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Pacific Coast

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Past Trekkers Review
Pacific Coast

A great trip to experience all that the west coast has to offer.

Reviewed February 2014

This was a great trip (as all of them are, I'm sure). It was a lovely mix of all the cities/towns of the west coast; Yosemite, San Francisco, Seattle, Mt. St. Helen's, and many small coastal towns that I had never heard of. Admittedly I had never heard of most of the places we visited - but really should have researched before I left, as many were world famous (oops).

Two weeks was a nice amount of time, long enough to get to know the whole group and settle into the rhythm.

Every morning starts out quite early, always leaving at something like 7:30 - having already had breakfast and packed up the tents and tables. The tents are easy to put up and down once you've gotten used to it, even the people who haven't camped before won't have much trouble. Breakfast usually hosts many choices (that we've chosen ourselves) and coffee & tea were always brewed.

I went in the middle of summer and was shocked at how cold it was along the coast, I had just come from temperatures in the 20/30s C (80/90s F) in Maryland to temperatures of like 10 degrees C (plus wind) in California. Arctic wind cools the coast, so be prepared for cold and windy weather there, but bloody hot temperatures inland. Every time we darted inland I had a chance to defrost my cold-phobic Aussie bones, dry my towel and wash my meager supply of warm clothes. Be sure to pack warm AND cold clothes.

There are many hikes on this trip, be prepared with a decent supply of sunscreen (50+) if possible, and an easy-to-use water supply (like the ones with a straw). Backpacks are a must.... unless you're happy carting kilos of water, sunscreen, snacks, hats, camera etc. in your pockets.

The trip to San Fran was very well timed, half-way through our journey and was a lovely chance to charge all devices and sleep in a proper bed. We stayed two nights, most people in a shared room (I was lucky enough to get one to myself), and there were no obligations - we could explore the city however we liked. The break of pace and sudden freedom was very enjoyable.

The showers were mostly okay, they're public in camping sites so we didn't expect much, but most of them were clean and in working order. Some of the showers were pretty awful, dead spiders all around and luke-warm water (so thongs/flip-flops are a must) but most were fine - some even very nice! Some toward the end of the journey needed quarters, and one needed tokens, but most were free. I think all of them even had power points.

There are many hours spent in the van, of course, so make sure you've got something to keep you entertained.

Overall this was a fantastic holiday; lovely people from all over the world (though mostly Britain :P), beautiful sights and a nice chance to visit many famous places in a short period of time. Most of the above sound like complaints, but really it's just things you need to know. I had a great time on this trip and I hope you do too. :)

Past Trekkers Review
Pacific Coast

Really Great Trip

Reviewed January 2014

If you want to see some amazing national parks I would definitely recommend this tour. Not so many cities which I prefer but this is still an great tour.

When I went in July we did not have one day of rain, every day was hot and sunny :)

Lets start with Oregon - on the itinerary it does not say that you will go to Portland - but ask your tour leader if you can stop by as this is a truly beautiful city and and the street food is incredible, in fact a whole block is dedicated to street food.
Yosemite National Park, CA and Mt. Rainier National Park, WA were the best parks I have been to (but be prepared to walk and take a camera).
I have been to San Francisco which is probably one of my favourite cities in the USA - Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge are a must see (obviously). Whilst your in San Fran go to the "Kozy Kar" on 1548 Polk Street this is probably the most strangest bar I have ever been in and very good to have a laugh.

And finally, Seattle! I only spent the 1 night before it was time to go home but we still managed to get down to the Space Needle, Skyline Views & a MLB match Seattle Mariners VS Minnesota Twins. I had no idea the rules of baseball but the atmosphere was electric - great experience.