8.24.2002

Beautiful Saturday, M's lost in the 9th to the Indians, picked up some groceries, ran into an old neighbor at Target also. She and her husband lived next door to me when I lived in Tumwater. They have two small boys and another is on the way. Here is the cool part: They decided to sell their house and it took 4 HOURS TO SELL IT! They listed it, a gal drove by and saw the sign and made an offer. The price that the gal paid is $30,000 more than what Chris and Trina paid for the place 2 years ago! Makes me wish I had taken my landlords up on their offer to sell the rental to me while I was living there, hmmm. Oh well. Anyhow, they bought a new place almost due west of me, 2200 square foot house, HUGE garage/workshop on 4 acres with lots of trees. Sounds pretty damn nice and I will swing by there tomorrow and take Trina up on her offer for a visit.

Interesting observation I made while at Target talking to Trina, who, honestly, is pretty damn good looking: I noticed that several very attractive women who came walking down the aisle while we were talking made direct eye contact with me and smiled. This may not seem unusual to some, but to me it is! Maybe I am just not paying attention or something, but I have noticed in the past that when I was dating one of the several very attractive women I have been lucky enough to date, that there were more women looking at me and smiling than "normal", whatever that may be. Do women suffer from the same condition as men in that they tend to look at and notice guys who are with attractive women the same way guys look at attractive women who are obviously with other guys? Am I just being paranoid? Hmm, maybe I will pose this question to Edie over at A Mating Call in the Concrete Jungle, whose site is great fun to read and is one of the sites I have lurked around on for a while. Go check it out and answer the poll - What is your preferred undergarment? I have worn boxers exclusively for a few years, but going Commando is sure fun every now and then. For those that don't know, Commando is the same as Going Arkansas - sans any undergarments. :-)

Tonight is the Grand Patio Unveiling Party at Tom's place, should be lots of fun, good food, lots of good beer and there will be some great folks there - Shrimpin' Tom and his wife will be there too, should be a real hootenanny. I will report on the party tomorrow.

Haven't done much with the Thunder Blog yet, I have been avoiding mass media today except for the ball game, but I am pretty sure something will be worth talking about on Monday. :-) It took me about 3 hours to get that site up and running and modified and I still have more to do, at least I am an old hand at that now, maybe I can put that on my resume.

Alright, talk to y'all later.
Thunder Blog is up and running now, looking forward to letting go with some serious spiels over there, should be fun. Off to bed now, g'night. Trying to get the archives back, crappus.

8.23.2002

All I have to say is Good (pause for a beat) God. Did you see the comment in the tag board thingy? My last post was waaaaaay to long, he is right. Anyhow, for those that don't want to read that 10 page camping description here is a brief version:

Drove to Dungeness, campground was full, forgot food, stopped at grocery store in Sequim, loaded up, went to Deer park campground up twisty-turny road, amazing views, perfect campsite, lots of food and beer, stars, meteors, ground squirrels, went to Port Angeles for oil for truck, saw coffee gal, fell in love, back to camp, cards, more beer, Banana Boats, perfect night, more stars, packed up in morning, headed back, sunburned, relaxed and rested. That's it.

Ok, so today is Friday, gorgeous day out, tomorrow evening is a cook out at Tom's to show off the new patio. Posting a bunch of stuff on Ebay today, ugh, but, I bought most of this stuff last year about this time when I was flush, so it is no big deal to sell it. I will let you know how that all goes, should be interesting.

8.22.2002

Ok, this sucker is looooong and pretty boring.

Hmmmm, the archives are gone and the comment doo-hickey is not working. I did a trace route back to the enetation server in London and it is timing out, soooooo, I will see about disabling the comments in my blog for the time being because it causes the page to time out after about 15 seconds. Luckily, I have a tool that I can use to cancel the enetation access, but if you are hitting this site from a dialup, you probably won't even see this entry. Hopefully I can get it fixed soon.

So, gonna fill you in on the camping trip stuff. I meant to do that the other night but got side-tracked, sorry about that. I am going to start using the other site for political and social ramblings and do a bunch of cussing and hollarin' and linking to crazy stuff that I read every day. On to camping...

Well, remember how I mentioned that if I arrived at my buddy's house at 6 AM everyone would still be asleep? Well, on my way over there Friday morning, after staying up most of the night finishing laundry and packing, I called them and yep, you guessed it, they were just starting to move around and get ready. I can understand this though because there were three kids to get ready, aged 8, 14 and 16 and I don't think any of them has seen 6 AM, ever. I am glad I called because that gave me enough time to swing by the coffee stand and harass the coffee gal (not the same one I had a crush on, but she is a hottie too), so I got my 20 oz. triple mocha and headed over to the house.

