By this time next week we’ll be in sunny California starting a road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles and everywhere in between. Intrepid Travel’s latest adventure tour is a Self Drive Adventure Tour through some of America’s most famous National parks! What is unique about this one is that we are on a road trip completely by ourselves. No need to worry about backseat drivers and arguements over who get’s to drive next, it’s just Dave and I on the open road.
This entire part of the world is unexplored to us. Other than a quick stop in L.A. and San Diego in the past, we’ve barely scratched the surface of the West Coast of the US. We’ve been wanting to take a road trip through the States since we first met back in College. We were even making plans for after graduation to start driving wherever the wind would take us. That never happened, but luckily now, we’re getting our chance to fulfill one of our early dreams.
Our trip starts in San Francisco where we’ve added an extra 2 days onto our trip to visit this city that we’ve heard so much about. Whenever we tell someone that we’ve never been to San Fran, we hear an audible gasp. “Ah! You haven’t been to San Francisco? You have to go to San Francisco!” Now we finally have our chance and we have three whole days to see it.
This road trip was made for us. We’ll be stopping at all the major national parks that we’ve always wanted to see. Our first stop being Yosemite. We have two nights here. We’ve seen climbers conquer el Capitan on TV, now we’ll get to see them with our own eyes. While we won’t have enough time to hire a guide to do some rock climbing, we will try to conquer the half dome. That is if we win the daily lottery to get a permit to do so. Crowds are heavy and you hav to apply for a permit two days in advance and hope your name is drawn.
Apparently this is one hopping city and California’s 9th largest city. It is difficult for me to wrap my head around the fact that California has a larger population than all of Canada. So when we pop into some of the smaller towns of the state, we’re really going to be hitting a thriving metropolis. Wow!
Nearly everyone we know has been to Vegas at least once, except us. I am not sure how I feel about a desert city sucking up all the water to survive while making the river’s run dry, but it’s not going anywhere soon. I can’t say that I’m an expert on the issue, but wasn’t building a city in the middle of the desert counter productive to the environment? We’re not much on gambling, but I would love to catch a show while there. Anyone know of a good one that’s going right now?
This park’s main feature is the 24 km (15 mile) long and up to half a mile (800 m) deep Zion Canyon. The other day we met Felipe, the creator of the highly successful TwtVite on Twitter and he told us that we have to do this hike that using chains and steps to take you high up to a lookout over the canyon. I’m guessing he meant Angels Landing which sounds amazing, and it’s definitely on our aventure tour wish list, with only one day before moving on, we’re not sure what we’ll be able to do here though.
We’ll be camping overnight in Zion before we head to Lake Powell. At Lake Powell we’ll explore more canyons but this time we’ll be doing it by boat. I love a chance to relax and not have to drive in the middle of road trip.
There is no doubt about it, this is the star attraction of our adventure tour. We will finally have the chance to see it for ourselves and let you know if it lives up to the hype. We’ve witnessed the second largest canyon in the world, now it’s time to see the first! With two days at the park, we won’t have the chance to do everything that we’ve ever dreamed of doing but it will give us a taste of the Grand Canyon and allow us to take in it’s glory from above. I have a feeling we’ll be making plans to come back to this one soon.
We’ve got two days at the end of the road trip to explore LA, and we’ve even added on a 3rd to hopefully try to meet up with all our friends. I don’t know what I want to see in Los Angeles, after a long road trip, we’ll probably just want to relax, soak in the atmosphere and maybe check out some of it’s famous nightlife. That is, if we can stay up long enough, those Hollywood types look like they can go all night!
So that’s our road trip! We are so excited to hit the open road and have the freedom to linger in places for a bit longer if we feel like it. What I love about an Intrepid Trave tour is that it gives you the highlights of a place so you can decided if you want to come back for more. We’ve been to China and the Galapagos with them and both tours gave us just the right taste for each country. We felt that we saw plenty and weren’t yearning for more, but we also were inspired to go back one day and check it out for ourselves.
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This road trip is an exciting tour because it is all planned for us and we dont’ have to think too much, but we are also independent so we will feel that we are doing it all by ourselves. It’s the best of both worlds!
All photos courtesy of Wikipedia creative commons.