Experience: Shash Dine Eco Retreat
“Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in.” Andrew Zimmern
One of our favorite things about traveling the world is the ability to see how others live. We specifically love AirBnB for that reason; staying with locals, drinking and eating with them, chatting over conversations in half languages. When we set our to explore more of our own backyard (read: America) we knew we had to learn how the rest of the country lives, taking a break from our city-dwelling lives. We stayed in a TeePee in the Texan desert, in an old-as-the-nation colonial inn, and now on a Navajo farm at the Shash Dine Eco Retreat. What it lacks for in electricity and running water it makes up for in authenticity, great views, and a cozy abode. We arrived just before sunset (as directed) so we could get settled before the night engulfed us. Greeted by the friendliest group of Great Pyrenees and our host, Baya we were given a small tour of the land and area that would be our home for the night. The sun set quickly but luckily we came prepared with camping lights, and the hut we stayed in had a solar light as well as plenty of candles to create a warm ambiance for us to enjoy our dinner to. Guided by the soft lights around us we played a few games of crazy eights and eventually brought out our telescope to get a good look at the night sky. Being so far from civilization and light pollution we were able to see so many stars. Like really, more stars than we have ever seen, white milky way dust filtering the sky and draping us in the humbling experience of how small we are in this universe. After a perfect night's sleep we arose bright and early for a sunrise hike to the ridge at the edge of the property; from there we could see for miles and miles noticing Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend, and the canyons that are an extension of the Grand Canyon. It was the perfect place to take it all in; made even more perfect when... Z proposed to me! (IKNOWRIGHT) We hiked back to our hut where we were greeted with a homemade Navajo breakfast of blue corn porridge, honey, watermelon, and herbal tea. Taking in the traditions of another culture (even while starry-eyed and in engagement-shock) was a humbling experience. We loved looking around the hut with its brochures for Navajo adventures or art inspiring me for some Indian jewelry for myself. Before jetting off for the day's adventure we wandered around the farm, saying hello to our favorite white dogs, the horses and the sheep.