I could tell it was going to be a wonderful day, the sun was burning through the fog, birds were chirping, the whole deal. I felt like I was in a commercial for Coffee, or trucks or camping gear or something. Now, a refresher for those that don't know: I drive a fullsize quad cab Dodge 4x4 V10, it is a huge truck. My friend drives a large truck too, but it is a short bed. There were 6 people total between the two trucks and we filled both of them up with stuff! Coolers, tents, sleeping bags, giant storage containers with food and full sets of pans and 3 cook stoves and so much beer that a couple 12 packs of Pale Ale had to go un-cooled because there wasn't enough room because of all the rest of the beer we took! (this is an important statement, remember it for later) Remember, we were going out for Friday night, Saturday day and night, then Sunday morning and then heading back. We had enough stuff in those two trucks to last 2 weeks, it was amazing.

It is also amazing that women have to get their hair fixed before camping, at least these gals did. We threw the football around in the street after things were loaded up and finally, at about 7:15, we were able to hit the road. One last stop at the grocery store for a couple other things, then we were heading up Highway 101 to the campsite.

Riding in my truck was my friend's wife and her 8 year old daughter. It had been a while since I rode in a vehicle with a little girl, but I was quickly reminded that if they hear a song on the CD that they like, it is ESSENTIAL that they listen to it over and over and over and over. Luckily it was a practice CD with songs on it that a band that I played the drums in for a bit, so it was good stuff and listening to a particular song 10 times wasn't that bad. Within an hour, she had memorized the track numbers and would call out, "play number 5, play number 5!"

About three quarters of the way to the campsite, about an hour and a half on the road, I thought of something: When we were loading the coolers and putting ice into them to keep all of the beer cold, I didn't remember seeing any Real Food. No meat, no nothing. Yikes. I asked the Wife if the food had been packed already cuz I hadn't seen any, I had just seen lots of beer and that is when she remembered that all of the food was still in the refrigerator. Yowsa. I flashed my lights at my buddy who was driving in front and he pulled over at some gas station/grocery store and the look on his face as the Wife asked him if he packed that food was one I won't forget for a long time. The Stare, the Jaw Drop, The Realization, The Cussing. Luckily, a few miles past our turn-off was a decent sized town with a couple of grocery stores, so we would just have to get some more stuff and (gasp!) remove some of the beer to fit it all in. Good Grief.

We drove past the camp-site turnoff and headed on into "town". Sequim, (pronounced Skwim) "was" a small town that was host to mostly retired folks and was mostly familiar to me because of the Dryke Shooting School and the Duffy Ford Bronco restoration and parts store. Well, a lot has changed since the last time I was there which is only about 4 years ago. The place has grown by at least five times and was HUGE and there is a new 4 lane by-pass that lets you swoosh on by the town if you want. The town is still home to retired folks though, just a whole lot more of them. It is so attractive to retirees because Sequim is under the Rain Shadow. As the rain comes from the Pacific and heads inland, it crosses over the Olympic Mountains and due to pressure and wind, the weather just passes over Sequim, leaving it as one of the driest places in the country. Lots of RV's, 50's themed restaurants, nick-nack and antique stores, and I don't think I saw anyone under the age of 50 in the grocery store. It was like being in some weird Star Trek episode. "Where are all of the young people? What is that you are eating??!!!! Arghhhhh!!!!"

We loaded up the trucks, said good bye to Starbucks and headed to the campground. Luckily, I didn't need to get rescued because the Dungeness/Gray Wolf Campground was packed to the gills! We were bumming, but we had a plan for a backup site that we could go try, but it was at least another 30 miles to the turn off and then 18 or 20 miles up an interesting-looking road.

Back on the road again, listening to track # 10 this time, heading off to the Deer Park camping area.....as we turned off of 101 to head south into the mountains (right past the New Costco and New Multi-plex Theater, sheesh) my truck started beeping and chiming, the Check Gauge light was on and I HAD NO OIL PRESSURE!!!! Holy Freaking Jumping Jesus Christ! (I actually said that and some other choice words, forever scarring the 8 year old's ears). I turned the corner off of the highway and the oil pressure went back up and there was no smoke, no weird noises, no thumping, no deadly trail of oil behind me, so I thought that there might have been a glitch with the gauges. After checking it out, it was onward and upward.

