I’ve recently returned from the Westerner 2 Trek America trip with the intention of writing about my travels. The problem is, I’ve come home with an entire journal full of urgent, inspired scribblings and over 500 photos, videos and of course, selfies to reflect upon. It’s safe to say that the diverse variation of things I’ve seen and done in the last month has left me wondering where to start. I’ve visited some of the nation’s most breath-taking national parks and explored some of the most cosmopolitan cities by day and by night (how lucky am I?!)- so how could I possibly know where to begin?
But that’s the beauty of the Westerner 2. Variety. The tour is a perfect combination of city sights and natural delights. Covering top destinations in California, Arizona and Nevada, I left the trip feeling as though I’d truly seen the best of the West.
I stood at the top of giant waterfalls in Yosemite, and looked down at the rainbows below us. I hiked the Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon and I walked along the Golden Gate Bridge. I even caught some waves at a surfing lesson in San Diego.
Not only did I get around by surfboard, I rented a bike, caught the San Fran tram, and saw the early evening cityscape by cruise. Not to mention the good old minivan- the place where, in time, the group got to know each other, slept, ate, played Uno, and saw some of the most outrageous, quintessentially American sights we’d ever see while road-tripping through the Arizona desert. In travelling with a hilarious, adventurous and interesting group of people from the UK, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Korea and of course, America, the time spent on the road was never dull.
On day six, the birds woke me just in time for sunrise after sleeping in the depths of the Grand Canyon National Park. I’d been on the trip for almost a week and had really come to love the cosy, natural atmosphere of camping. As the light poured over the horizon and I looked across the gaping valley that surrounded me, I thought, “Will I really be in Vegas tomorrow?!”
That night, as we nursed our hiking-weary feet and reminisced over the mind-blowing sights of the day, we saw the stars. The brightest dots shining against a coal-black blanket. Little did I know that in a few days, I’d be seeing them again from the rock bed of some natural hot springs in Bishop, California. I even met some stars of a different kind in Sin City. When in Vegas…
All that sightseeing sure did work up an appetite. No wonder, then, that during my time on the trip I devoured a helping of a dozen honey-coated chicken wings, all-American pancakes for breakfast, shrimp tacos in LA’s Grand Central Market, local seafood from San Francisco’s Pier 39, and enough s’mores to make sure this Brit abroad will never utter the words, ‘What’s a Graham cracker?’ again.
As I return home to the UK, I find myself stealing pockets of time to indulge in daydreams about the events of those two weeks. The Westerner 2 has spoiled me. No history book will show me the past like standing in the isolation cells at Alcatraz did. No shower will ever compare to being soaked through by the mist of Yosemite falls. No car journey will ever match up to the limo ride through the bright streets of Vegas.
Nobody does itineraries like Trek America. If you’re considering booking a trip, keep in mind that the Westerner 2 should come with a warning: it will inspire an insatiable thirst for travelling that will stay with you long after you kick off your hiking boots.
For further information about the Westerner 2, follow this link: