The final days on the bus...

Trip Start Jun 01, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Friday, September 19, 2008

Waking up it was time to watch the sunrise so a brief walk across some rough desert land up a slightly challenging hill and there we were watching the sun come up for about the 4th time that week.
After driving out of that campsite a long stretch of road opened up in front of us and the absolutely phenominal view of monument valley appeared in the distance. We drove up to it and to a ranch owned by a navajo family.
We piled onto some jeeps and off we went into the park on these open air jeeps to go on a tour of the valley.
It was seriously hot and really cool to be heading out on an open air jeep with a serious breeze to keep us alive!
The tour of the valley was incredible, they are amazing, truly do resemble so many things. Our navajo guides were also wicked, they told us cool stories and sand tribal songs. We met so many locals and got a chance to get our hands on some handcrafted stuff. So so cool. Easily one of the best days of the trip for me. It was over nearly all too soon, however i did manage to get sun burned so after our drive out across the desert where needless to say i was ridiculously happy we got to Lake Powell in Arizona and in the 100 degree plus heat we got down to the water as quick as possible and swimming out in that huge space was unbelievable. I'm not usually one for swimming so for me it was literally breathtaking, definitley a convert. It was the greatest swim i ever had!
After that it was a night out ina town called page where the population is 7000. Very small little town, much beer, karaoke and back to the bus for the night drive to Bryce canyon it is!
I woke up early again and so as we pulled into Bryce canyon whilst it was still dark i was ready to go. Out of bed we got and marched down to the edge of the canyon, many people still in their PJ's. As far as sun rises go, this one knocked the socks off of all the others. Watching the rock in the canyon change color as the sun got higher. The day was spent hiking the canyon, which frankly was incredible. Of all the national parks i've visited Bryce tops out at number 1. Easily my favorite, absolutely beautiful. The hike was cool, very hot and the switchback to get out of the canyon found us hiding in any shade we could find grabbing for breath but it was totally worth it! It did however leave me dehydrated whch left me rolling drunk after 1 and a half beers, that and i decided to eat some pepper.
Sounds innocent enough but let me explain. We had burritos for dinner and people were going bright red and nearly crying, all but throwing water over their heads because of this pepper. They were eating it in their burrito, with sour cream. How do i eat it? raw straight out the bowl. It was like slow motions as soon as i opened my mouth a friedn on the bus merged towards me shouting 'nnooooo'. Too late, i was screwed frankly, no sour cream left and a mouth on fire. Only one thing more it, drink beer until it stops!
It was a great night, everyone sat around the campfire and everyone (also dehydrated) was really very drunk. We spent the whole night around the fire and getting intot eh camping spirit, me and another girl Victoria decided that a matress on a tarp was for wimps so we take our sleeping bags up to a dirt hill and make our beds right there out under an array of stars.
Of course not entirely stupid our night in the dirt meant in order to watch the sun come up we only had to sit up in our sleeping bags. I was wide awake so i went a wandering across the desert seeing wild rabits and all the other animals that thought no human would be near. After a wonderous breakfast made by my own fair un-hungover hands we drove out to Utah.
I'd already ben to zion and when i went last time i did the angels landing hike, this time i wanted to do one called the narrows. This is basically a hike through the virgin river into a canyon that narrows in width in places to within 5 feet.
So all excited we get to Zion and off we roll up to the trail head. It starts off ok, the water is only knee deep, the water is gentle and we have a giant stick for balance. It's pretty uneven but ok, so we push on, and on, the water gets deeper and the floor gets more uneven and i start to nearly fall over and struggle greatly for my balance. Which naturally just gets me angry and then scared. Then old people and children stroll past me and the realization that i will never be a professional swimwalker kicks in and despite many laughs at our own expense i despise every step of the fucking river. We keep going though, and find a small hole in the wall which someone had climbed up into and taken a shit. Oh yes a real live human dump awaited us at the end of our 3 hour hike.
Ah its OK let's turn back. It's getting dark.
so knowing how hard i'd found it i despise every part of the damn river and in my head conclude that i'm going to get stuck in the canyon and need to be saved by helicopter, until someone tells me, you'd never get a helicopter in here.
I was mortified and terrified and whilst trying desperately not to fall on my ass and not cry in terror we got back to the start of the trail. With bleeding heels i might add. I got back to my campsite with the others and relaxed and chilled and sat up until the early hours making every second of my last camp night last. The next morning in Zion i did nothing, still traumatised i hung around the campsite, and the most adventurous thing i did was buy dodgy american chocolate in the gift shop.
We drove out to Las Vegas that afternoon. My fourth visit in 2 months, technically i'm a regular! I love that damn place and i played tour guide to the people i was hanging out with on the bus. It was wicked, we gambles saw the sights, made the most of harrahs buffet, more specifically the deserts. A table full of us on a sugar high and we are all in hysterics, time for margarita and gambling! After a night of fun it's back to the bus and for the first time getting on the bus I'm devastated. Mainly because i knew it was my last night drive and my very last night on the bus!
I deserted my bunk and slept on the front platform right behind the driver. I'd planned to sit up half the night but after deciding i'd stay up until Barstow and being informed we'd hit there about 5am mentally i crashed and was asleep within 10 minutes.
I woke up early the next morning, mainly because my driver was throwing stuff at me to wake me up...i sat up and looked around and realised we were back in California. We stopped for breakfast, by this point we only had a few of us on the bus as loads of people had got off in Vegas. I had a 'truckers muffin' for breakfast which i decided sounded dodgy, i ordered it with a striaght face, everyone laughed!
WE drove through the central valley until the afternoon and were soon seeing signs for san fran which i was gutted about. Not that i don't love san fran you understand but the bus, my beloved bus! Across the bay bridge and there it is the city in all it's glory
We dropped people off at the bus station and then drove through the city. My stomach flipped as we hit Columbus and i saw Broadway looming up ahead. What followed was the hardest goodbye i ever had to say and the most crying i ever did whilst sat on a fire hydrant. Very classy! Devestating to say the least.
San fran was it's usual glorious self and my final stay in the green tortoise hostel did not disappoint. I saw the seals went to city lights and lived in the city i love so much for 2 more days. My airport shuttle was at disgusting o'clock and i was up when the city was deserted, even the strip bars were closed.
Off i trundled to the airport with bit more crying and a sadness that can only come with saying goodbye to california!!
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