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Southwest Native American Immersion

Green Tortoise USA bus tours - Live Power Community Farm

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Southwest Native American Immersion Departures:

Round Trip from San Francisco:

8 Days.

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Southwest Native American Immersion –
8 days / 7 nights

America’s Southwest is renowned for a history rich in Native American culture, stunning canyons etched by wild and scenic rivers, and a multitude of recreational opportunities.
This exciting and enlightening adventure includes horseback riding through sacred lands; white water rafting on the Colorado; discovering ancient petroglyphs; and traditional Navajo songs and story-telling in a Navajo Hogan.
Join us on this life-changing journey into ancient times; experience the traditions of the past as we envision and assist in positive modern changes that protects our Native American heritage for generations to come.

Day 1: Departure Day 1:00 - 3:00 PM
Meet and greet as students discover and move into our rolling “home” before we begin our journey to the edge of the Colorado plateau.  We’ll make a short stop sometime after the initial excitement has calmed to change the bus (perform "the Miracle”) into night sleeping mode.

Meals: None (students to bring packed dinner)
Accommodation: Drive Night

Day 2: Zion National Park, Utah
Rise and shine in the gem of the West!  After an initial team-building breakfast, we’ll spend the day exploring this spectacular park.  Hike to dramatic view points, take a dip in the Virgin River, a tributary of the Colorado River, and learn about into the dramatic landscape carved 250 million years ago.

This park offers numerous recreation and educational opportunities and a human history dating back to 6,000 BC!  We complete our day with some star-gazing and shared time around the campfire.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner 
Accommodation: Camp Night

Day 3: Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
This morning we take a scenic drive to the Utah and Arizona border where the region’s world-famous towering buttes and mesas dominate the desert panorama. We’ll join with our local Navajo friends and experience Native American life in this rugged desert and mesa landscape; our overnight stay at a Navajo Hogan (the rustic dwellings the Navajo people built and inhabited) includes an evening of traditional songs, oral-history and story-telling that has been passed down for generations. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner 
Accommodation: Camp Night/Hogan Stay
 

Day 4: Moab area, Utah
Today we meet our equine companions, saddle up and ride into tribal lands.  Our local guides escort us through the normally restricted areas of their ancestral lands and recount spiritual and historical narratives, as well as notable locations used in legendary western and modern movies.  Arrange for an optional Navajo Hogan rug demonstration, focus on unraveling the mysteries of ancient pottery shards, or marvel at the longevity of petroglyphs on this extraordinary trip back into time.  After our horseback ride, we say hágoónee’ to our Navajo friends and head off to the shores of the mighty Colorado River to camp out under the stars.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Accommodation: Camp Night on the Colorado River

Day 5: Colorado River Rafting Trip
Our full day on the water begins right after breakfast.  Our experienced rafting guides lead us through a tranquil float, stopping to explore isolated historic sites inaccessible to the modern world in between paddling and swimming.  After we stop on the banks for a picnic lunch, the scenery changes dramatically as we head downstream; gold, red and black granite canyon walls tower 1,600 feet overhead and the river increases its pace to a fun frolic. We’ll experience some exhilarating (and safe) rapids and gain bragging rights along the way.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Camp Night 

Day 6:  Arches/Canyonlands National Park
The stone bridges, gossiping monoliths and mountains with windows to the sky are our backdrops as we hike through the world’s largest concentration of natural limestone arches. Try your best at photographing Landscape Arch, Delicate Arch or Balancing Rock — we’re willing to bet even the best shots can't capture the magnificence of this area and its famous symbols. 

A short drive away lies another showcase; millions of years of erosion through sediment produced the buttes, mesas and brilliantly colored walls of Canyonlands National Park. In this paradise of geological wonders, a collection of hikes from easy to advanced are possible. After our day of hiking and exploring ancient geology, we share a satisfying dinner and camp out under the stars.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Camp Night
 

Day 7: Service Work Day 
After a hearty breakfast, we roll up our sleeves and don work gloves for a rewarding day of volunteering.  We’ll contribute to the preservation, protection and upkeep of our nation’s natural resources by working under the guidance of park officials and volunteer coordinators. 

A range of projects are usually available and are assigned in the area needed.  Projects such as trail building, fence construction, invasive species eradication and clean-up are often encountered.  Whatever our contribution consists of, it will have a lasting effect on the preservation of the park for years to come.

Tonight marks our final evening together and we’ll celebrate in the local town with dinner, laughter, stories and songs aboard the bus as we roll into the night. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 
Accommodation: Drive Night 

Day 8: Return to the Bay Area/San Francisco 
Conclude the educational goals of your class by tying in the observations of the past week during the remainder of our ride back to San Francisco.  This is a great time to play word games, journal favorite parts of the trip, or simply reflect on the fun experiences throughout our journey into the American southwest.

Our trip back to the Bay Area ends in the early afternoon where we say, “hágoónee’”, or “alright then.”

Meals: None (restaurants en route for Breakfast/Lunch)
Accommodation: Home

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