The paved road petered out after about 6 miles and we had only 10 more miles to go to reach the camping area. Now, I have been on some logging roads in the Cascades where one side of the truck is snug up to the inside wall and the other side is 3 inches from a 400 foot drop off, and yeah, that was stressful, but this, this, I can't even find the words. In my truck with my best buddy's wife and her small, squealing child, traveling up a park access road that normally wouldn't give me any pause, driving behind her husband in his truck as he looked out over the expanse, admiring the view, careening around corners like a Pike's Peak driver, kicking up dust and gravel and I have my windshield wipers going full bore, watching my Oil gauge, listening to Track #10 again, the Wife squirming and muttering under her breath, man oh man, it was exciting!

The road more-or-less went straight up the mountain, the occasional blind switch-back, the view out towards the west were absolutely amazing. When we had left Sequim, we were at about 50 feet above sea level - the campsite was at 5300 feet. Driving up there was like a slow-mo airplane take-off with a ton more stress, let me tell ya! When I had the opportunity to look out the side window of the truck through the dust and past the swishing hair of the Wife, the view was amazing. Across the valley, I could see the road to Hurricane Ridge, which is a paved 2 lane with pullouts that heads up into Olympic National Park and terminates at, you guessed it, Hurricane Ridge, where the views are amazing and there are many trailheads for hikers. Quite spectacular.

Little side note here. Most of the locals that I have talked to during my time in Washington haven't even been to the Peninsula and have never driven to Hurricane Ridge. I always thought that was interesting. Ok, back to the story.

The road actually got steeper the further up the mountain we went. It was almost like the original road builders back in the 20's got frustrated with all of the twists and turns and said "Screw it, lets just cut this road up to the top, damnit" We were pinned to the backs of out seats as we passed the treeline and actually saw snow below us on adjacent mountains! This was going to be awesome!

We finally reached the camping area and it was deserted. No one there. At all. It was very strange. We took another road that appeared to head up higher, hoping to see someone, and find out what the deal was. We turned one last corner and right in front of us was a husband and wife, pushing their baby carriage down a trail. Great. High Adventure 'R Us. A semi-full parking lot with lots of Subaru's, Nissan Pathfinders and Volvos greeted us as we discovered the trail-head to one of the many trails through the park. This particular one followed a ridgeline back to the west and connected with a trail coming out of Hurricane Ridge.

We found the campsite area after taking a few loops around the area and found The Perfect Site. Looking west from the campsite, I had a full panoramic view of the Olympic Mountains, I could turn my head all the way to the left - mountains, all the way to the right - more mountains. After consulting a map, I discovered that we were on Blue Mountain at approximately 5300 feet. Two trucks full of people emptied and the daunting task of Getting Set Up started.

After we had been there about fifteen minutes, all of us slack-jawed at the view, the rangers came by. They were a husband and wife team that had volunteered for the 'duty' and were from Montana. They never said, but they had the feel of school teachers about them, which would explain why they were able to take the summer off and do this. Not a bad job, they said, just had to put up with the pack rats in their cabin. Their cabin was built in the 20's by folks from the CCC and was headquarters for the road building crew. They were nice folks and told us that there hadn't been any cougar or bears in the area for quite a while, but if we left food out and didn't lock it up in the storage area or in the truck and some critters got into it, we could be fined. With the possibility of having bears and cougars around, we didn't take any chances, needless to say.

Eventually, there were going to be 10 people in the camp area so we had 6 tents to set up and the Wife's stepdad was planning on sleeping in his truck, but more on that later. My buddy and I began laying out the tents as soon as he and the Wife discussed proper tent placement for about 15 minutes, ugh. Ok, let's just set them up already! It was going to be a long weekend.... I picked out a spot away from the rest of the group, which was kind of nice. I had planned for weeks and weeks for this one thing: to be able to lay in my tent, on my back with my head out the flap and watch the stars, all ka-zillion of them and I wasn't disappointed.

