TRAVEL – trek america’s grand trek: monument valley

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 29 monument valleyAfter two days ticking the Grand Canyon off of our bucket lists, it was time to say hello to Navajo nation!

On the way there we stopped off at a Navajo gift shop where I bought my girls back home a little handmade dream catcher, before visiting a small Native American museum which was really insightful. For those Forrest Gump fans out there, we also paid a little pit stop to that famous scene before finally arriving at Monument Valley!

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 29 monument valley run forrest run stopthat famous ‘run Forrest’ run’ scenelinebreak

As we would be spending the night in the valley with no showers, we packed an overnight bag (which consisted of a hoodie, shorts, flip flops, sleeping bag, pillow and clean underwear aha) and placed it in the 4 X 4 jeep for our tour!

The jeep tour was so good! We had a slightly crazy ,but happy guide called Jamie who kept doing Woody the Woodpecker impressions and told us all about Navajo life. Our first stop on the tour was a female hogan where a Native American lady showed us how they made their beautiful blankets and even demonstrated a typical Native American hairstyle on one of the girls from the other tour groups.

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 29 monument valley view 1travel - trekamericas grand trek day 29 monument valley view 2travel - trekamericas grand trek day 29 monument valley - welcome signmonument valley views, ‘welcome’ hogan signlinebreak

Jamie then took us to a large natural hogan where we laid down, closed our eyes and listened to him playing the flute. It was so peaceful, and it really made you think just how lucky you are to be in such an amazing place.

All was calm until, you guessed it – a thunderstorm was approaching (typical trek!) But like the troopers we are (we handled Cedar Point, so we can pretty much handle anything), we embraced the weather and made it to our next stop – a rock formation up a massive hill of red sand. We all had a little race to the top and back down before it started pelting it down. Talk about perfect timing!

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 29 monument valley hogantravel - trekamericas grand trek day 29 monument valley sunset lightningrock formation, thunderstorm during sunsetlinebreakJamie was so nice at this point and traded in our roofless jeep for a van, whereas the rest of the tour groups made their way back in the rain! Go us! As the rain calmed down, we met with the other groups and had a Navajo dinner – Indian fried bread with onions, lettuce, beans and a buffalo steak. It was so delicious and was a refreshing change to pizza.

Entertainment then followed with a Navajo showing us their traditional dances such as ‘the sneak up’ and ‘duck and dive’ in their Rennailla (it’s disrespectful to call what they were wearing a costume). I felt very privileged to experience a different culture and learn things from their perspective. What’s more, they even got us to join in and have a dance off!

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 29 monument valley - foodtravel - trekamericas grand trek day 29 monument valley entertainmenttraditional food, Navajo entertainment
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When the entertainment ended, it was time to head to our special hogan for the night. Me, Polly, Bobbi, Dave and Matty decided to sleep out under the stars, whilst the others decided to spend the night in the hogan. After the thunderstorm, the weather had calmed down and it was such a beautiful night, so we thought we’d take advantage of it! The sky was so clear and the stars were twinkling – it was such a surreal moment and we even saw shooting stars!

About an hour until we had to wake up, it started spitting (what’s new there aha?) so luckily, we ran into the hogan and joined everyone before the rain hit us again. It was nice staying in the hogan and outside it, and to say we were all smelly, dirty and tired, it’s a moment that I’m sure we’d do again in a heartbeat!

travel - trekamericas grand trek day 29 monument valley sunrise hearttravel - trekamericas grand trek day 29 monument valley sunriseshowing our love for monument valley, sunrise
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After an hour’s sleep in the hogan, we packed up our stuff and went to watch the sun rise, which was quite possibly the best sunrise I have ever seen in my life! The silhouettes of the rocks and the colours in the sky were so beautiful!

After an amazing day and night, it’s time to say goodbye to Navajo nation and head to New Mexico! Did someone say tequila?

sigyhl

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

travel - grand trek insta snaps week four

It’s the fourth week of our trip and that officially marks the end of our Northern Trail tour!

travel - grand trek - trek family and universal studios hollywood The Northern Trail family / Universal Studios, LA

linebreaktravel - grand trek - downtown vegas and angels landing Downtown Vegas / On top of Angels Landing, Zion

linebreaktravel - grand trek - grand canyon and monument valley Sat on top of the Grand Canyon / Sunrise at Monument Valley

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After three weeks of rain, pranking and hiking, the Northern Trail finally came to an end in LA. We spent the last couple of days there at a baseball game (let’s go Dodgers, let’s go!) and on our free day; a few of us went to Universal Studios, whilst the rest hit Venice Beach. It was so sad the next morning saying goodbye to our friends but we had one thing to keep us going – Viva Las Vegas! What can I say? Vegas was incredible! The Bellagio Fountains were just as I imagined (amazing!) and it’s safe to say, we all had a good time there! We then conquered Angel’s Landing in Zion – one of the most strenuous and dangerous trails in America’s national park system – something of which I am incredibly proud of! The next couple of days were spent at the Grand Canyon, where most of us pretty much chilled out and took in the views. (And did the last and final hike of the trip, yay!) The week ended on a high at Monument Valley, which was one of the most incredible things I have ever experienced! We slept under the stars, had a traditional Navajo dinner, danced and did a jeep tour of the valley. The first week of the Southern Sun tour has been amazing so far, and I cannot wait for the next few stops to come – Austin, New Orleans and Nashville! 

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

sigyhl

Keep up to date on the following channels:

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TRAVEL – all about america

travel - all about americaIn two weeks time I shall be jetting off to New York to start my seven week trekamerica adventure!

Is it normal to be excited yet nervous at the same time?! After what seemed like weeks of planning and decision making, (travelling around Australia was on the cards with another option being a Thai adventure) in the end I chose trekamerica’s Grand Trek.

A 43 day camping tour starting and ending in New York, the Grand Trek visits some amazing cities including Chicago, LA, Vegas, San Francisco and New Orleans, plus some spectacular sights such as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park and Monument Valley. Covering 26 states, I just couldn’t pass up this once in a lifetime opportunity.

I am hoping to do some packing and what places I’m looking forward to visiting posts before I go, with some diary posts of what I’ve been up to when I come back.

To keep up-to-date on my latest adventures, check out my instagram – @sazwatson.

If anyone can recommend me any places to go or eat at in New York (where I shall be on my lonesome) it will be very much appreciated!

sigyhl

Keep up to date on the following channels:

Follow me on twitter - sazwatson Keep up to date with my adventures on instagram - sazwatson Find out what inspires me on pinterest - sazwatson

Follow me on twitter - sazwatson Keep up to date with my adventures on instagram - sazwatson Find out what inspires me on pinterest - sazwatson

Follow me on twitter - sazwatson Keep up to date with my adventures on instagram - sazwatson Find out what inspires me on pinterest - sazwatson