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Castaway

image 1899 from bradism.com

How I looked after four days without internet...
And another week of holidays with internet.

image 1901 from bradism.com

We stayed in Sol Duc Valley - world wide web dead-zone - the past three nights and, surprisingly, I did not miss the internet all that much. It's not like I prepared with much offline content. I just did lots of hiking, listened to an audiobook, sat in hot-springs and drank $1.49 cans of craft beer from the resort store to get through.

By my second day offline, woodland creatures were literally visiting me.

image 1900 from bradism.com

This morning I ate breakfast at a waterfall. Eventually we emerged from the valley to free motel WiFi and a bunch of notifications that were almost all completely dismissable. What is the value of the internet, really?

Posting pictures of breakfasts at waterfalls I guess.

image 1902 from bradism.com

Vanessa and Brad Meal

Many decades ago I was famous for a delicacy known as "Brad Meal". It was a dinner I'd discovered while camping as a preteen, requiring the rehydration of peas and corn in boiling water, adding instant noodles to the same water, then mixing in Deb dehydrated mashed potato until the entire pot congealed into a single entity of stodgy, starchy, salty mush that tasted brilliant with a bit of BBQ sauce thrown in. On a school camp in 1997 I even made this dish for an entire cabin as part of an assignment, where it was received better than Phillipe's mum's fried rice.

It's been a long time since life necessitated I make that meal again. But this week in Forks, after a week without any form of cooking appliance, Vanessa and I were in command of a microwave and within walking distance of a supermarket. In the land of the free (refills of steak fries with any burger purchase) we had options!

The following is the recipe for VanessaAndBrad Meal:

image 1904 from bradism.com

1x Jolly Green Giant frozen riced broccoli and cauliflower
1x Jolly Green Giant frozen riced sweet potato and cauliflower
1x Uncle Ben's microwaveable long grain brown rice sachet
2x Thrifty Mart essentials tinned Chili Beans
1x Air New Zealand salt and pepper from cutlery bag

The concept is identical. Heat the vegetables in their bags and let stand for a few minutes while microwaving the rice and the beans in the Tupperware you brought from home. Mix everything together and salt/pepper liberally. Eat. Open and close the motel room door vigorously a few times so the Forks mist can dilute the aroma of microwaved chilli beans.

Worth It

image 1896 from bradism.com

After flying to the other side of the planet, then driving to Forks, Washington, we woke at 5am which was more pre-dawn gloom than twilight.

image 1897 from bradism.com

After another 54 miles of driving on the wrong side of the road, followed by 4 miles of hiking through temperate rainforest, we came to a washed up tree on a misty beach we had nearly all to ourselves.

image 1898 from bradism.com

It was breakfast time. Fruit, yogurt and cereal. Because some things you never need a holiday from.


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The Great American Journal Entry

It was the west of times; it was the north of times.

After driving 100 miles from Seattle I found a beautiful place on a spectacular lake which has convinced me that, on a spectrum, pizza most definitely is a vegetable.

image 1893 from bradism.com

Where else in the world does it cost on average $9.90 for a six-pack of IPA craft beers, and $2.50 for a cucumber?

Americans (who are on vacation and/or working in the service industry) are incredibly cheery. We passed one man on the Enchanted Valley trail, past Fire Creek, who asked us how our morning was. "Good," we told him. When we asked how he was, in the brief seconds that our paths were crossing, he said "not bad" and instantly I was concerned.

image 1894 from bradism.com

There is a distinct preference to avoid internalizing thought in this state. I was in the cereal aisle at Safeway trying to pick a breakfast/concede a daily sugar injection while a woman stocked the shelf beside me.
"Here we go," she said, opening the first of her cartons with a packet knife.
"Whole lot of boxes today," she added. We were the only two in the aisle.
"Just what I love," she said, pushing the first box of apple-cinnamon granola onto the shelf. "Stacking a whole lotta groceries."
How I was supposed to respond to this I had no inkling.
I don't think any of these people would enjoy my novels.

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