So, there were conflicting Camp Philosophies, if you can imagine that. The Wife had planned this trip and had based it on past family trips she had been on. A whole lot of lazing around, reading, eating and drinking. The Husband, my buddy, would have been just as happy with a can of sardines and a tube of Ritz Crackers and a bedroll. So, you can kind of see where this is going. I have been on all kinds of trips, the family trips with modern conveniences and the bedroll, couple of matches, fishing line and a hook trips. This was definitely going to be a Modern Convenience trip, which was okay with me. It reached the Apex of Convenience when the Giant Netted Tent came out and was raised. Well, I guess if we were going camping, this would be okay. It was a nice place to sit back with a beer and the latest Vanity Fair magazine (more Jennifer Connelly, wooo hoo!), but, like I said, this was a Family Trip, not a Burton and Speke Expedition.

After a couple hours of getting set up, we were all squared away. Kids tent was off to the side, but reachable, kitchen area was adjacent to the fire pit, my tent was off about 40 years or so up the hill, out in the open so I could take advantage of the clear night sky. The remainder of the day was spent exploring the area, drinking a few beers, whipping up some spaghetti for dinner and staring at the campfire. There is nothing that I can think of that is more mesmerizing than a campfire, the sound, the smell, it was nice. That is when I first relaxed that day. The night was as spectacular as I thought it would be, millions of stars, about 10 shooting stars, leftovers from the meteor shower and quiet like you wouldn't believe. I live within earshot of a major interstate and there is a constant hum of tires and exhaust, so when I opened my ears that night, it amazed me. It was so quiet and still that we could hear people talking at another camp area about 200 yards from us and they were just talking in a normal tone. There was actually a hissing tone in my ears it was so quiet. You get so used to the every-day sounds that when they aren't there, your ears tremble with anticipation.

Banana Boats! I can't believe that these people had never heard of them so it was sure fun to introduce them to the pomp and circumstance that surrounds the 'launching' and 'docking procedures of Banana Boats. For those of you that have never had one:

1 Banana, peel on, split down the middle
3 or so pieces of chocolate bar to put in the banana
2 or 3 marshmallows to place on top of the chocolate
12 inch by 12 inch piece of foil to wrap around the banana with the chocolate and marshmallow pieces inside it
make sure to fold the foil so two ends of the foil end up forming a sail on the Banana Boat!
Place the boat into the coals of the fire, use tongs grabbing the sail to rotate it every few minutes.
After while, you can hear the marshmallow bubbling and hissing, give it a few more minutes and remove by the sail
Unfold the foil and there ya go! Hot chocolatey-gooey-banana! Yum!

The cool air coming in my window right now reminds of the nights up there. It was so cool and dry and quiet that I could have just put my bedroll out on the ground that night. The Wife's step dad constructed a sleeping area under some trees and slept under a tarp held up with some rope above his bed. Reminded me of some make-shift tents my friends and I would construct on Boy Scout camping trips.

Saturday was beautiful and the morning was warm already when I rolled out of bed. I really wanted to stay in bed longer but my bladder had other plans and I knew that once I made it out of the tent, I wouldn't make it back in. It required someone with formal training from the Cirque de Soleil to get in and out of that tent! I was the first one up then my friend's son woke up and we got the fire started and got the coffee pot on. There is nothing quite like percolated coffee on camping trips! Damn that was good. What is the saying? "If you throw a horseshoe in and it sinks, it isn't ready yet" It was damn good though.

Breakfast consisted of bacon, sausage, eggs, fried potatoes and onions, ham, orange juice, milk, coffee, and there was so much of it, we saved some for the next morning. The rest of the day was spent exploring, hiking up to the top of the mountain, relaxing, watching the ground squirrels, shoo'ing off the deer and just enjoying ourselves. I had the chance to watch some ground squirrels for a bit after my buddy told me what he saw. It fascinating to watch how and what they eat. The trick is to find a quiet spot on a rock and sit as motionless as you can and just open your eyes for any movement..After a bit, you will see some stems of grass moving and you have found them. The squirrels will go into a clump of grass and you won't see them anymore, but you will see what they do. They will take an individual stem of grass and fell it with a small bite, then shuffle the stem through their paws, pausing at every joint on the stem to take a couple of bites, more shuffling, more little bites, shuffle, then they reach the end of the stem where the seeds are and they will eat a few of those, then move on to the next stem. It was pretty fun to watch.

