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Let’s start with a favorite quote from Travels with Charley. By John Steinbeck, “A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”   These early months together - Crag, Chug and I would be identifying what our personality moving forward would be. We had a summer of work ahead of us defining...

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The irony that my life of vandom started in a Jeep is not lost on me. Stepping stones are necessary before achieving the end goal. That’s twice now that I have teased the story of my first dirtbag adventure to Squamish, British Columbia. Despite very little planning, I was at the Canadian Border with a Jeep filled with basic camping supplies and a couple hundred bucks. It seemed a small fortune and I had time on my side. Vancouver (Canada, in general) is so clean and welcoming. There were never any doubts that I would be able to support a...

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And the flashback begins. 19 years old and home from college after freshman year. A challenging freshman year to say the least. I had come home and worked as a raft guide for the first couple months of the summer. I had a decent amount of cash saved and wanted to go somewhere. I had heard tremendous praise about Squamish, British Columbia. Four hours north. I was going to go climb there. I was climbing and living in Index, WA. My family owned property there and that is what inspired me to be a climber. I grew up staring at...

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Author’s note: I am writing this on the fly. These stories have been told and retold over and over again. I have yet to decide which tense to write this in. My apologies if this goes around and around a little too much. Remember, this is a process. You all are a part of this first draft with me. Please act as editors. This is a community (should I say cooperative) effort. Thanks for joining me for the ride! I am excited to see what we can come up with. Crag the dog, Chug the van and I were on...

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The scene: I’m pulling out of my childhood home in Seattle driving a 1981 air cooled, 4 speed manual Volkswagen Vanagon (named Grandma Chug) with 14-inch rims and an engine that pops and whirs in the rear compartment. A six-month-old Red Heeler (named Crag) curled up on top of too much gear, clothes and sleeping bags. There’s an 8 ball on the stick shift and a peace sign on the ceiling. I was ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Interlude to set the stage: I am 22 years old and a college graduate. I spent the summer...

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