This isn't Thoreau. I mean to change no minds here, but to keep a candid chronicle of events past. Two weeks in the northern states, nine of those backpacking in Olympic National Park. After, Seattle, Vancouver, and San Francisco. It's a medium sized adventure; there will be no crazy Amsterdam nights nor sky diving from private jets owned by wealthy barristas. I will tell it as it see it, mostly, though I'm given to exaggeration and flattery; I just might tell it as it should have been. So maybe a lot of this didn't happen, though even I don't own that large a grain of salt.

The First DayDriving

There will be problems, delays, unfortunate accidents, fights, and quite possibly, death. That is the first rule of car travel. It is the easiest rule to forget and the most difficult to break. Keep that in mind as you read this.

We started the drive late, as usual, sans Brenda, from Van Nuys.

Stop. Who's Brenda?

I'm sorry, i forgot to introduce our wonderful contestants. Without them, there is no story to tell.

There's Max, who's apprehension to danger will either save the day or seriously annoy us.

Mark, loud and brash, keeps us entertained with mile a minute stories that either end in someone having sex with a hyena or the line "You're so fired".

Brenda, who is quiet as usual, meaning she has much to say but no guts to. She keeps a journal parallel to mine, though I'm sure hers is actually true.

Ngoc is quick to smile, quick to frown. She is our Frasier to Max's Nile Crane. She shall save us with her practicality.

Dan, who assumes the role of leader, though an assumption it shall remain. He is loud and bold, but always forgets to bring along a big stick.

Finally, there is Nick, who describes himself with silent words such as narrator, mythmaker, and perspective. He does carry a big shtick, but never gets to use it.

We'll get to know them better soon. They are not so an unlikely crew; simply joined by circumstance and timing. On we go...