Table of Contents
  1. The Yaak
  2. Whiskey Tango
  3. Poison Ivy
  4. Pick,Adze,Shaft,Spike
  5. The Angel
  6. Photovoltaic

July 3, 2001, in the back of my car, at the end of a logging road somewhere in the Idaho Panhandle 
National Forest.

OK, Jazz is great, but I gotta turn off the music to type. Ok, now I am sitting in my Crazy creek chair in the 
back of my car, facing the trunk, with the laptop perched on the 40% of the 60 / 40 folding seat, while the 
60% is down, and I am sitting on it. I'm kind of sitting up in bed.
	I think today, was perhaps the best sunset day yet. As I was finding this spot, I happened around a 
corner of the logging road, and had a great view of the mountains in the distance. I took a couple pics, then 
drove to the end of the road, where I intend to park the car, and went about cooking dinner. - I don't want 
to get into this all. But here is the deal. 
	After I cooked dinner (Ramen Noodles); I walked back down the path with the pot full of ramen, 
and a camp towel doubling as a pot holder, and my crazy creek chair, (Thanks Joe) in the other. I sat down 
in the middle of the dirt road, in my chair, with the pot holder in my lap, and the pot full of ramen resting 
on it, chowed down dinner, and watched the sun go down. It was postcardesque. 
	The rest of the day and yesterday. Yesterday I worked on the web site, and my latest journal all 
day long. That's about it. It was a goregous day outside, but I was inside most of it typing. There was a 
problem with my RAS account at HI, so I called, and Jamie Bragg set me up with a new account. 
Rmadison1. Not sure what messed up the old account. Could be that stupid me tried to e-mail a 2.5mb 
attachment to a friend of mine. It kind of stuck MS Outlook. (I had to reboot, because after clicking cancel 
it just hung for 10 minutes, and I got sick of waiting.) Actually this is two nights ago when I typed the 
quickies. Umm I think that was Sunday night, the 1st. I was up until 2:30 working on computer stuff 
Sunday night, and last night. So, today might be a little shorter. 
	Anyway, the new account let me dial in, but outlook couldn't download the message. So, I had to 
do it manually. All you computer geeks out there should know how to do it, it's kind of cool. Go to, and do a search for "pop commands". If you are on a slow link, and someone has sent you a 
"bomb" e-mail. I.e. one that your pop3 client (outlook, outlook express, pine, eudora, etc.) can't handle 
because it's too big. You have to get in manually. 
	All you do is telnet  110, 110 is the port for pop3 if 
that's the server you are using, then you type user , pass , then to list 
your messages type list, you can do all sorts of other stuff, like look at the internet headers, and delete 
specific e-mails. If you do the list, and one looks much bigger than the others you can dele , and it will delete it. It will also give you a confirmation. That's what I had to do, because the big 
attachment got bounced back to me, and I couldn't download it.  
	Next, thanks to Eric Meddaugh for hosting me on He is the man. If you are getting 
married check out If you want random passwords that are easy to remember 
check out These are both his sites, and are useful for their purposes.
Oh, I went to Subway and had one of their new rolls / subs for dinner it was garlic pesto or 
something. Pretty good and fresh. I had my usual tuna sub. Very good. The lady asked me if I would like 
the stamps, and I told her that I think I had a full one, but I hadn't done most of the stamps at their location. 
She said "Well, they are supposed to be good worldwide." - I dug for it in my wallet, "well, here it is!", 
"Would you like to use it then." She asked? - "Sure" was my response. "Ok, that will be a dollar 88 cents." 
- Down from 6.57. I think quite a bargin. 
	So, today I ambled quite a bit. I think I might look around for a place to Mountain Bike tomorrow 
in the Idaho panhandle. Kristen let me look at one of her guide books, and there were several noteable 
places to mountain bike in Idaho. The one I want to do is called the Canfield Mountain Mecca. It's near 
Couer d'Alene which is about 10 miles south of where I am. Cool!
	People are extremely nice in Libby. I went to the grocery store, kind of like an alpine town theme, 
and like everyone I talked with had something nice to say. Even people who didn't have to be nice, were 
super nice. The cashier, and the deli women were both really nice and talkative. I also went to Pamida, 
which is like the old kmart, kind of junky, but with decent stuff. There I bought my Power inverter for 
plugging my cooler in to an AC outlet. This way, I can also save a socket, and have three things going on at 
once in the car. Of course it would be a pain to string them all up, but I could do it. The woman who 
checked me out at the Pamida had serious 5 o'clock shadow. I felt bad for her. She totally has to shave on a 
daily basis. She was muttering about quitting or something, but she was still nice while checking me out.
	Then I took a drive up to Yaak. People from Libby (who are in the middle of nowhere) refer to 
Yaak as the middle of nowhere. So, since I had pleanty of time, and felt like a beautiful drive, I drove up 
there. I missed it, because there was no sign going from southwest to northeast. But, after going through 
town and looking at a map, I realized I had missed it. The only two stores in the town that I noticed were a 
bar, and a gas station. According to my camera, which I am transfering files from now, the bar was called 
the "Dirty Shame Saloon". I remember passing a school too. I don't think that was called the "Dirty Shame 
School, district #42", but maybe it was close.
	So, I snapped a couple pics, then drove the 30 miles or so back that I had come to see the town. 
Jay had referred to it as "The Yaak", when talking about it before. I like thinking of it as "The" something, 
kind of like "The Gulag" in the former Soviet Union. Kind of a neat ring to it. Yaak was small, but all 
around it were beautiful mountains, many of them scarred from serious logging that went on. 
Then I drove the same road I had driven in 1997 through Montana to Idaho. I remember stopping 
at Kootenai Falls, and the Bridge that you go over when passing into Idaho. Kind of funny. I hadn't 
remembered it before. I definitely didn't remember Libby. But Kootenai Falls yes.
The falls, and bridge looked the same. 
