Here's the latest.
My first two tours were a success. My reviews came in with only a
couple of passengers giving my anything below a 9 out of 10. (I'm
gonna blame the language barrier.) But the fun doesn't stop there.
I've been stuck in the office all week but that has given me time to plan
my next THREE trips. That's right, they love me so much that I won't
have a single day in the office to do paperwork or plan my next trip
for a whole month. Here the breakdown.
Sunday the 15th: Leave for a two week trek called the Westerner 2
Saturday the 28th: Return from W2
Sunday: 'Day Off' (notice the quotation marks)
Monday the 30th: Leave for back to back Western Wonder tours. . . .again.
Sunday the 12th: Back to LA.
The Westerner 2 is a fun trip that is essentially exactly the same as
the Western Wonder only longer. That means, for those of you
counting, that at the end of my next three trips I will have spent the
following number of nights in each of the following places since I
started with the company on March 24th.
Twelve nights in Yosemite NP.
Twelve nights in Las Vegas N.C.D.*
Seven nights in Grand Canyon NP.
Five nights in San Francisco
*'N.C.D.: National Center for Debauchery
Not a bad racket, really. I guess I can't complain. I do hope to get
a tour with a little more variety in it next time but at least these
treks will just get easier and easier.
In general the trips have been great. Good people, good times, decent
weather. I've got a few pictures and hope to start taking more with
each group. At the end of the trips everyone exchanges email
addresses and sometimes phone numbers and at this point I have people
who would like me to stay with them in the following countries:
England, Wales, Scotland, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands (bit of a
stretch though), Australia and New Zealand (though in NZ I'm supposed
to call this girl's parents and stay with them because she's living in
England for another couple of years. Tough.)
I've also met quite a few tour leaders who for the most part are all
very cool. Some of them are cool in their own way mind you, but who
am I to judge?
Back to the trips. Both groups were good, but the first one was truly
a blast. Six guys and seven girls. No language problems, other than
funky accents, and everyone got along all the way through the trip. I
know, I know. The trip was only a week long but you probably wouldn't
be surprised to see how fast people turn on each other when they start
having problems and then they get stuck in a van all day. The second
trip was good too but that mix was ten females and only two males. . .
and then one of the guys left the trip early for family matters. I
was swimming in a sea of estrogen. I had to keep the AC in the van on
high at all times just to keep my olfactory senses from drowning.
Of course, the only drama that occurred on either trip was caused by
me. (Right now, minds outta the gutter.) I decided that since I knew
Northern Arizona so well I would just take my group on a little
diversionary trip and stop in Sedona and stay the night in Flagstaff.
Well, Sedona went very well. In fact some passengers enjoyed Sedona
more than the Grand Canyon! Then we headed up to Flag to have a
little BBQ at my old roommate's house. (By the way, much love to my
old roommate and other good buddy who let us stay at their house.
That's right, ten females fresh off the road shacking up at some guy's
house in Flagstaff. I doubt that'll make it into the brochure. The
two gentlemen behaved famously, were fabulous hosts and earned rave
reviews from my passengers.)
Needless to say we took the ladies out on the town in Flagstaff and
ended up crawling into bed around 3:30am. Somehow we all managed to
get up and going by about 8:30 the next morning and we managed to make
it out of town by 9am. I was shocked, personally. Then it was a
simple matter of driving 8+ hours the next day while everyone slept in
the van. I'm not sure that I'll be making that diversion again
My amazing cousin-in-law and his good buddy managed to fix my
Powerbook a few days ago so I should have a computer again pretty
soon. I can't promise that I'll be able to post more often but
hopefully they will at least be better crafted and not quite so
rambling because I can pre-compose some entries.
Here's to the wild west according to trek.