In May of 2001, Nate and I embarked on our very first backpacking trip, an adventure that would become one of those life-changing experiences I had always read about. Actually, our VERY first backpacking trip was a debacle in the Allegheny Mountains the previous fall which I'm amazed we survived, but this was our first major trip. We left Cleveland around 7 Am the day after I took my last final at Case (and moved out of my apartment), bound for the Grand Canyon (a mere 2020 miles away). The first day we managed to make it all the way to Lincoln, Nebraska, where we stayed in a crappy RV park. I think we were the only people with a tent in the entire park. (If you remember the movie 'About Schmidt' with Jack Nicholson, they were actually filming the RV part while we were there.) The next day we tore ass through the rest of that shithole called Nebraska, through Colorado and the Rockies, and just over the Utah state line. We stopped at a 'Scenic View Area' and made camp next to the pavilion with said scenic view. After awhile a young couple came up to take in the view and stumbled across us in the middle of dinner with our gear spread out all over the place like a couple of homeless people. They didn't stick around very long. This is a picture of the scenic view. It was very pretty, despite what this picture suggests. I should apologize in advance, because this entire album is filled with pictures that are almost comically bad. Luckily I remember what the places really looked like.