	The pacific Northwest is very nice. It reminds me of home the most, with being the furthest out 
west. There are deciduous trees, as well as pine trees, and the earth is similar to ours. More Pine, and the 
smell of all those trees is amazing. Often times there are lakes also, which kind of remind me of back home. 
Sunday night I was done. That bike Ride took a lot out of me. Dinner we had was great though. It 
was Fahitas. I added Chicken A `la Ry, of course. They came out very tasty. Kristen and Sarah like to 
brown the tortilias. I didn't like that too much, but I did like the refried beans, corn, and black beans 
mixture that they used. 
	I also made an ice cream run after dinner because I felt like it. I got Ben and Jerrys frozen Cherry 
Garcia, the Raspberry Coconut, and a half baked chunky monkey for Jay. The first two were frozen 
yogurts, which I like better, the last was ice cream. I feel better about eating the yougurts, even though I 
can totally polish off an entire container in one sitting if I don't think about it. 
	I had a good time at Kristen + Sarah's. It made me realize more how different men and women 
are. Kristen, although she is very outdoorsy, communicates the most womanly of any woman I know. 
Sometimes when she talks, I totally have no idea where she is coming from. It's really interesting talking 
with her, and she is so nice that whenever I see her, she brightens my day. She is so interested in being who 
she is, that anything that she doesn't think will affect whatever she is doing in the here and now, has no 
bearing on her whatsoever. I almost equate it to absent mindedness, but maybe I am too minded, and don't 
enjoy the here and now enough. I am always thinking three or four steps ahead. All the time. Sometimes 
that get's in the way. Kristen on the other hand, is always thinking in the here and now, sort of zen like. I'm 
not sure if she feels that that sometimes get's in the way, but I think I might. I have other friends that think 
more like her than I do. I wonder if she has a motto, or a mission statement. Things that do not affect her 
mission statement are peripheral, and inconsequential. Maybe I should make one and see what happens.  
	I think if I worked the way I thought, then I would be very successful. Most of the time, I love 
thinking about grandiose schemes, and plans, but fail to act on them. Where can I get a job at a thinktank, 
where people dream up schemes all day long, and make money doing it? --- Hmm, I think I have just found 
my calling. To be a thinker, designer, and schemer. I need to do this in the business world, and some kind 
of technical world too. I should pick a discipline like chemistry, or physics, or something similar, and go 
for it. 
	Oh, Sarah and Jay rented Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. But not with subtitles, with the english 
dubbed in. It was not as good as the subtitles. They made the words to americanized, and like a cheesy love 
story. The original words are much much better. We couldn't finish it the first night, because Kristen had to 
go to bed. 
	I had already seen it, so I wasn't too sorry to miss any of it. We also watched a little of fear factor, 
and "the weakest link". I found the weakest link amusing the first time I watched it, but then the announcer 
get's annoying. Fear factor was mildly amusing, but kind of dopy. The fixit guy from News Radio hosts it, 
and he is no regis philbin let me tell you.
	Tomorrow is the 4th. I have no plans. Maybe I will be in Spokane, WA. What is tomorrow? 
Wednesday? I don't know if I want to drive to North Cascades National Park. It's kind of out of the way, 
and I'm not too sure I care too much about seeing it. But maybe I will if things work out right. I gotta give 
Heather a call to link up with her. I should e-mail Lee too about her friend in Vancouver. 
The more I read about Vancouver, the more it looks like it will be a lot of fun. I am actually kind 
of psyched. Seattle should be cool to hang out in again. I can't think of anything else. Except that I need a 
pocket tape recorder to tape what I think as the day goes by, so I can remember it later. That would be 
super cool. I wonder if sony has something that would be compatible with my memory sticks? 
July 4th, 2001 Riverside State Park, Spokane, WA, Campsite #13

	As good as yesterday day was, the night was bad. I feel a great sorrow for those people who many 
refer to as "white trash", a friend of mine, Steve first called them Whiskey Tango when I was working at 
EDS. I think that term is a convienent one for folks who tend to be poor, and or just act like a bunch of 
immature high school kids. - From my notes last night - There is some white trash camped out next to me. 
I can tell by the way their site looks, stuff everywhere,  smoky voices and old vehicles, and dank and things 
that one isn't supposed to burn like plastic in garbage. The nite is nice. Almost a full moon. Tomorrow 
night is the full moon. - Too tired to break out the laptop. 
	Shouts from Mrs. Griswald of "I don't give a f**k!", "I don't give a s**t!" "You don't care about me!" "All you care 
about is this beer." - Crash" "You treat me like s**t", and I'm sick of it!" I think the only response I heard 
from the guy was around 5:00AM, when he was obviously tired from the arguing, and trying to patch 
things up "I married you didn't I.", then laughing, then blessed slience. Then my other neighbor started 
snoring. The likes of which Devin Floyd has not heard. - There were crashes, from beers and trash being 
thrown to the ground left and right, as well as car doors opening and slamming shut. These went on until 
5:00AM. I know this, because I heard Mrs. Griswald yell "It's 4:30 in the morning.", then things calmed 
down 30 minutes later.
	A couple of times I just grinned to myself, as I was trying to fall asleep, "Here we go again" - I 
was thinking. Then another argument would ensue. It's about 10:00AM now, I am doing this in the 
morning, because I was too tired to type last night, and the two annoying ones next to me are still sleeping 
on the ground. No tent, just a blanket, themselves, and another blanket. Right on the ground. Garbage is 
strewn everwhere, and an inflatable race car or something is laying on the ground that they must have 
bought for there kid last night. There is empty pringles cans on the ground, a couple pairs of flip flops, dirty 
blankets, and trash and beer bottles. Last night they had a couple fires where they were burning plastic, I 
could tell, because there was plastic in the fireplace earlier, and it makes a distinct sizzling sound when lit. 
Which it made a lot last night. 
	So, I didn't sleep too much amid the noises from next door, and the snoring on the other side. 
