Trek Diary: Day Twenty Three (19th July)
I have been avoiding writing this post. This was the final day of our three week long trip and it seemed like it was only yesterday that we were standing in the lobby back in New Jersey.
After a night of broken slumber thanks to the horrendous 4am alarm, we collected our belongings and set off in the van for one last time. After a Wendy’s burger for breakfast, the girls piled in the front whilst the boys caught up on some much needed sleep. As we started our journey, i could feel the tears welling up already. This was to be the saddest drive of my life. I probably shouldn’t have wasted it feeling sorry for myself but i was dreading having to say goodbye to everyone. It is amazing how close you become to the people you travel with. You start off as strangers, become friends and then end up as family.
There is not a great deal to see on the drive between Vegas and Los Angeles, but Steve still found us some odd roadside attractions. We made a pit stop in Baker to stretch our legs and to see the biggest thermometer in the world (which was broken). Nearby was a store selling “Alien Jerky” which was home to a large animatronic UFO that we let our mascot Elvis Travis ride. Other than that, its just desert for miles and miles!
We also stopped off at a town called Barstow for lunch. This place is a typical stop off for the highway travelers and in one bus station (“Its a great family destination!”) there were a variety of fast food chains, shops and tacky souvenirs, all crammed under one roof. You can even eat your Big Mac in a McDonalds themed train – wonderful!
By late afternoon we had reached Los Angeles and spent some time driving around the city. We managed to see Sunset Boulevard, Rodeo Drive, the UCLA area and even had a quick stop at the Chinese Theater. (There will be more on L.A in a further post)
We had a last Trek dinner together, where we drank plenty of Long Island iced tea (the new love in my life) and then it was back to our hotel to say our goodbyes. After three weeks with my strange family, it was now time for all of us to go our separate ways. Back to our home countries and for some of us, on to more adventures. I will admit, it all got a bit emotional.
I booked Trek America as a three week holiday and i had absolutely no idea that the trip would be so utterly life changing. Although we were not doing the independent backpacking experience – this trip still made a significant impact on me for many reasons. I wish i could do it all again with the knowledge of what i would learn from it and the impact each of these individuals would have on me. The gin-induced, spontaneous decision turned out to be the best choice i have ever made.
To each and every one of you on my trip – thank you!
Ughh, that all got a bit soppy. What a muschi.