A Note on the Text

The following entries are based upon my hand written journals from the Pacific Northwest Trail. While on trail, I wrote extensively about what I had seen and done during each day. More importantly, I tried to record my thoughts and contemplations. These entries are the basis for the material that follows and reflect the hand-written entries, but in an expanded form. I tried to keep the flavor of what happened each day and what I was thinking about, while not writing things that would hurt or embarrass other people. I have no problem embarrassing myself. If you read the hand written journals, you'd get a feel for what I did, but would miss out on a lot of events that stuck in my head but didn't make it on paper. The handwritten journals serve to remind me of things that I might forget.

The photos were taken with an aging Nikon D70 digital SLR with an 18-70 Nikon lens. I carried the camera in an old and battered Lowe Pro bag that I slid onto the hipbelt of my pack so that I could shoot pictures without taking off my pack. I bought the camera used two years ago and they currently sell for under $300 used in excellent condition. The camera has a 6 megapixel sensor, which is far less than a compact, point and shoot camera these days. But megapixels mean nothing: Sensor size and the optical quality of the lens is much more important. I couldn't have taken many of the pictures I did with a 12 MP point and shoot digital. Ignore megapixel count, that is the rant here. I carried two memory cars totally 3 gigabytes total capacity. I shot all photos as JPEGs rather than RAW. Shooting RAW really doesn't add anything unless you're going to work over each photo extensively in Photoshop after the fact. The files are much bigger in RAW and the format isn't universal (so in 10 years you might not have the software to view the old RAW files). I set the camera to shoot L(arge) files and use Normal (medium) compression. This allowed me to shoot a lot of photos with minimal memory cards. I have modified the photos, some extremely, some subtly. I've cropped, blown up, colorized, darkened, lightened, etc, etc. I have no problem with this since a photo is already processed by the camera to highlight certain things. Moreover, the photo is a tool. Some photos are meant to illustrate something you might see. Others are meant to highlight a mood. But throughout the guiding principle I have for photography is to tell a story.