Funny note of history, I am staying in the same site as I did 5 years ago on my trek. It's called Riverside 
State Park in Spokane, WA. Site was cheap 14 dollars per night, decent restrooms, and showers. The 
fireworks were also at the same park I visited 5 years ago. Riverwalk State Park in Spokane. Kind of funny. 
The site, and area is nice except for the noise of my neighboors. Few bugs, and decent privacy.
	Well, last night, I picked my campsite poorly. When I drove around, I looked at the sites for their 
privacy value. After I picked my site, lucky number 13 or 14, I don't remember what it is, I went back to 
set up my tent, and noticed the garbage strewn around the site next to mine. - I almost moved my site, on a 
hunch, but figured what the hell, how bad can it be. - Big mistake. 
	I returned from the fireworks around 11:00PM last night. They were alright, I was beat, and 
almost fell asleep during the musical warm up. - I sat in the wrong section, and when they started they 
were behind a bunch of trees, so I couldn't see a thing. I made a mad dash to get a better view, as about 200 
others did, and ended up kicking some other people along the way. - Very Sorry. Anyway the show was 
lame. They didn't go that high, and were not too impressive. It was fairly long though, I think lasted at least 
15 minutes. They played John Phillip Susa, "Over There", "Grand Old Flag", Neil Diamond's "Comin to 
America", etc. One cool part was that everyone counted down the beginning of them, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 
2, 1.. Bang Boom. Thus signaled the start. 
	I guess I am going to go backwards, and then come back to the beginning. - Then I left Coeur 
d'Alene, Idaho, commonly referred to as "CDA" headed for Spokane. As I was driving down the road, I 
got about 17 miles, and felt a tug to go back. So, I did. I stopped in the visitor's center on the way, and 
asked "So, I'm just passing through Coeur' d'Alene, and have a couple hours." "What's fun to do?" 
"Swimming" was the response.
	Apparently Coeur d'Alene has a nice park area down by Coeur d'Alene lake. There is a beach, 
basketball courts, a huge playground, volleyball nets, a resort, a boardwalk, and a bunch of rocks that 
people jump off into the lake. It was mobbed. There were people everywhere. Mostly younger kids, and 
older adults with children. Not too many people my age. I watched the guys play basketball for a while. 
	Nick was one of the best, He looked Asain, or something. But, he was cut like a razor blade, and 
really good. He was facing off against one of his opponents, and came down looking straight at him, 
dribbling the ball between his legs back and forth, kind of doing a goofball face, which many professional 
basketball players do to psyche out there opponents. - Remember Michael Jordan's tongue. Anyway, he 
was right in this other black kid's face, and made a quick move to the right, and he had him. The other dude 
bought it hook, line and sinker. Nick stepped back left, and popped up a beautiful shot which hit nothing 
but net. 
	Some of the bystanders gave the celebratory "OHHHHH", "Homeboy left his jock strap on the 
court", etc. It was a sweet move, and everyone watching was pretty impressed. I watched them shoot hoops 
for a while, one guy said of another "Do you see that move, this guy is 16, and graduating high school this 
year. Not only is he an athlete, but he is a boy genius." I even took some pics, trying to capture the action. 
It's difficult, you need to have split second timing to get sports pictures, because things happen oh so fast. 
	I talked with some of the numerous police officers for a while. I even saw somebody get arrested 
for drinking beer. He must have not been 21, because other people had open containers, and nobody said 
anything to them. He looked a little pissed, and I am sure the police arrested him without discretion to make 
an example of him. I even took a little dip to cool off. Some of the readings on the outdoor thermometers as 
I was driving into Spokane read 102, 99, 98, 95. I imagine it was around 95 or so during the day. 
	So, as I drove into Coeur d'Alene I started looking on the sprawled directions that I had jotted 
down on from my laptop last night, in order to try and find Canfield Mountain Mecca, as it was referred to 
in the book Kristen had. From the directions I had, it said to find 15th street, and head towards the highway. 
It said to do this for about a mile, my mile was blocked by a 4th of July parade that was under way, so I had 
to go all the way down to 23rd street, to try and get around.  At 23rd street, I found a Ranger Station that was 
closed. But they had maps, and guides to hikes in the Idaho Panhandle, which was where I was. None of 
the rides that they had in the book were rides that were on Canfield Mountain. 
	I must say the west is awesome for National Forest land. On any National Forest land that allows 
mountain biking, there are usually maps freely available at the Ranger stations. They actually advocate 
using the area in this way. It's awesome. How can things get any better than authorities advocating use of 
the lands for Mountain Biking, and motorcycling. It's like the whole Skateboarding / Biking is not a crime 
thing. Except totally reversed. I love love love it. 
	So, the Ranger station was closed, and I headed to the gas station that was nearby. I asked "Can 
you give me directions to Nettelton Gulch Road, and Canfield Mountain." - "Hmm. Burt?" - "Burt's our 
direction guy, and he can help you out." Said the cashier. Burt came up, and looked really funny. He had a 
shaved head, but totally missed a couple spots, and I mean there was about an inch and  tuft of hair 
sprouting out in a couple spots. It was really funny looking. But, for all his frazzeledness, Burt gave 
directions right to the trailhead.
	I found Nettelton Gulch road. It was off 15, except opposite of the directions I had. Either I copied 
them down wrong, or they were wrong in the book. On the road, I saw a female biker, and asked her about 
the trails, she said that there are a bunch of cars parked, and maps near some of the trailheads. When I got 
up to the parking area, two other mountain bikers were finishing their rides. I talked with them a bit, and 
they were nice enough to give me their only map, which detailed a few good loops. I decided to take the 
one they suggested, which was up the fire road, to a great flat pateau, where one could view Coeur d'Alene 
lake, and Hayden lake, each on opposite sides of Canfield Mountain. Then I took trail "D" through some 
unrideable uphills, and treacherous rocky downhill sections. (A lot of the trails were in "rough" shape, 
because of the Motorcyclists that shared access with the Mountain Bikers.)   
