Published: July 29th 2010July 29th 2010
This adventure I’ve embarked on has changed my life. Coming back to San Francisco, I am giddy. Full circle from the start of my South East Asia journey, I can feel myself growing stronger. Somewhere in me, there is still a girl who worries about everyone’s opinions of me. I remember being a little girl who was too worried or indecisive to know what clothing to pick or ice cream flavor to choose. Where is she now? It is as if I can feel myself fortifying and blossoming at the same time. My eyes are constantly wide with wonder and I sink everyday more into peace with myself. I believe that the changes I underwent in Thailand will look small when I am finished with Suntrek. I look around at my life and I don’t know what to think. Sometimes, I have trouble remembering how different it is from most people’s lives. Sometimes, I am saddened by my separation from normalcy, but mostly, I simply revel in my freedom.
My new job at Intrepid Suntrek Tours is blowing me away. My job will basically be leading lodging or camping tours around North America. I am a commercial driver driving up
Hummer tour in Moab
After our Hummer tour in Moab we get a group photo
to 13 passengers, plus a tour guide, a travel agent and of course an expert on American culture. Our two week training trip had me reeling with excitement and wonder. Feelings which are barely tapered by my constant fatigue. There were 14 of us originally, plus Pete, our leader. The itinerary was this: San Francisco, Yosemite, Death Valley, Las Vegas, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capital Reef, Moab, Monument Valley, Lake Powell (Glen Canyon National Park), Joshua Tree, Malibu, Los Angeles, up the 1 to Big Sur and finally back to San Francisco in 13 days.
As I could probably write a book about the characters on this trip and the beauty of the places we saw I’m instead going to list some highlights and leave it at that.
1) Yosemite: The bears
2) Las Vegas, NV: The party bus and accompanying pole dancing.
3) Angel’s Landing, Zion National Park, UT: 55 MPH winds a blowing we made our way up the cliff side. A chain has kindly been provided to help prevent people from falling to their death. I had to stop myself from running. The colors of the rocks in Zion are stunning. The sprawling canyons almost shimmer.
Bears in Yosemite
Just milling about
Standing on top of Angel’s landing made me want to fly or cry with the beauty of it. By the time I came down the mountain I was so high I couldn’t stop smiling for hours. I felt like I had taken some marvelous drug that left me higher than a kite. Effects have mostly subsided though occasionally a goofy grin resurfaces at the memory.
4) Monument Valley, Navaho land (btw UT and AZ): Judo rolls down a sand dune and lying under a natural ocular listening to a Navaho man named Richard sing and play the flute. It was so beautiful it rocked my soul. If spirits didn’t come to that place I don’t know where they do
5) Moab: Hummer ride and rafting (would have liked a hike or two)
6) Grand Canyon, AZ: Helicopter ride. At sunset we were 20 feet from a condor roosting enjoying the view. #33 marked with a solar operated tracking system.
7) Easton’s Ranch, UT: The party barn, the name say’s it all
8) Malibu, CA Get up stand up paddle boards.
9) San Francisco: Sail tour around the bay.
There are more photos below