Escaping the War Zone

Nothing beats the great Fourth of July fireworks tradition. It starts innocently enough near the end of June with occasional small explosions, and grows with a steady crescendo until someone unfamiliar with the event could mistake it for an endless artillery barrage. I used to look forward to blowing things up too (I think it's a teenager thing), but in my old age I prefer more peaceful environments...

So to escape the craziness, I spent the Independence Day weekend on a little off-trail backpacking trip here in Western Washington. Man, it was hot! And the bugs were thick too! A few times I thought "Why do I do this?" Maybe I should've stayed home and listened to the bombs all night. It was so hot the first afternoon that I decided to stop and set up camp around 3:00 p.m., and was immediately engulfed by a swarm of mosquitoes. So I spent a few hours chilling in the tent, reading a book. At least it was nice and cool near the creek. I found a few old elk antlers.