	The two guys I talked with said the uphill fireroad section was about 45 minutes, which it 
approximately was, they said that the entire ride took them around 2 hours 15 minutes. It took me about 
	Trail "D" went to trail "10" which went to trail "B", which went to trail "8", which took me back 
to the beginning. I think the letters were North and South, and the numbers were east and west 
approximately. Much of the downhill and uphill sections had good sized chunky rocks, about the size of  
bowling ball, which if one fell on, would certainly draw some blood. Most of the back side, after the initial 
fireroad uphill was singletrack. I think the ride was about 5 miles or so total. On the down hill section of the 
last leg the trail was very steep, and riddled with whoop de doos. These are the big up and down sections 
that sometimes can be jumped if there are two or three, (Called doubles and triples respectively), but if 
there are a ton of them to gether, they are generically called whoop de doos. I am unsure of the spelling of 
	Now, I am not Mr. Jock sporto, by any means, but I am a pretty decent mountain biker. I think my 
natural skills, and fearlessness really helps me in downhill sections. A good example of this follows. I was 
coming down the last section as fast as I was comfortable, and I began to smell exhaust in the air, 
reminding me of Ithaca, when Dan Williams decided to go riding with us with his motorcycle, and we on 
our bikes. He would ride up to the camp, then back to where we were, and say, "almost there, another mile 
or so", then 2 minutes later, "almost there, another _ mile or so". It got to be quite annoying. 
So, I smelled the exhaust, and the trail got dusty, and then I caught two motorcyclists. They were 
putzing along, well I will refer to it as putzing. - Of course there was no way I could pass them on this 
singletrack section on the side of a big mountain. SO, I stopped, and had a drink, and relaxked for about 45 
seconds or so. Then I continued, this time a little faster, to see if I could catch them again before the 
bottom. Sure enough I did. The bike had numbers on them, like the guys raced or something, anyway that 
was cool.
	I woke up on the National Forest and drove to Coeur d'Alene. 
Later - This is July 5th btw, I was too tired to type last night. 
July 5th, 2001 Somewhere past stevens pass in Wenatchee National Forest, outside of Mt. Ranier National 
	Today, I woke up after a very unrestful night the night before, from the Whiskey Tango, and 
Captain Snore, and typed for yesterday a little. I had breakfast, and took a shower. Then I went to a bike 
shop, and asked about my seatpost clamp bolt + nut, and about my computer cable on my bike that I also 
broke. (Don't know if I mentioned this, when I went riding with Kristen on lindy peak, my front tire caught 
some debris, and I went head over the bars, and broke my computer off.) It was hanging on by the cable, 
but that later came off too. So, I need to get a new cable. I think I will probably have to replace the whole 
thing. Anyway, I bought some tri-flow, because I am low, and that is the best lube in the world. - For the 
bike of course.
	Then went to the R.E.I. outlet, and asked about sleeping bags, and shopped around. I bought 
nothing. The guy said that the Seattle R.E.I. is huge compared to this one, which I think was pretty big. 
Two floors, and several climbing walls, is to me big for a retail store. He said they have a couple in stock, 
right and left zipper. I would be left, because they say one unzips, with the opposite hand. 
	Then I went to Riverwalk park, and took some shots. I really enjoy taking pictures with my 
camera, it makes picture taking a lot eaiser, and more enjoyable, so that I can concentrate on the light, and 
the shot more than how the camera is set up. I like it very much. I hope it, as well as my other electronic 
gear hold up for the duration of this trek. - Oh, the car too. I know the pod will - cause it Rocks!
	Setting up the car for sleeping in the back is kind of a pain. It takes a good 10 minutes or so to 
move things around, so that I can layout. I am reconsidering my packing scenario. The only thing I like 
about having the rear seats up, is that the stuff in the back is very well concealed with the little internal tarp 
thing over them. This is very nice for security, and for things not flying around in the wind too. 
	I guess, since I am with the car most of the day, this isn't a super big concern. Maybe I will play 
with redistribution sometime next week or something. I do have most everything else pretty down pat. I 
know where everything is, and can find it easily. Plus, I think the packing job I have done is very efficient. 
	So, after spokane, town of economic depression, and roads where the wheel marks cause 
depressions. Seriously, roads in Spokane, and from Coeur d'Alene have marks where peoples tires go. It's 
very annoying when moving along the road, because you car makes all sorts of weird noises, and moves 
oddly, when you are in the ruts. Usually I tried to drive to the left or right of them, like I would off roading. 
Spokane does have an odd mix of people. It's close to Canada, so many things are metric, and there is a big 
influx of Canadian's. Plus, a lot of the people are poor. I don't know why that is, because the rest of the 
town seems nice. I wonder what causes it.
	I drove most of the rest of the day, stopping in Yakima, yes the town where they make the car 
racks. I was a little nervous driving into town with my Thule Rack, thinking I stuck out like a "Blood" in 
"Crip" territory, or some such thing. 
	Oh, I forgot to mention I stopped in a town called Moses Lake, and also stopped and napped at a 
state park along side the Colombia River. The town of Moses Lake was very flat, but the lake was 
beautiful. The park was incredible, it had very nice tall trees, and I sat in the shade and streched my bones, 
after a nice sandwich lunch. I took some pictures of the trees moving. They were kind of cool. Made nice 
noises and flowed very nicely.
	Then in Yakima, I went to the Chamber of Commerce, then went to the "Fruit Place" where they 
gave me a nice sample of Cherry Juice. Then I called the Ranier Mountaineering place, and confirmed that 
I could go do the day "certification class" thing, tomorrow. I could, I confirmed where to meet and such. I 
got lucky, because people usually meet on the other side of the park, and shuttle in. I am going to meet 
them in Paradise, which is inside the middle of the Park. So, it will save me an hour drive time. - Thus, I 
am camped out on this side of the par tonight. (The east side). 
