Monument Valley

Jessica Carlson, UK

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  • So, a story about my trek 2006. It is so hard to put how much fun I actually had into words, but here we go. Hold tight, here comes the Southern Sun experience!!

    A group of 13 strangers met in New York City at 7am. We all loaded our bags into the trailer and climbed into our van and began the journey to our first destination, Washington DC. We had a day of touring the space, history and animal museums and visited the White House. That night we saw the Washington Monuments, all illuminated.

    Then we drove to Tennessee and went white water rafting down the Olympic rapids. 5 miles of fun, we had a fantastic time and everyone fell out at some point.

    Then came New Orleans. We stepped up a level from camping as we had our own suite. It was luxury for us. We had electricity! That night we hit Bourbon Street and visited all the jazz bars. It was the most colourful place I have ever seen. We had a free day the next day and that evening we had a big meal at the Hard Rock Café.

    Then we drove to San Antonio, Texas. We visited the Alamo which was really interesting. Then off we went to Del Rio, only minutes away from the Mexican boarder. So we drove over the boarder and had a look around a small town. That night we found a restaurant and ate Mexican food, and Coronas were only $1.

    After Mexico we went to Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. We were awestruck by the size of the caves. Then we drove to Arizona and spent a day resting by the pool, cooking s'mores and talking endlessly about what we had done so far. We slept outside as was much more fun sleeping outside and looking up at the stars. In the desert the sky was full of them.

    After this restful day came our 4x4 tour of Monument Valley. A local guide gave us a history lesson on the valley. We even got to visit a Navajo Indian. We also did the traditional southern sun roll down massive sand dunes. A very sandy experience but seriously good fun. We were very lucky to be able to camp in monument Valley. We stayed with Betty and Rusty, two cowboys who were more than willing to cook us a huge steak. That night we put down our ground sheets and slept on the ground in a circle. The next morning we went horseback riding in Monument Valley and it was fantastic.

    Next, the Grand Canyon. We spent an hour flying over it in our helicopter. He told us how it formed and did awesome tricks with the helicopter. I really cannot describe the canyon in words; the best we could come up with was 'breathtaking'. The next day we were all up bright and early at 5am to watch the sunrise over the Grand Canyon. So many photographs were taken and everyone was completely silent for the first time. After the sun was up and glowing we caught the shuttle bus down to the trail we had chosen to hike down. Again, fantastic!

    After the canyon came Lake Powell, perfectly clear water. After about 10m the ground drops suddenly and the water becomes 600ft deep. The 'who can touch the bottom' game got everyone laughing. No one did.!

    Zion Nation Park was our next stop. We set up our tents just next to a cool river. The next day we did one of the famous hikes, Angel's Landing, which had incredible views.

    Then, Las Vegas. On the first night we all went out for a meal and had a look around the city. The next day was a free day, so whilst the guys went off shooting and to race fast cars, the girls went shopping.

    Then we drove to Disneyland, LA. The park put on the most amazing show. It was our last full day together so it was nice to end it with a bang. Amazing fireworks! Then we drove to our final hotel in LA then went to Venice beach. Talking and laughing about our favourite moments. When we got back we said goodbye to everyone. Our trek leader Jay was amazing, he did all he could to make sure we had the best trip ever. We had a trip of a lifetime and I met some fabulous people. I am truly grateful.
Jessica Carlson - Grand Canyon Jessica Carlson - Rusty Jessica Carlson - Horseriding Jessica Carlson - Sleeping outside Jessica Carlson - Grand Canyon Helicopter Ride Jessica Carlson - Grand Canyon Sunrise Jessica Carlson - Zion Jessica Carlson - Lake Powell

    21 days from NEW YORK AREA

    Apr-Oct from

    Cross Country - Camping

    This one's topped our charts for 40 years, thanks to its blend of Eastern energy and slow-paced Deep South charm mingled with mountains, canyons and deserts, before a laid-back West Coast sign off. Yes sir, this is one varied snapshot of the States.


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    21 days from LOS ANGELES

    Mar-Oct from

    Cross Country - Camping

    This one's topped our charts for 40 years, thanks to its blend of Eastern energy and slow-paced Deep South charm mingled with mountains, canyons and deserts, before signing off on an East Coast high. Yes sir, this is one varied snapshot of the States


    View tour
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