Piling in the car and driving off has been a national pastime since before I was even born, and even toys apparently like the idea. Road trips are something akin to a rite of passage - some would say that if you haven't done one, you're not truly born yet. Certainly, such useful excuses as "I haven't had the time", "My goat's sick and needs some TLC", and the ever-popular "My collegiate career has left me as lifeless as a limp cornstalk" are quite useful when avoiding the topic entirely. However, I am not one to dodge such a bullet.

I've been an outdoors person for a very long time, albeit on a somewhat intermittent basis. I've been fascinated with the state and national park systems for a long time, particularly Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument in southwest Washington. Being a Washingtonian, Part of the reason I love the state: anywhere you go, you're surrounded by stunning scenery. It makes for good camping, good photos, and a really good excuse if you ever get lost on the way to a meeting: the scenery got me.

Scenery, always being a very good thing, is part of the reason for this trip. I've never been anywhere close to the Rockies, and having some time after graduation and before I start a part-time job seemed like a good excuse to get away. Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks are my destination of choice for this little voyage: a road trip, driving three days there and four days back. I travel with my girlfriend Amanda in my 2004 Prius, heavily inspired by Whizmo and Gizmo, the faithful motorcycle travelers whose escapades and (mis)adventures I've followed for several years now. In fact, I'll be following through their footsteps in selecting some of my points of interest as I travel across Washington, into Idaho, through Montana, and to Jackson Lake Lodge in Wyoming, located in the middle of Grand Teton National Park (incidentally traveling through Yellowstone on the way).

[IMG: Route Map]
Yup, it's a mighty big loop.

There'll be photos, wry commentary, an occasional gripe about hotels and drivers (or frequent gripes, depending on the day), summaries, and some good old-fashioned philosophy blended in for interest. The route is ambitious if not downright suicidal, and is subject to the whims of the driver and passenger - er, well, the driver, anyway - as is true in any trip. Follow along and feel free to e-mail me. Who knows, comments may be posted!