	After I confirmed with them, I called Heather to let her know I am coming into town in Seattle on 
Saturday. I was a little better with the phone message, but I could have been better. I will remember for the 
future. I assume too much, I should be more humble when speaking with guest hosts. - Or leaving 
	Then, once I realized that I would need to be at Paradise by 9:00AM tomorrow morning, and my 
cell didn't have coverage in the mountains, I had no way of waking myself up. So, I had to buy a watch. I 
have needed one for a while, and now was a good excuse to get one. 
	So, I did. I got pretty much what I wanted, except for the band which is kind of lame. I hope that it 
can take a generic replacement, because as soon as I find a cool replacement, I am totally going to get it. 
This one is too plasticy. Then I drove up here, and past the pass, and here I am. 
	A couple things. I forgot how bad the mosquitoes can be at altitude. I stopped at one of the scenic 
overlooks, and left my door open, while I walked around for 3 minutes, and took some snapshots. I came 
back to see mosquitoes buzzing all around my car, and in it. I also realized it was about 40 degrees cooler 
than it had been in the flatland. I went to the back to dig out my more warmer fleece top, and warmup 
pants, and was instantally devoured by angry and thirsty bugs. As soon as I found my things, and threw 
them forward in the car, I closed the rear window, hopped in the front, and closed that window too. 
	I then proceeded to kill at least a dozen mosquitoes that were inside the car. 12 mosquitoes in 3 
minutes way too many. 
	I also stopped at a fruit stand earlier, and got some cherries and plums. They came up to be 1.30 
for a pound of cherries, and a pound of plums. I gave the guy 2 dollars, and said keep the change. Great 
	Last thing of note, unless I can think of something else. The poison Ivy on my foot is really bad. 
There are three patches, the main one, that I opened up a couple nights ago, to let the pressure out, and two 
others. It sucks, because the main one has already past the most painful itchy stage, and the others are just 
catching up to that point. So, they will hurt like crazy and itch like mad for the next two days, then start to 
go down a little like the other one. 
	If there is anything I hate in this world it's poison ivy. I mean I don't hate it as a plant, I just hate 
the reaction I have to it. It majorly sucks. I decided not to take the steroid perscription I had for this run - in 
with the poison ivy, because I thought it was going to be a small go round. It turned out to be medium size. 
Plus it's on my foot, which makes it a little more bareable. Because If I keep socks on, and shoes on, 
sometimes when I am walking, I don't notice it. This is very good. I like not noticing it. Not like now, 
though. I can totally notice it.
	I hope it doesn't deter my hiking ability tomorrow. 
Good Night. 
Friday, July 6th 2001 10:19PM - Undeveloped site number 055 on the Tacoma National Forest, outside Mt. 
Ranier national park. 
	It has been a long, but good day. I completed the one-day climbing school necessary to participate 
in the Mt. Ranier 2 day summit climb. I am on the waiting list for any days that are open between now, and 
my flight, which is. Now I have to look it up which is a good thing, because I wasn't really super sure 
when it was, and this is good to know. Now, I know. It's Wednesday night, well, Thursday morning at 
1:00AM. Conceiveably, I could climb on Wednesday, but that would be quite ugly. 
	I woke up this morning, and it turns out I didn't really need the watch, but I have needed one, and 
it was a good excuse to purchase one. It was only 40 bucks or so. I woke up, and drove to Paradise. I wish I 
had an opportunity to ask someone "Which way to paradise?" - But I didn't. It turns out the spot I picked 
last night was perfect, and right where I thought it was on the map. It was right before North 123, or 
something into Mt Ranier from the southeast. I woke up and  started driving. I made it into the park and the 
first visitor center. It was closed opening at 9:00AM. I used the bathroom.
	Then I went down the road, and found the main entrance, and got in with my National Parks pass. 
From reading the RMI brochure, I found out that I can get refunded the Park Entrance Fee for the school, 
and the 2 day climb if I photo copy a copy of my pass, and mail it to them. Cool, I will get 40 bucks back or 
something. It has definitely paid off again this summer already. - The National Parks Pass that is.
	So the woman at the main entrance told me it was about a 45 minute drive to Paradise, which was 
surprising to me, since it looked shorter on the map. It gave me about 30 minutes once I got there to get my 
stuff together. Tight, but I could make it. I made it there in 30 minutes or so, very little traffic. The closer I 
got to Ranier, the closer I got. Ha ha ha. No, it was weird looking at it. The first couple looks I got, it 
looked small, and something I could do in one day. Then the next couple looks I got, it looked incredibly 
tall and impressive. Sometimes it was shrowded in clouds, other times it was not. It is a very elusive 
	I got to paradise, and ate breakfast, then found the climbing hut. I filled out the paper work, and 
rented my equipment for the one day climbing school. 50 bucks or something for the equipment, and 150 
for the class. I got my stuff, and the equipment list of things I should bring. It was a small list, but I was 
stuck. I sat and looked at the list for quite some time. I only had about a  hour before the class started, and 
I couldn't get started getting my gear together. I hate when that happens. Sometimes it happens that I just 
get stuck when there is a time constraint, and can't get going. I don't know maybe too many things to think 
about. I start thinking about how to do things the most efficiently, and can't move forward. I think because 
normally I have so many things going on, that when I have this many more, it's like an overload or 
something. - Regardless, I was about 5 minutes late getting myself, and all the gear I thought I was going 
to need back to the hut. 
	It turns out that I had about another 40 minutes before we started doing anything anyway. So, I 
had pleanty of time. No biggie, but I don't like getting stuck. It happens sometimes in the morning too, 
usually when I am running late. I know I am running late, but I just can't get started. Odd. 
