California Pacific Coast

Georgina Gyton, England

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  • I undertook the Pacific Dream trek with a mixture of feelings: excitement, anticipation, and few nerves, but more than anything a sense of adventure. It was amazing how quickly fourteen strangers became fourteen friends; there are so many memories now instilled in my mind of my four week trip, though a few spring to mind as some of the best!

    24 hours (or so) in Utah...

    We arrived in Utah in the late afternoon after travelling from Jackson Hole that morning. Our time spent in the trek van chatting away to each other whilst listening to our trek leaders' favourite Led Zeppelin album, amongst a huge variety of other CDs. As we neared our destination, we watched the thunder and lightning storms ride alongside us (typical Utah weather I was informed). Huge forks of jagged lightning breaking through the clouds and down towards the ground- it was an awesome sight.

    That evening it was my groups' turn to cook - chicken kebabs and jacket potatoes - cooked in the heat of the campfire. Whilst waiting for the potatoes to cook, I and a few others from my group lay down on the grass in the warm night air, with a beer in hand and stared up at the sky - total relaxation! We watched as the fork lightning in the distance come ever closer, before changing course and passing by the side of us. I remember looking up and seeing the familiar shape of the stars that resemble a giant saucepan, and thinking it's strange to think that when I look up at the stars back home in England, I can see exactly the same sight.

    Later on, we sat around the bonfire and made 's'mores'. graham crackers with hot marshmallows and Hersheys chocolate sandwiched inside.just one of my great American culinary discoveries, along with Reese's fast break chocolate bars, and ruffles crisps!

    The campsite was situated in the heart of a full circle atmospheric backdrop. The shapes, colours, and textures of the rocks - greens, reds, purples, pinks and oranges; layer upon layer of towering rock formations made you feel so small.

    After a hearty breakfast of eggs, peppers, mushrooms and toast the next morning, we headed off into Arches National Park to trek the 3 mile Delicate Arch trail. It was pretty tough hiking uphill in the heat, but the blues skies and amazing scenery was all it took to persevere to the top, and when I got there it was definitely worth the effort. Delicate Arch was such an amazing sight, as were the views around me. We had a picnic lunch at the top, before heading back down the trail, and later hiking to Landscape Arch - an even more impressive sight. One day the weather and effects of erosion will cause the arch to fall, but I'm one of the lucky people to have seen it.

    For dinner, our trek leader Larry picked up fried chicken and salad which we took up to a place called 'Dead Horse Point'. We ate, overlooking the canyon-esque surroundings, and later as the sun went down we sat on some rocks overlooking Dead Horse Point, and watched in peaceful silence as the sun disappeared behind the rocks on the far side of us. The sun fell behind wisps of cloud creating a golden red glow behind them, and the sky became a mix of warming colours, a calming and picturesque scene. On the way back to camp, someone put on a CD of tribal music by Navajo Indians. It was so atmospheric as I sat in the back of the van looking out at the golden sky from the windows, the forms of my fellow trekkers' creating almost black silhouettes at this point. It made me realise these are experiences I'm only going to have once, but I'll remember forever.
Grand Tetons Delicate Arch Landscape Arch Canyonlands Mesa Arch Wall Street, Arches National Park Arches National Park Horseshoe Bend

    28 days from LOS ANGELES

    May-Sep from

    USA West - Camping

    Buckle up for a no-holds-barred epic. This giant circuit crosses each of the nine states closest to the Pacific. Big forests, mighty canyons, sprawling cities and dramatic desert as far as the eye can see. There's nothing small about this tour.

    Highlights: Best of the West | Cities & National Parks

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