Arizona, USA - Grand Canyon / Monument Valley

August 1, 2008 - Flagstaff, Arizona, United States

 After an overnight train journey on Amtrak, I rocked up at the Grand Canyon Internation Hostel in Flagstaff at 5am. Flagstaff is a cool litlle town slap bang in Navajo country. Their culture is plain to see throughout and the town has plenty of shops with Navajo art and gifts.

I noticed a sign in the hostel advertising some handyman/cleaning work and as money was low I jumped straight on it.

I spent the next 2.5 weeks here, working during the mornings and enjoying the amazing rugged Arizona landscapes for the rest of the days. I made some really great friends (Aaron, Meric, Mike, Sun and Aidan) here and hope to come back and see them again some day. We spent the rainy days on the pool table with a bit of Johnny Cash in the background, and the sunny days out on trips.

I got to have a whole day at both the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley. The canyon was unbelievable. It was genuinely hard to grasp how vast it really is. What looked like tiny bushes near the bottom were in fact 30ft pine trees, and the tiddly little hut near the river was in fact a huge resource centre the size of a football pitch! Through a telescope you could just about make out the trekking donkeys making there way back up from the Native villages near the base.

Monument valley was just as beautiful but in a different way. It was great to see that famous backdrop to many of the classic Western films. It was a special place for me. My Dad always wanted to see Monument Valley but never made it before he passed away. I took a photo of him with me and had a photograph taken with it overlooking the most beautiful part of the Valley. I like to think he was standing just behind me.

Me and my buddies stayed until 8pm and watched the sun set through the valley - truly one of the most amazing sights you can ever see.

After saying a sad goodbye to my friends here, I jumped back on the Amtrak heading to LA for one night before flying out to Hawaii. I stayed that one night in the notorius gang district of Inglewood which was an 'interesting' experience but survived nonetheless.

Time to wax the board for hawaii!!!


November 19, 2008
mike, thanks for including me on email.
just looked at latest pictures.
looks like you are having great time, how are you going to come back home a work a normal job.
les & i look forward to seeing you on your return (march) to hear about your adventures.
March 8, 2009
Hi Mike,

Have been tracking your sojourn but can’t take too much of it. Sick with envy! Delighted that it’s turning out to be such a fantastic experience and that we can come along for the ride. Masochism aside! Keep it up and thanks.
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