I left Lone Rock beach once again vowing to return. The next time would hopefully be in the winter and with a kayak. My dream is to train him to sit still in a kayak for long periods of time. The goal is to paddle from Lake Mead to Yuma in 2015.

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