Mount Rainier, Kayaking, Hiking + Goodbyes.
To read about what I got up to during the rest of my Trek America Pacific Coast adventure, read Days 1-4, Days 5-8 and Days 9-12.
Day two in Olympic National Park started off with a trip to Crescent Lake, which was so beautiful I can’t even believe it was real. The water was a perfectly clear blue and the mountains that descending into the sides of the lake were covered with a thick canopy of evergreens. In the morning we had our kayaking session on the lake, which Cody and I took to with much enthusiasm but little success… We paddled around a sheltered area of the lake looking for otters but only finding ducks, and getting a lot more splashed than we’d planned.
After our kayaking adventure we had a quick sunbathe on the shore before heading over to Rialto Beach in the seaside area of the park. This separate area of the national park is entirely different to the lakes and mountains of the inland zone. At Rialto Beach it’s a grey and ancient landscape that’s covered with dead white trees, boulders and rock pools – and it happened to be used in the Twilight films. Don’t ask me where or when, I haven’t seen them. We explored the beach for a while, clambering over boulders and scooting around rock pools – we even got a glimpse of some starfish and sea otter tracks!
After lunch we went to visit the town of Forks, where there was nothing but shitty coffee and Twilight shops, before going to back to camp for our last night together. For some reason earlier in the trip, we all decided that we’d celebrate my birthday on our last day (?!) so two of the guys made me my dream birthday cake – one entirely made out of peanut butter snacks! After our dinner, which was pancakes and breakfast food, we played another game of baseball and then volleyball and something called Horse. I still have no idea what it was. We then sat around the fire for the final time and reminisced on what our favourite moments of the trip were.
Our final day was bittersweet. We left camp early to drive over to Seattle, where we were let loose around Pike Market. We visited the market, the gum wall and saw all the stalls, and then went over to check out the original Starbucks. After working our way through the throngs there, we walked over to the Space Needle to get a glimpse of it. We didn’t have time to go up unfortunately, but just having a look was good enough. After this we grabbed a Starbucks (not from the original location – there was an hour and a half queue there…) and got back in the van to go down to visit the Fremont Troll. This “troll” is quite something. A very, very weird something.
Once we’d had a look at this infamous troll, we went over to Gas Works Park for our final view of Seattle before we went our separate ways. It was a beautiful view of Seattle from up on that hill – you could see literally everything there, from the Space Needle to Pike Market. In the early afternoon it was time for us to split up – we dropped a few people off in the downtown area where they were staying, and then the rest of us went back to the ending point hotel. I was sharing a room with Martina from my group, and Cody came down to see us later on in the evening so I wasn’t alone for the final night. It was a great end to a great trip.
When I booked this trip I wasn’t sure how it would compare to my first. I wasn’t convinced that I was going to enjoy it as much or like the camping or even get on with my group, as my last #treksquad was so awesome. I was proven wrong. This Pacific Coast tour has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. I learned to put up tents, live outdoors for two weeks and make the most of shitty campground showers. I was completely myself around my group and let myself have fun.
There were some down moments where I felt lost and confused and wasn’t sure why the hell I was doing it, but they were soon forgotten as someone cracked a joke or by the calming scent and sound of the campfire. I grew so attached to our tent Big Ange and felt like I’d created a home away from home. I saw things that I never thought I would, went to places I didn’t even realise existed and experienced things that I never imagined I would. I have emotionally been to the ends of the earth and back. I have felt feelings that I didn’t know were possible. I created a world for myself that filled my soul and gave me confidence to be myself. For the second year in a row, Trek America gave me the chance to really be myself and forget everything that was going on at home. It was life changing.
If you’re not sure about booking a trip with Trek America, use this as your sign to do it.
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