Alright you crazy cats, welcome back to the 2nd instalment of my travel diaries, where I revisit my scrawny, handwritten notes from when I set off on my wacky adventures around the world in 2014. In the first entry, we:
- Introduced the concept of "Havey's Travel Diary",
- Found out how my travel bug started,
- Briefly met the group I'd spend my 3 week adventure with,
- Visited Seattle & Mt. Rainier National Park, and
- Discovered that USA Sour Skittles are pretty awesome!
If you want to relive that blog, check it out here.
In today's travel diary blog, we'll be finding out a bit more about our travel buddies from the Rocky Mountain High (Trek America) adventure, briefly stopping off for lunch in Spokane (Washington, USA) before ending up at Glacier National Park.
Sadly, I'm still without my own photos at this point because of my corrupted SD card which lost the first 5 days of this trip... sad times :( But thankfully members of Team Random sent me their pictures so I have something to help remember those days, along with the diaries. Let's begin!
Journal Entry - 11th June 2014 11:00am - Team RandomBack left to right: Leela, Vera, Robin, Pim, Me
Front left to right: Clare, Jay, André, Sejin, Lars, Julia, James
Pim - Very talkative chap, works in a laboratory involved in cleaning and checking water and rock samples (I think).
André - Has been travelling for 2 months already and had a decent little chat with him yesterday. He's been to Australia and New Zealand - this guy likes to travel!
Julia - Red headed and a little red faced in the hike [around Mt Rainier], is from Bremen and I was with her during the hike ascent yesterday to keep her company as she found it more difficult due to her asthma. She works in Human Resources and the last 2 years of her life have been nothing but work, so she has had little time to do much else. Passionate about football and [talking about] the German national team in the World Cup has sparked up some good banter with our tour guide Jay.
Jay - Has been keen to get a music playlist going from the group, [where we had] to select songs at various stages in life such as childhood songs, break-up songs, university songs etc. Not sure my pure Drum & Bass love will be warmly received but that's me! Jay is pretty cool though, he has already met Clare from previous Trek America tours.
Clare - Works for the environment agency and is well experienced in travelling! Very nice person, as they all are, and knows a few things about being prepared for every scenario!
Robin - Lad from Carlisle, had the pleasure (or rather, tragedy) of staying the first night with me at the Clarion, enjoys his rock climbing and is your typical northern chap, chilled and down to earth.
James - I have only spoken to briefly but he seems like a decent bloke from Leicester. He wanted to come with a friend on this tour but they flaked and I can fully empathise with that!
Lars - Our other German compatriot has an infectious laugh and had me in stitches this morning when he was talking about his peanut allergy. He doesn't have any medication in case of a bad reaction and said, "I will probably die", followed by that amazing laugh suggesting he didn't care so much - LAD :D
Vera - The other German girl on the tour who I haven't spoken much with either. She is quiet but I do know she doesn't like hummus after spitting it out after trying it yesterday, at least she tried!
Leela - Keen photographer from London who seems pretty bubbly and excited to be a part of it all, capturing everything that happens including Skittles-gate!
Finally, Sejin - South Korean lad, is another keen photographer. Again, haven't spoken much with him yet but still early days. The mood is good - happy days!
Alright, so that's the team then! I forgot about the playlist game that Jay set up but I think it was just Clare in the end who engaged with that one, she was all up for it haha! It's amazing the little things you forget when travelling, I made sure I tried to document EVERYTHING that happened and glad I did, Lars' laugh, Vera's hummus... makes you smile :)
Hitting The Road
Lunch Stop at Spokane, WashingtonHere are some of the team enjoying lunch in Spokane
Monroe Street Dam and Upper Spokane Falls [Source - Martin Kraft - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0]
On the way over to our next camp site for the night, we first stopped off for lunch in Spokane, Washington, with an impressive dam and river flowing through it. It looks like they use the surging water as a source for hydroelectric power. The sheer noise levels of the water as it flowed under the bridges we walked over was phenomenal. It would be cool to raft down this section although the shear drop at the end would be a bit daunting!
Well, it turns out that you can do white water rafting in Spokane if you really wanted and there's a lot more to do here than I had a chance to find out when I was there before. According to Spokane's website, there's outdoor activities, theatre, art galleries and of course, the scenic backdrop of the Rockies to keep you entertained. It seems I also remembered correctly about the "local power company" still harnessing the energy of the falls today - turns out I DO listen... sometimes ;)
Back To The Mountains
Journal Entry - 12th June 2014 - 9:00am - Flathead Lake Campground, Montana
The change in scenery back to mountainous backdrops as we made our way over to Montana The elite campsite at Flathead Lake with the sunset providing a lovely image - thanks Clare!
After a long drive over to Flathead Lake, Montana, we were greeted by a pretty elite camping site with spectacular backdrops of the Rocky Mountains. The drive over was something special as the scenery changed back in to mountainous scenery [from a noticeable change to a browner, drier, less exciting landscape as we left Mt Rainier NP]. After arriving at the campsite, we all headed down to the lake bar James, who did his own thing. Robin took a little dip in the lake, or at least he tried to before the freezing water temperature promptly changed his mind!
The campground was actually called KOA Polson/Flathead Lake and not the "elite campsite" as I clearly preferred to call it ;) However, I'd highly recommend staying there if you're in the area - the views when we woke up with that mountainous backdrop were pretty damn awesome! What you can see in the picture above just below the Sun is "Flathead National Forest" and behind that is where we will be heading to next - Glacier National Park.
Trouts and Shy Teds?
An unusual sub-title, I'll give you that but I sprinkled some random tongue-in-cheek remarks in these journals and the first comes from a stop off in an unusual place.
St Regis Travel Center with Free Trout Aquarium! [Image Source]
I almost forgot that we also stopped off at a "Trout Aquarium" [St Regis Gift Shop], not much to see, just some depressed trouts, one of which looked like my brother Matt :P
But what about those Shy Teds? Well, again, slightly tongue-in-cheek as I try to keep this blog family friendly but if any one played a card game/drinking game during University days, you'd know exactly what Shy Ted is referring to ;)
After dinner [at the camp site], we had a couple of cans of Heineken, whipped out the deck of cards and played Uno followed by the "people's favourite", "Sh_t_e_d" with James and Clare. James was a first timer but quickly picked it up and quickly found out why the game was named as such.
Yes, no-one likes to lose this particular card game. Many have fallen, including yours truly haha!
Coming up next in the Travel Diaries, I'll be sharing tales of both hikes that we did in Glacier National Park. The first of which ended up with us being in a potential spot of bother, the second being one of my favourite hikes of all time, shared with James, Sejin and Pim. It had everything!
Coming up next on my blog, more music of course! I'll be sharing the 4th track of the Comeback EP with you and there's rumours of another new release on the horizon, a special remix of @wav-dr and @soundlegion track "Heavyweight", can't "weight" for that one... ok that's enough for now haha!
Catch you soon
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