This summer I got to do something pretty amazing.
Through word of mouth, I found myself bieng asked to take pictures for a Travel Company called Trek America that would take me all over North America, to places I never thought I'd be visiting, let along getting paid to do it.
So "work" Trip Numero Uno.
Basically the gist of my job on these trips was to tag along with these tour groups and take candid pictures for the company to use on social media and their website.
My summer began in LA, a place I'm very biased against because any place that charges $30 to park for two hours in downtown makes me so irrationally angry that you'd think someone just slapped my dog or something. ANYWHO we start our trip with some introductions to the people you'd be spending the next 7 days with and we jet off to Hollywood Boulevard . Kinda overrated to me, but all of these people were from England and Australia and to them it was one of those iconic places from movies and film that made it a big deal for them which showed it was something I took for granted.
From there we settle into our Sprinter van and head towards our next stop, the iconic Route 66.
This was the first time the group ventured off together to wander. We maybe had an hour to ourselves to take pictures and what not but I was impressed that practically the whole group stayed together.
So heres the thing about traveling to Nevada in July.....it had a high of 122 degrees and a low of 98.....so the company (thankfully) put us up in a hotel in Laughlin right on the Colorado river. Now this was one of the hotels where you kinda check the closets to double check for dead bodies, so it kinda lacked some of the amenities a proper hotel would have, but know what it did have? AIR CONDITIONING BABY WOOOOOOOO. Yeah, you bet I cranked that sucker as low as it'd go.
The next night was another day spent in the van traveling (with well planned pee stops) to a place I haven't been since I was 6, the Grand Canyon. The first time I went when I was but a wee lad, I didn't remember much from it. I only remember a general image of the canyon and just thinking it was cool. What I was super excited for this go round was being able to appreciate it more, and I was not mistaken.
At our campsite, we were immediately greeted by some pretty ballsy elk (they would just walk wherever and however close they wanted it was wild) and what I have to only imagine are crows on steroids due to them being as big as german shepherds.
After we set up camp, we split off so that those who wanted to do the helicopter tour of the canyon could, and others could do a hike and so that we could regroup for a surprise dinner.
What followed was one of the best dinners I've had in by far the best you could probably have dinner
The next morning was one of the very rare times I was glad I was up before the sun was. Emphasis on VERY.
After settling in for the hottest night of camping I ever had, it was (thankfully) off to Las Vegas (WOOOOOO)
We go to stay in the surprisingly awesome Golden Nugget where I somehow through a little research and a few emails, found myself on their roof overlooking the strip. Fun Fact: People think your important if you have a camera and you can use this to your advantage.
After two days of enjoying Vegas and one day of recovering from the past two days, we found ourselves ready to go to our next stop: Y O S E M I T E
I thought the Grand Canyon was breathtaking, then Yosemite came around going "lol hold my beer"
I mean we've all seen pictures and postcards of Yosemite but they just don't do it justice. At all. It was a second home to one of my favorite photographers Ansel Adams and it was just surreal. I caught myself either looking up sheer granite faces or down spectacular valleys in wonder on several occasions.
Yosemite was truly just an amazing place. Its easy to see how artists gravitated towards it and conservationists fought to protect it. Wildlife roams carefree and if you venture out passed the overridden tourist spots, its still an untouched world.
It was just a great place where I wish I had more time to enjoy it, but alas the gang was off to our final stop, San Francisco.
Our last day was spent going to one stop and then dropping everyone off at their respective hotels. That one stop however was pretty iconic.
So that was basically the first leg of my summer work trip. I got to stay a few days on my own which was super nice. Got to meet some new peeps, took some pictures (pictured below), caught a Giants game, and before I knew it, it was time to set off for trip number 2!
Canada is next! (If I ever get around to writing it)
Also if you made it to the end of this long ass post, I O U a high five.