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Seattle/Olympic/Rainier Trip Report

Day 1 of 9

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Friday, September 10th
Fly to Seattle

Jean and I embarked on a 9-day trip, visiting the Pacific Northwest -- Seattle, Olympic National Park, and Mt. Rainier National Park. Along the way we covered 1400 miles by air, 700 miles by car, and 55 miles by foot.

The previous night, I attended the 1-day evening intro seminar at Galen Rowell's Mountain Light Gallery. Most of it was beginner information that I already knew, so I didn't get much out of it. However, one thing the instructor did suggest was that I carry my film in a clear plastic ziploc bag and have them inspect it visually, rather than through an x-ray machine.

Now, most experts will tell you that the x-ray machines for carry-on baggage aren't strong enough to damage film (those for checked-in baggage are). But I figured it didn't hurt to be safe. So I put 10 rolls of new film into a ziploc bag and carried them with me on Friday. First thing I discovered is that film triggers airport metal detectors. But at least I didn't have to submit them to the x-ray machines.

After the 2-hour flight to Seattle, we're walking to the rental car and I suddenly realized I'd left the film on the plane. I raced back into the terminal and to the still-waiting plane. I got someone to walk into the plane and look for me, but it wasn't there anymore. Oh well. Lesson learned: if you're going to carry your film separately, make sure you actually take it with you. With so many carry-on items, it's easy to forget a small ziploc bag. At least it wasn't developed film.

We drove to Federal Way, Washington, where we would stay for the night. Why Federal Way? Because there's an REI store there, and it's on the way to Olympic National Park. Airlines don't like you to bring fuel canisters on planes, so you have to buy it after you land. Hence the need for the REI store.

After a stop at the Burger King drive-thru, we shopped at Safeway to pick up some extra food, water, and camera film for the coming days.

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