	Milk was almost bad, so I used the rest of it for cereal for breakfast. Cooler definitely needs to be 
on 24 / 7 if it is to be any good without ice packs in it. When I have Ice packs, it is usually good for being 
off at night for about 3, or 3+1/2 days. This definitely will not suffice in Alaska. I may have to resort to the 
Iced cooler, or maybe get another car battery or something. Maybe I will call one of those RV places, and 
see what there thoughts on the matter are. Maybe a stereo shop, who install high - end sound systems will 
be able to do something for me. 
	Class started with a 45 minute hike up the mountain in Snow. I wore shorts and a wicking tee shirt 
which got sweaty from my pack. It was incredible on the mountain. If I had my snowboard, I would have 
been in heaven. There were snowfields galore. Once we got to the makeshift camp, we were instructed in 
technique in climbing, breathing, stepping, resting, etc. We also got instructions on glacading, self 
arresting, on back, on stomache, both facing up and downhill. Glacading is basically sleding on your body. 
	You can do seated glacading which is just sitting, and sliding, my favorite is standing glacading. I love, it 
and kept climbing higher and higher to do it over and over. I felt like a kid. 
A lot of the techniques and principals of Mountaineering are similar to those in Rock Climbing. 
Always yell "falling", if you are going to fall, or if you are falling. Force breathe, get good footholds before 
good hand holds, etc. 
	I learned the parts of the Ice Axe. There is the Pic, which is the front longer part with the teeth. 
There is the "adze" which is opposite of of the pick. The shaft, and then the spike. (I think that's what they 
called it) - I just remember the instructor had a brain fart, and couldn't remember what it was called, and he 
called it the "pointy thing" as a joke. The proper way to hold an Ice Axe is to have the thumb underneath 
the adze, and the fingers wrapped around the pick. This is to ensure that if you fall, you are in a good 
position to self arrest your self. 
	We got into 3 groups of 8 several times to demonstrate things. When we were demonstrating the 
self arrest, which is only touching the ground with your shoulder, two feet, and the pick end of the axe. You 
dig the pick into the ground, and pull up the shaft at the spike end. To give yourself better leverage. Your 
sternum is right across the axe also to push the pick end into the ground. One time he said that as I slid 
down, he would hand me the axe, and I would arrest myself with it. He pulled it away, and I had to arrest 
with just my elbows and feet. It surpised me, but I did it fine. Actually I was impressed with myself that I 
did it with such a quick reaction. 
	When one is walking in the snow, it is important to always be in a rest position, so each step 
should be quick to get into the next rest position, not long and prolonged, because the more you are off 
balance, i.e. one foot on the ground, the longer you are off balance. Also, when going down hill, dig ones 
heals in to make sure you have good purchase. 
	Then after lunch, we did some stuff with crampons. Learned how to clear the crampons by hitting 
them with the Ice Axe, and by sliding on the downhill to get the snow out. Also learned the French 
technique of ascending, and the american technique, and how to properly turn a corner, and keep your Ice 
Axe on your uphill hand. Also the splay technique of ascending. 
	Later we learned how to walk roped into one and other, and how to move over the rope around 
corners on switchbacks which is the most difficult, and important thing. 
All in all it was a good day. We descended all tied in, and things got a little slow when a guy 
behind me was going much slower, and the guy in front of me was going faster, I was kind of stuck in the 
middle. Going up was fine though. I was tired from the banging of the shins, knees, toes, ankles, and 
	After it was over, I got on the waiting list for dates between now and my flight back, as well as 
when I return. I think I would like to do it now, so that I can have something neat to talk about at the 
wedding. Monday and Tuesday would be mint. 
	Then, I cruised into the town of Ashford to look at the equipment that they rent, I.e. down parkas, 
and fleece pants. Both very technical, and expensive. I was thinking the stuff that I had would be fine. But 
no, I will definitely have to rent some of that gear. I may buy the sleeping bag I was thinking about. 
Marmot Pinnacle long. From R.E.I. in seattle. Perhaps too some fleece or goretex pants. I will rent the 
fleece pants if I don't purchase them I guess. I have been looking at those for a while too to purchase. They 
are kind of expensive. 
	Then after looking at gear, I called my voice mail, and got Heathers message. She is not going to 
be in town this Saturday. So, I am going to hang out in Tacoma I think on Saturday. There is a blues 
festival in a park somewhere which I will check out. The weather is supposed to be beautiful all weekend, 
so that should be cool. I may cruise up to Seattle also to go to the R.E.I. Then, hang out with Heather on 
Sunday, maybe Monday too. I think if it turns out that I have time in the city of Seattle, I want to tour the 
Boeing plant, and maybe do one of those tours that I didn't get to last time. I checked out the fish market, 
and the pier, but I could totally do that again. There is so much to see down there. Maybe when I get back if 
I do the climb prior to the wedding I might check out North Cascades national park. 
Too much to think about. I am sleepy and going to bed.  
Saturday July 7th, 2001 Saltwater Beach State Park 9:20PM Pacific Standard Time

	Today was good. I woke up in the woods, and had to dump quite badly. I mean really badly. I 
didn't even bother to put shorts on. I just kind of pulled off my boxers, and squatted 6 feet away from my 
car, and let it go. I don't ever remember having to dump that badly when first waking up before. It is quite 
an inconvience. I dug my pit toilet later, and buried the waste. I have also got in the habit of burning my 
used TP, then burying that too. 
	So, after that, I put clothes on, organized the car, and had breakfast, then I was on my way into 
Ashford. I went again to the Ranier Base camp to look at the rental equipment. Namely the Fleece / Pile 
pants. They are by Marmot, and called "Ranier Pant", fitting. The rental folks said that they had the pants in 
the shop. I looked in the shop, and they didn't have them. They had the equivalent Mountain Hardware 
Pant. Which I guess is just as good. I tried a pair on, and they were not that comfortable at all. For 200 
bucks, I wouldn't buy them. I am going to see what R.E.I. in Seattle has. They are a super big store, and I 
have been wanting a pair of those pants, so maybe I will find something. 
