I spent the summer of 2010 on a J1 in San Diego and I can safely say it was the three best months of my life! But as this blog is about travelling I wont go into what happened in San Diego but more about what happens when you put 7 muppets from Cork City in a van and let them have free roam of the Entire west coast of America!
Our plan from the outset was to visit
1. The Grand Canyon
2. Vegas baby!
3. Yosemite national park
4. Lake Tahoe
5. San Francisco
6. Pebble Beach
7. Santa Barbara
8. Los Angeles
And to be fair to us we managed to visit every stop however nobody could prepare us for what the next 2-3 weeks had in store for us.
Leaving Rogers International Hostel at approximately 00:30am we were going to drive overnight to the grand canyon, take a couple of pics there and then arrive in Vegas approx. 14-15 hours later!
After a couple of heated debates with the hairy baby (aka Dave Little) about where to fit surfboards and if there was any actual point to bringing them we reached an agreement. Ciara the Chrysler (our beloved van) was packed up and ready to go!!... Along with a new member who recently decided to join us on our trip, for moral support and because we thought he was sound. Wally the watermelon!
Night driving duty was handed over to Blakey and we were off! The natty ice was in full flow in the back of the van and the tunes were pumping as we made our way inland and towards the Arizona desert. By the time morning hit we were making our way through Grand Canyon National Park on our way to find this massive hole in the ground that people seemed to tag as amazing, and to be fair, when we got first sight of it all of us were lost for words. It truly is astounding. The sheer size and area of the canyon is completely overpowering. It is 446km long and up to 29km wide! If you can't get an image in your head of that here is a picture of me at the canyon (excuse the hat)
We went on a short hike down into the canyon to get some better views and get a real idea of how expansive this place actually is! It was here however that our short-term friend wally had a disagreement with one of the lads and met his untimely end off the side of the grand canyon.
After making our way deep into the canyon we decided to hike back up to the top and continue our trip to Vegas! However nobody really anticipated that the midday sun was now coming out and we were going to be going UP hill... we barely scraped our way back up to the top but dragged our sweaty, sorry selves into Ciara (our van, last reminder) and made our way to a Mc Donalds to fuel up and hit the road towards Sin City!
The Grand Canyon is truly an amazing place and it is not hard to see why it is regarded as one of the seven wonders of the natural world. Even though we only had a short time here I was pretty happy just to see it. We had a laugh and got all the pictures, saw exactly what we came to see and managed to insult a couple of middle class american tourists while we were at it! You would need a lifetime to truly explore the whole canyon itself and with Vegas on our horizons mindsets switched from loving nature and marvelling at canyons to wanting to hit the road!
I was handed driving duties and while we were on our way 6 of the 7 eyes in the van closed for some shut eye. So I threw up the music, put the foot down and took in the landscape and different terrains we were driving across, from driving up and down windy mountains which lead on to 40-50 mile long desert plains with straight roads where speed limits didn't seem to really exist!
Going on a bit more than originally planned here so I'll update the rest tomorrow evening! Late on a Sunday here and the mind just isn't up for it!
On soon, g'lick