United States 28 May: Monument Valley, UT - Chinle, AZ

Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Our camping experience at the Goulding's Monument Valley Good Sam Park was very pleasant. Some of the team members climbed the sections of the surrounding rocks to enjoy the sunrise. Its the most scenic camp grounds we have stayed at. We thank the management of the park for accommodating us.

The team arrived in the morning at the town of Chinle in Arizona.

Here we were greeted by Edwina Sandoval, leader of the Mesa Elementary School's Wings of America Flight Club and its young members. They led us to our ceremony in the town.

Others enjoyed the historical icons in the town.

The was also a film crew that followed us to the ceremony. They were producing documentary about ultra marathon running.

We soon arrived at the ceremony and were greeted by Shaun Martin. Shaun welcomed us and gave us an overview of the ceremony on behalf of the Navajo Nation.

The torch was handed over to Allan Martin, one of the elders of the Navajo Nation who led the ceremony. Allan explained in detail the significance of each ritual while conducting the ceremony.

Salil Wilson, the director of the Peace Run, rejoined us to represent the team for the ceremony and receive the official blessings on behalf of the team.

Now its time for us to do our Peace Run ritual.

At the end of the ceremony, the team awarded our Torch Bearer award to Shaun for his work in educating and supporting the young members of community. Shaun also spoke about the significance of running to the Navajo Nation.

The award was also presented to Alvina Begay, who has dedicated her life to running and representing her community in the world athletics.

We offered a small gift to the Martin family for their support and blessings.

Gratitude to the Navajo Nation for welcoming the team. We would also like to thank Dustin Martin (not present) of Wings of America Flight Club, who provided major contribution in coordinating this ceremoy.

Two great film makers met for the first time.

We then visited the Canyon de Chelly.

The Boys team scaled the top section of the canyon...

... and girls mingled with the locals at the bottom of the canyon.

The famous White House ruins of Canyon de Chelly.

A quick side visit to the little painted desert.

We ended the day with Navajo Tacos, a final blessing to our team with 2000 plus calories in Navajo style.