	I also need a better Mummy Sleeping bag. The one I have definitely will not suffice. It's good as a 
summer, late spring, early fall bag, but nothing else. I need something that will put take me through fall and 
spring. Maybe a +15 or +20 degree bag. The ones I have been looking at from Marmot are expensive. I 
may look for something a little less. Especially if I get the pants. 
	So, I browsed around the rest of the store, and didn't really find anything that I absolutely 
"Needed", so I took off for Tacoma. The drive to Tacoma took longer than I had expected. It took about an 
hour and 15 minutes. The traffic was terrible, especially because there was some bike race going on. I got 
there, oh, I stopped at a sculpture garden along the way. This guy Don something did all sorts of iron 
scupltures. I found some of his stuff a little morbid. But it was cool to get a couple pictures nonetheless. His 
front yard doubled as the garden, and access to it was free. (Donations appreciated.)
	In Tacoma, I found a visitors center which was tiny. I listened to NPR, and passed the time. "Wait, 
Wait, Don't tell me." Michael Feldman's "What do you know". "Car Talk", and NPR News were all on. I 
love NPR. I couldn't live somewhere that didn't have NPR. It passed the time wonderfully. Carl Castle, on 
Wait Wait Don't tell me was hilarious. I was laughing out loud listening to the show.
	So, I found the visitor center. The woman there was slight, and kind of reminded me of a nocturnal 
creature. She was kind of odd too. Not quite able to specifically answer my questions. Plus she knew 
nothing about the Blues Festival that was going on during the day in Historic Old Town. I had to find it 
myself on the brochure. She didn't even really have specific directions to it, even though an address was on 
the paper. She kind of marked a 3 mile long section on the map and said "This is where it should be, there 
will probablly be signs. - No signs, I ended up going out to the end of the pier, and turning around. Then I 
just followed my nose, and found it. Great Information - NOT!
	The free bands that went on during the day ranged from great to poor. The first couple were good, 
and they decreased in quality as the day went on. I got there around 1:00PM or so, and hung out for most of 
the day. I took a couple bathroom breaks, a "get out of the sun" break, and a lunch break.
	There was this little kid dancing around during the concert, and he cracked me up. He had the best 
moves I have seen, and I have a grin now, just remembering it. He looked like he was really dancing to the 
music, and had this one move that was hilarious. He spread his arms wide, looked up to the sun, or 
whatever, smiled widley, and just stood. Kind of like someone who has spent all day in a terribly crowded 
office, with no windows, and they come outside to wonderful rays of sunshine. They turn there face up to 
the sun, spread there arms wide to hug the sun, and let it pour all over them. It was amazing. He had the 
greatest look on his face too. A huge contented smile, like everything in the world was right for him. No 
fear, no ambition, no typical inquisitive childhood curiosity, just contentment, and bliss. I tried to feel like 
him. I think if I have ever seen an angel, he was it. 
	The day passed, I didn't get sunburned which was good. I pretty much looked at women most of 
the time, and listened to the music. There was a gaggle of lesbians a while away from me. I thought one 
was cute. Hmm, is this becoming a theme. Doubtful. One of the sponsors of the Festival was RedHook 
Beer, so there was a beer garden with a bunch of "beautiful people" as one of the M.Cees referred to them 
as. I avoided the garden. 
	A very popular snack seemed to be chocolate covered frozen bananas with peanuts on them. There 
were a lot of fat people. I think this one dude was in denial about where his waist began and his stomache 
ended. His pants were REALLY low, and his gut hung way over them. Straight to the frozen chocolate 
banana booth from the beer garden for him, then back again. 
	The venue was nice. It was a city park. The stage was a flatbed from a semi, and there was a semi 
- circle that surrounded the grass where all the vendors, and such were. The beer garden, and port - a - 
potties were stage right. There was also several concerts going on tonight in the area, but they didn't get 
started until around 8:30PM, and I didn't feel like staying that late. The free band's ended around 6:30 or 
	I had planned on going to the REI today, but skipped it, because I called RMI, and asked about 
how the school did today, and they had a definite opening for the Monday and Tuesday climbs. SO, I 
signed up for that. I am stoked, because that gives me another day to get ready, and think about a bag, then 
a couple days to recover after the climb. I will probably drive back to Heathers Tuesday night, and crash, 
then hang Wednesday, and Thursday with her. 
	It will be cool when people ask me at the Wedding, "What have you been up to lately?" "Well, I 
summited Mt. Ranier on Tuesday, and I am on my way to Alaska." Nice. I am looking forward to going 
back home for the wedding. It's kind of funny. I don't really feel like I have been gone that long. I guess 
it's been about 3 +  weeks. I haven't really been keeping track of my expenses. I should start doing that, 
because I want to make sure that I have some coin when I am done with the trip. 
	That was about my day. Then, I drove towards Seattle, and found the State Park that I am in now. 
I picked what I think is a better spot this time, hopefully I will catch some Z's. If not, I am going to set up 
the car for sleep if necessary. 
	Well, goodnight. - Maybe I will tell you about the Mt. Ranier climb a bit. The first day, we 
assemble at 9:00AM, and leave for Camp Muir. It's about a 5 +  hour climb. Then lights are out at around 
8:00PM, then we wake up between 11:00PM, and 3:00AM, and make the roped in trek to the summit. We 
summit around 9:00AM, then hike back to Camp Muir, and then back to base, to finish around 4:00 or 
5:00PM. Pretty brutal. 
	One of the guys I was talking to at dinner last night said the climb was one of the most painful 
things he has ever experienced. He said that RMI is a "pain factory". He said "I hated my guide while we 
were on the trek." - And, "They are all business on the mountain." These are both very comforting to me, 
especially with some of the experience that some of the people have. The first guy to summit Everest twice 
works for them, he is a Sherpa. Lou Whittiker, the first American to summit Everest started R.M.I, and still 
works for them. One of our guides has 23 years experience doing this stuff. So, I felt really good about my 
saftey, and like I am going to be challenged with the physical exertion. 
