TRAVEL – trek america’s grand trek: santa fe, new mexico

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 30 santa fe new mexicoStarting the morning with a spectacular sunrise was just what we needed! Now it was time to move on and head to America’s oldest state capital city – Santa Fe!

On the way there Morgan took us to a pretty cool lunch spot – Santa Fe’s version of Badlands, which to be fair, was an amazing place to chill and eat! The views were out of this world! After lunch and a long drive, we finally arrived at our campsite in Santa Fe where we quickly set up our tents and raced to the showers! (A shower never felt so good!)

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 30 santa fe new mexico badlandstravel - trekamericas grand trek day 30 santa fe new mexico badlands viewsanta fe badlands
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It was then time to head out to the Plaza, which reminded me of Jackson Hole; as it was a quirky place with pretty flowers along the square, cowboy and Indian shops, cool bars and there was even an outdoor concert there!

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 30 santa fe new mexico - flowerstravel - trekamericas grand trek day 30 santa fe new mexico - churchtravel - trekamericas grand trek day 30 santa fe new mexico - plazapretty flowers in the plaza, Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis, plazalinebreak

Me and Polly quickly zoomed around the square taking in all of the sights before visiting the Thunderbird Bar for cocktails. We both had margaritas – a nod to Santa Fe’s Mexican vibe and chilled out for an hour or two, before meeting the rest of the group and heading back to camp for tea and an early(ish) night.

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Santa Fe is such a nice place and it would of been amazing to stay a little longer and explore it more! But we are on our way to the Deep South via Amarillo, Texas tomorrow!

sigyhl

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TRAVEL – trek america’s grand trek: badlands, south dakota

travel - trekamericas grand trek - badlandsAfter a long driving day and a chilled night in camp yesterday, we were woken up at 5am by a thunderstorm.

Steve told us to go into the bathrooms and wait it out, but with 60mph winds heading our way (signs of a tornado), he told us to pack up everything and go. So there we were in our PJs, packing our tents away in torrential downpours. (Is it me, or is this a case of déjà vu?)

We stopped off at a café where we had a drink and a bite to eat – we all joked about how the rain was following us (little did we know it actually would throughout our whole trek), and waited the storm out. One of the highlights of that day was when Steve was getting the breakfast box out of the trailer for those who didn’t want to buy anything in the café, and we all looked up and saw the lid blowing down the street with Steve chasing after it – it was such a comedy gold moment!

travel - trekamericas grand trek - badlands corn palacethe world famous corn palace
linebreakOnce the storm had calmed down, it was back in the van and straight to our next stop and our first national park, Badlands in South Dakota. On our way there, we stopped off at the world’s only corn palace (yup, you read that right). Let’s just say that it was a very interesting experience – but hey, one to tick off the bucket list!
travel - trekamericas grand trek - badlands visitors centretravel - trekamericas grand trek - badlands entrance
entrance to badlands
linebreakWe then stopped at a gun store, which I wasn’t really too keen on, before we finally arrived at camp to get our hiking gear on and go on our very first hike (out of many) on the trek! After taking a look in the Ben Reifel Visitors Center we started our hike.
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top: view of badlands, bottom: me & bobbi
linebreakSteve took us on our trail, which would only be a short hike (looking back he was easing us all in). It was such a chilled walk – and a different pace from Chicago and being in the van all day.
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top; beware of snakes! sign, bottom: cacti
linebreakBadlands itself was such a beautiful place – who knew rocks could be so interesting? We took so many pictures and even saw the sun set!
travel - trekamericas grand trek - badlands rock formation
travel - trekamericas grand trek - badlands sunsettop: rock formation, bottom: sunset
linebreakAfter our hike, we headed back to camp where most of us went straight into the showers (at this point none of us had washed since the day before, so we were all smelling pretty fresh). At least it gave us an insight of what two days at Yellowstone would be like – with no showers!

Group D were cooking tonight and made an awesome chilli, as it was such a long day we all had a quick chat before calling it a night. Well…we had to be prepared for Mount Rushmore!

sigyhl

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(Corn Palace image from Google)

TRAVEL – trek america’s grand trek instagram snaps week two

travel - grand trek insta snaps week two

Week two and it was time to say goodbye to the wonderful city of Chicago and hit the national parks!

Hiking in Badlands National Park / Me & Polly at Mt. Rushmore

linebreak The Old Trail Town, Wyoming / Hiked up Mt. Washburn in Yellowstone National Park

linebreak Amazing view of Grand Prismatic, Yellowstone / Grand Teton National Park

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After thunderstorms and rain galore, we arrived at Badlands National Park for a short hike where we saw the sun set which was amazing. The next day we visited Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse – I have to say I was so impressed with Crazy Horse, I didn’t know it was a family project so that was pretty cool to see and experience. Then it was on to Cody, Wyoming to see a rodeo (which was surprisingly really good) and to see the Old Trail Town. Yellowstone was the second national park we visited (we even saw bears!), hiked up Mt. Washburn and visited beautiful springs like Grand Prismatic and Mammoth Hot Springs. Towards the end of the week we headed to Grand Teton and Jackson Hole, which is one of the most prettiest towns I’ve ever seen and a group of us white water rafted! Even though it was only week two, it seems like we are such a close knit family and get on so well! It will be hard when everyone goes their seperate ways.

Stay up to date with all the latest goings-on with my USA trip on instagram – @sazwatson.

sigyhl

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