Ah, the truck. I told the Wife's step dad what had happened and we were planning on taking the truck down into town to have someone check it out, make sure the oil pump wasn't getting ready to flake out. He suggested that we check the oil, which I hadn't done in quite a while, in fact, I hadn't checked it since I had it changed about 2000 miles ago. Get This! My oil level was low! No leaks, no oil in the coolant, just no oil showing up on the dipstick. After a run to town to get some oil, grabbing some more coffee (ahh, true love at the coffee stand, but alas, she wouldn't have me) and filling up on gas, we headed back up the 'hill' to the campsite. We took our time on the way back, pausing on the outside edge of a switchback and admired the view. From this spot, we could see Sequim, Port Angeles the Dungeness Spit, the shipping lanes, Vancouver Island, Canada and the Canadian Rockies! Fantastic! We took so much time there that when we got back, the Wife thought that we had stopped at a tavern! Anyhow, my truck took 3 quarts of oil! Oil pressure was ok, it was running smooth and I let it run for quite a while to make sure. Now, Get This! The last time I had my oil changed, they had only put in 5 quarts! My truck takes 7. No freaking wonder the oil light came on. Next time I use one of those Fast Lube places, I will make sure they do it right. That would have been a serious problem if we hadn't caught it. I should have checked before the long drive but figured it was ok, learned my lesson.

The Banana Boat Navy set sail again that night after a dinner of hamburgers, Yo Ho Ho!!

More stars, breathtaking views of the Milky Way, I can't even describe it!

Stayed up late poking the fire, talking to my friend as everyone else slept. Yeah, both of us could have stayed up here with minimal supplies and we wouldn't have needed tents, but it sure was nice to be able to sit around the fire with him and his family, all the kids, laughing, joking, story-telling. Those kids will always have some good memories and I hope they remember the Banana Boat Flotilla.

Sunday morning was once again, like the previous morning, spectacular. The sun came up behind us and slowly spilled onto the mountains in front of us. It was going to be another wonderful day of eating, talking and laughing. More people had shown up the night before so we all had a great time on Sunday, played a traditional round of Shanghai Rummy, which was a ton of fun, but I didn't win. The gals were very very competitive and a couple of times I swear there were some dirty looks!

After a late lunch, it was time to pack up and head back to civilization. The Wife and her daughter rode back with a friend who had shown up the previous day, so I had my truck all to myself, was able to drive down as recklessly as I wanted, listened to track # 10 a few times for good luck and then I found the nearest coffee stand as soon as I hit civilization!

It was a wonderful time and I can't wait to get back out again. I had forgotten how quiet it is in the mountains and that sure was a nice change, away from TV's and radios and cars and all of the other sounds that are just there that you never really notice until they are all gone.

To get an idea of what the area looked like, check these links out:
Link
Link
Link

Well, thanks for reading this Super Blog! Hope everyone is doing good out there and thanks again for the help today with the camera Dad!

8.21.2002

Back to normal today.

I am bumming. Lisa, over at Where does the time go.... is heading to Cancun, of all places, on a work-related trip. Damn, that is the kind of job I need! I hope she has a safe trip and has many good stories to tell when she returns. It will be hard to get through the day without her updated site to check on, her site is one of the ones I check about every 30 minutes to see if there is anything new!

More in a bit....



8.20.2002

WARNING: rant dead ahead

damnit, I am so pissed off right now I can't even talk. I finally saw the al Qaeda "terror training" tapes today. I can't write about camping right now, all I can see is that dog in that fish tank or whatever the hell it was. Yeah, it is just a dog, but next it will be just a bunch of school kids or just a bunch of politicians or just a bunch of policemen or firemen or businessmen. We are three weeks away from the first anniversary of September 11th. Has anything changed? Bin Laden still walks this earth - every memory of him, every single person that thinks he is their leader, their inspiration, their reason for being - they should all be removed from the face of this planet. Saddam Hussein has practiced genocide on his own people for God's sake, he wants to do it to us. What is there to think about or to debate about on this topic? He and every one of his followers and enablers should be removed from this existence. Let God sort them out. By saying these things am I just as bad as they are? There have been times in the history of our species when things like this needed to be done and this is one of those times. Men with guns and camo and bullet proof vests and scars and the best American-made machinery are over there right now, trying to do this, to remove these men, for us. The lead stories on the news tell us of Enron and WorldCom and the baseball strike and all of this other crap, to distract us, to make us not think about it - all of the clothes for the new school year are red-white-and-blue or have a patriotic flavor to them - or - they are reminiscent of the late 60's and early 70's - Target is outfitting the future hippies and making a tidy buck or two. The NEA advises teachers not to lay any blame for the barbaric acts of September 11th. I don't really give a flying F*** if we set Saddam up or if we trained Osama, our leaders need to be leaders and grit their teeth and take care of the business at hand. Instability in the Mid East? So what. I drive a truck that gets, going downhill with a good tailwind about 10 MPG and I would gladly pay more for gas knowing that we weren't funding some crackpot's new stretch Hummer, or I would just go get something more efficient. Oil drilling in Alaska? Of course I would prefer that we did not do that, but my involvement with mapping and GPS and knowing people in that business and understanding that they CAN drill without impacting the environment to the extent that the extremist want us to think, makes me think that we should tell the Saudis to stick it up their ass. Should we pull out of Israel and let them and the Palestinians go at it? With all of the bitchy-whiny crap I hear on the news from both sides, I think we should just them figure it out on their own, let FOX cover the event and market it as "EXTREME RELIGIOUS FANATICS GO AT IT RAW CHAIN MATCH STYLE!!! Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!!!!!!!!"

