Trek America - Seattle to MissoulaMay 16, 2015 in the United States
Today was the first day of our Trek America tour and we peeled ourselves out of our last proper bed for 2 weeks to begin this next part to our adventure. Despite the early alarm (5.30am) we were both very excited to meet the rest of our group and start the day.
We met most of the group at breakfast and the rest when meeting our tour leader as not everyone had stayed in the same hotel the night before.
Our tour leader/driver is Emily, who advised that this was her 2nd summer as a tour leader. The group is made up of 7 women and 3 men including us. The group (aside from us) are all solo travellers and have their own unique story of why they are travelling.
We had a huge distance (450 miles) to cover on the first day to our first stop at a camp site in Missoula so there was plenty of opportunity to get to know the other members of the group. Kim chatted to some of the women in the mini bus that will take us from place to place on the tour whilst Alex met the other men. Here is a brief rundown of our group.
Jade, 27 years old from Australia, is backpacking for nearly a year and has been since early February. Jade booked on the tour only two weeks prior its start, having already travelled in New Zealand and Canada as well as down to Las Vegas and LA in a motor home with 3 other people. After the tour Jade plans to continue travelling to South America before returning home for Christmas.
Katie, 22 years old from Milton Keynes. Katie arrived in Seattle the evening before our tour and she leaves the day our tour finishes as unfortunately she could only get two weeks off work. Katie rides horses back home and is excited to try western style riding once we reach Jackson as this is one of the optional extra activities we can do there.
Lowrie, 21 years old from Cardiff, who has been studying at college (university) in Ohio for the last year on an exchange programme. Lowrie enjoyed her time studying and got to meet lots of new people. She has also had the chance to see a little of America during college breaks but wanted to do this trip before returning home.
Anne, 21 years old from Dublin. Like Lowrie, she has been studying on an exchange programme and has many stories about her experiences of college life to tell. She told us about college frat parties, which are just like in the movies, where there are kegs of beer and 100's of people attending. She told us that the boys have to pay $500 to enter into the frat and it is this money that pays for all the alcohol.
There are two other girls, Sophie, 19 years old from Germany who is taking the tour as part of her gap year from education and Kim, 36 years old from South Korea. Alex is pleased to not be the old man of the group but she looks more like 21 with her smooth wrinkle free skin. Kim works as a computer programmer and speaks little English.
The males on the trek are Seokgyeong from South Korea and Matti from Finland. Seokgyeong has been studying physics at Berkley University in the U.S. and he joined the trek as a break after his exams. Matti is using his holiday from work for the trek and will be going for a week's surf school in LA after the trek.
Thanks to Emily we made great time, arriving at the campsite in Missoula by 6:30pm, an hour sooner than any group previously. We pitched our tents and used a gas stove to make a quick dinner of spaghetti and salad.
It was not long before everyone retired to their sleeping bags as we had to be up and back on the road by 7:00am at the latest the next day with a 5 hour drive to Yellowstone National Park ahead of us.Read more