I hope the old bones and ligaments can handle it. I'm glad I have a couple day's recovery time 
after it's over. Good Night.
July 8,  3705 S.Dawson St. Seattle,WA

	On Sunday, I only needed to run a couple errands to get ready for the Mt. Ranier Climb. I had 
pleanty of time to go R.E.I., go shopping, and meet up with Heather for a bit. So, that's what I did. Things 
worth mentioning are, that when I woke up in Saltwater Beach State Park, my tent had condensed quite 
badly, this is one of the few things that I really don't like about camping. Condensation, It's nobody's 
friend. So, my tent wet, the outer part of the main deal, and the inside of the fly. Of course, I am camping 
near ground that is dirty, so after I take off the fly, it accidentally drags on the ground. My car is also dirty, 
so when I try and wedge it between the windows of my car, and between the cracks in the picnic bench, it 
drags slightly on the side of my dusty car, and gets quite dirty. That is the dilema of the car camper. 
	I know that if I just can get it to hang in the sun for like 30 minutes or so, that it will be dry as a 
bone. Thus the attempt at hanging it between my car and the picnic bench. It kind of doesn't fit too well, so 
I had to move my car ahead a little bit to try and get the size to match up a little better. It did, but the size is 
still a little bit off. But, I got it to hang enough that the drying part will happen if it catches the sun. That is 
the problem though. I am kind of in - between two fairly large hills, maybe it is just the geography, and 
they are not hills. I'm not sure really what you would call them. But I am in between, and the camping road 
that I am on runs east / west, and I am on the east side of the road. As it rises, the sun shines down nicely on 
the other side. 
	So, I decide to dig around for my manual for my digital camera. I still need to learn a lot about it, 
like how to take pictures in apature priority mode, and shutter speed mode, and manual mode. From 
reading, I learn about how to do the AE lock, which I think stands for Automatic Exposure Lock. What this 
allows me to do, which is really cool, is lock the light exposure on a subject, then reframe the subject, and 
take the shot letting in the amount of light that I want to. For example, if the foreground of the picture you 
want to take is dark, but the background is light, the camera will automtically adjust to the background 
light, and try to set the apature accordingly. In this instance, I can point the camera at the ground, or 
somewhere in the picture that is dark, and set the amount of light that the lense will let in, then lock the 
automatic exposure, then point the camera back up, and reframe the shot, and get it with the right light. It's 
cool, and it works good. I also learned about setting the film speed, and the different resolution modes for 
	So, as I am reading, I watch a younger girl pack up her camp across the road. She seems too young 
to have gone camping all by herself, but what the hell. I watch her as she packs up her tent, and tries to 
stuff it in the back of her car, which is strangely full of stuff. It fits, but she has to push pretty hard to get it 
in. Then she grabs what looks like a cookie from the picnic table, and munches on it. 
	While she packs up. Grandpa then comes over, shortly followed by grandma. So, that's where all 
the stuff comes from. I can't hear what they are saying, but it seems like Grandpa proceeds to reprimand 
her for packing up the tent wrong. He then unpacks, then repacks it inside a box, and proceeds to shove it in 
the car. He didn't show her how to do it correctly. He just kind of does it. And judging from his and her 
body language, she doesn't feel good about it, and he is just annoyed. I think I would try to teach my 
offspring how to do it the right way, or maybe not. Sometimes it is good to let kids make mistakes. 
So, they leave, and I unhook my tent fly, and pick up my tent still intact, and walk it over to their 
site. It is totally dry, and a great spot to dry out my tent. I rehang my fly, and let my tent dry. After about 15 
minutes, they are good to go. It was sitting 35 or 40 on my side staying wet. Hmm, the power of the sun. 
Photovoltaic, good word.
	Other thing to mention R.E.I. Holy Crap. This is the biggest outdoor store I have ever been too. Three floors, a separate bike shop, a separate camping area, a separate clothing area, a 30 / 40 foot glassed 
in indoor climbing pillar, a reception area that looks like a museum with all the pictures hanging on it. A 
waterfall, a jogging path, a mountain bike path. The place was huge. It was on a street corner, and extended 
three or four regular size buildings in each direction. They have maps and directions posted in strategic 
locations, so people don't get lost. When I walked up to it, I felt like I was in the bird aviary / tiger area at 
the San Diego Zoo. 
	Inside was equally as impressive. Tons of gear, and a lot of stuff on sale for cheap prices. I wanted 
everything, and felt myself being pulled in many a direction. I had to focus, sleeping bag, and fleece pants 
for Ranier. Three hours later, and 500 dollars less, I walked out with an Instant meal that cooks itself, a 
thermarest sleeping pad, a Marmot pinnacle +15 degree sleeping bag, and a pair of treking telescoping ski 
	Unfortunately, the clothing section was not as robust as the rest of the selection. I was also looking 
for the fleece pants, Marmot Ranier pant, and a pair of bergelene underwear that I could wear inside my 
swim trunks. They had neither, but the guy directed me to the patagonia store which was on first ave near 
the Public Market. I found patagonia, then spent 30 minutes looking for a parking spot. They didn't have it 
	I hung out at the public market a bit, good place to take candid pictures. Watched them throw the 
fish. Got a hold of Heather, and we agreed to meet out for food. She was going to roll towards me. Then I 
called and talked with Allison, Pete, and Doug. All good to catch up with. Heather and I went out for Sushi 
at one of her favorite places. I made a funny trying to order a beer. I ordered a tempura which is food for a 
beer when I meant to order the typical beer, which I can't remember the name of off the top of my head. 
Then I drove back to the national forest land outside of Ashford, tried out my new sleeping bag 
and pad, and was too tired to write in the journal. The drive was about 3 hours. I set my clock, and went to