Anniken : Its a pitty there aren’t any Canadians on this trip
Terry : What do you mean no Comedians? I’m FUCKING HILARIOUS!?!
Anniken : I said Canadians….
Terry: …… oh…. Well I am…..
Sorry for taking so long to get back to you all, but I had an awesome time. I spent 16 days with some AWESOME people touring around the national parks and seeing some AMAZING sites.
THE BUS – The tour bus was no ordinary bus, it was a “Green Tortoise” tour bus, modified for the best experience you can have on the road. It had all the seats removed and the guts modified so that there was basically 2 huge beds and a couple of tables. For 16 days we lived with the bus, either camping out (tents, or just under the stars) or if we had a long distance to travel our awesome tour guides would drive us overnight while we all slept in the 2 huge beds, some hanging bunks, or in the “honeymoon suite” (which I’ll get to a little later). It wasn’t a tour in the sense that our guides would walk us around and tell us all about the history and such, it was a tour in the sense that they would drive us to a point, say there is something cool up there, and let us do our own thing. Which I think was great, not being lead around by the hand and spending time with people from the group.
All the people on the trip were awesome and from all over the world. Germans, Norwegians, Chinese, Polish, French, Indian, British, and Aussie. Jeff, and aussie, was a great mate to have on the trip and like most Aussies who meet up overseas we got along pretty well. The bus had the bunks and the open plan sleeping spaces, but it also had these 2 “caves” under 2 tables which Jeff and I claimed and affectionately referred to as the “honeymoon suite”.
Crazy Norwegians – We had one girl on the bus who was awesome, but slightly crazy (yes I know you are reading this Anniken, but you know it’s true, and we love you for it). She had this infectious laugh which would start out as this HIGH PITCH squeal that I didn’t know any living thing could achieve, and then turn into a completely incomprehensible ramble about why she was laughing. Most of us would sit there trying to figure out what the hell she was going on about, and then burst out in laughter once we had deciphered her blend of English and Norwegian. We would constantly give her crap about being a “strange Norwegian” cause we would keep catching her eating really strange combinations of food that all seemed completely normal to her. Breakfast one morning for Anniken was a Bagel with Watermelon slice and Nutella…. Everybody else was eating these items as well, but not all in one sandwich style breakfast disaster.
Germans – We had 5 Germans on our tour, and all of them were pretty cool, but especially my 2 favourite Germans girls, Chrissi and Jasmin (Yasmin). One night me and Jeff started harassing them (and one more girl, Franci), asking them how to say all sorts of words in German. Sitting out in the middle of the desert on a blue tarp, next to a canyon, pointing at random things asking how to say them. They taught all the human body parts (tho now all I seem to remember is Knee, because it’s the same but pronounced Ka-nee) and then I started to pester them for German pickup lines. Franci taught jeff one, who then tried to teach me. I was particularly suspicious though because I wasn’t there when Franci taught him, and he had this grin on his face which told me that I was getting led astray. He told me it was “Your hair is wonderful”….. which after a while I figured out was actually, “Your lady beard is wonderful”. Chrissi and Yasmin were awesome. After our trip was over we hung out in Las Vegas for a couple of days, and then I spent the day with Chrissi at Universal Studios in Los Angeles.
The trip went all through the national parks of west USA, Zion, Kodachrome Basin, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Grand Canyon, and it was all awesome. Yellowstone was a bit crazy tho because I had the constant fear of Bears, every night we camped I would carefully select where I was putting my tent making sure I had a clear escape route in case a bear decided to visit me in the night.
One of my favourite days on the trip was Zion National park, climbing up to the top of “Angels landing”. It was a really long and hard hike uphill to the top of this massive cliff, but it was the most rewarding climb ever. At one point, you’re walking across the top of this ridge, barely 1.5 meters wide with cliffs on either side, and all that’s there to stop you from falling is a knee high chain for you to hold onto, and then you spend the next 20 minutes “climbing” (scrambling) along a path that’s barely there and very close to the edge. But when you get to the top it is the best view, and felt so good to get to the top. I’ve never done so much hiking in my life though, every day we would hike somewhere, but it was always very deceiving cause all the hikes were described in miles rather than kilometres, so it was always further than I thought.
We did a lot of swimming, there wasn’t many chances for proper showers on the trip (being on the road and camping in places with drop toilets), so whenever we got the chance we would go for a swim. One day I conquered a lifelong fear I have of deep open water. We were all having a swim in this huge lake, and stupidly Jeff, Anniken and I decided that the island we could see in the middle wasn’t all that far away. So I blindly followed them thinking “well its fresh water, and it’s a lake, so it cant be that deap and there isn’t sharks”. It was sooooooo much further than we thought, and the lake was a hell of a lot deeper than I thought, so I was freaking out. Didn’t help that jeff was swimming along out in front of me humming the tune to jaws and randomly pointing and saying “did you see that???”. It took forever, and a lot of time spent floating on my back, but we did it and then still needed to go back. After we got back, we worked out that it’s near 500m each way…
There is so much that happened on the trip, too much to go through, but I can say that it was one of the best experiences I have had in my 27 years, and the best on this trip. I got to meet some of the best people, people who I am hopefully going to see again in the future (Jeff and I have already started talking about the next trip). Trying to convince the girls to come to Australia (Anniken has already promised) and I’m really looking forward to someday going to Germany and Norway.
The last night of our trip we stopped in vegas to have fun and say goodbye to all our new friends. We all wandered around checking out the sights and sounds of vegas but eventually, late that night had to say goodbye to everyone. Myself, Jasmin and Chrissi hung out in vegas for a couple of days but even that had to end eventually. So now I’m back on the road. Ive spent the last week in vegas catching up with a mate from back home, and the last couple of days in San Diego.
Tomorrow I’m heading back to San Francisco to do another green Tortoise tour for 4 days. I didn’t get to see the Giant redwoods, and Yosemite National Park, and because I had such a good time on the last trip, I figured it was a good idea to do it with another group rather than trying to do it by myself.
SO… right now I’m packing my bags again for another trip. Sorry for the lack of stupid stories and misadventures, so much happened in the last 4 weeks that I can’t remember it all and it was all just so good. Wish me luck.