I saw part of a show on tonight that had the three or four women that were the wives and the mother of the four guys that forced the plane down in Pennsylvania. One of the gals was talking about the past year and how every day, every square on the calendar reminded her of her lost husband. Her child's birthday, the Valentine's Day ski run. the day he built the fence, the day he did this or did that. In three weeks, she will get to think of the day that her husband sacrificed himself. He and the others on that plane knew what was happening and they knew what the terrorists had planned and they did not want that to happen, they did not want the last thing they saw to be the Lincoln Memorial or the Washington Monument or the White House as they hurled past it in their plane. They clenched their jaws, made a plan, and even though it meant that they would never be able to see their child's face or touch the face of their wife or see the smiles of their loved ones, or feel the simple joy of having their hand squeezed and held by their child, they did what they had to do and they sacrificed and gave their greatest gift, to us. What have we done with it?

Yes, I have lost the pleasant smile I found on my camping trip. I am not happy about any of this. I need to figure out what I can do in my neighborhood, figure out how to get people to vote, to act, to speak out, to exercise the freedoms that our Founding Fathers granted us. I am sick of the bullshit, I am sick of people like me, who do nothing, who say nothing. I can write all day and all night in this damnable blog, I can tell you of my hopes and dreams and broken hearts and wishes and funny stories and my search for a job, but Jesus H Christ, I am tired of the bullshit, I am tired of not saying anything when things should be said and I am tired of people looking the other way, I am tired of the injustices I am tired of the misunderstandings. Goddamnit, my heart is about to pound a hole in my chest. This may be a turning point in my blog and I apologize to those that have enjoyed lurking in my life by reading this and who are probably shocked by this entry, I think this rant is only the tip of the iceburg here. I am thinking that I am going to change the general direction of this blog. Better yet, I am going to leave this one as it is and......drum roll......create a new blog for this stuff and keep jakester.blogspot.com as my general purpose writing/daily diary blog. Ok, new site will be Thunder Blog - thunderblog.blogspot.com - just created it, stay posted for some content. G'night, where ever you are.

8.19.2002

Will be Tuesday in about 10 minutes and I am still walking around with a very pleasant smile on my face, a feeling of serenity, inner peace and my head is the color of a fire engine from the sun beating down on my gourd for three days. Damn, what a great trip. I need to put together an entire trip blog but I don't have the time tonight to do it the way I want. Quick synopsis: Dungeness camping area was full so we trekked up to Deer Park in the Olympic National Park and camped at 5400 feet, perfect weather, saw a ka-zillion stars, many shooting stars, too many deer (of course) to count, ate good food, introduced three generations to Banana Boats, had wonderful company on the trip, almost blew up my truck, got a crush on a park rangerette and a coffee stand woman, drank a few too many beers, missed my dog and my bro, didn't miss my bed or Tumwater or Olympia or looking for a job, missed reading everyone's blogs (especially HMS, SHE IS BACK!!! and Happy Late Birthday Mary and thank God you are safe and ok).

I am going to post some photos here from the trip in a day or so or I might just go grab some from some other sites to put up here to give you an idea of what it was like. We were eye-level with the Olympics, we could see the Canadian Rockies from where we camped, it was abso-fricking-lutely amazing. Ok, it is officially Tuesday and I need to hit it so I can hit the gym early in the morning. Thanks again for reading and I promise some side-splitting camp humor in the next edition.
Made it back, got lots of good stories to tell, it was a fantastic trip. I need coffee and to get my stuff unpacked and in the laundry and help clean up the tents at Tom's so I will blog more later!