When we first started planning out this trip, I saw no great unifying theme. We began with family (the wedding) and were seeking out other family Northwest. But other interests kept popping up and we were always aware that it was ten years ago that Corey and I drove Northwest and backpacked in Mt. Ranier and Olympic. We also met Lou for the first time that year. But as I think back on this trip I see water as the great tie. The nights in Brandon, Manitoba and Canmore, BC (and tonight in Albany, OR) may be the only nights I did not sleep next to some great body of water. From Lake Huron to Lake Superior to Lake Waterton to the Mississippi and the Pacific Ocean. Last night, at Mt. Ranier, the sounds of Laughing Creek kept us company. And this morning we hiked to Silver Falls (from a trail that began at the same creek). Our first hike was to Sable Falls which fed into Lake Superior. Our toughest hike was to Lake Bertha. And we canooed on icy Lake Cameron in Wateron and then later had a kayak lesson on Lake Waterton. We also took a simple boat tour on Lake Waterton and zipped around on a Zodiak at Pacific Rim with a smiling Ahab out looking for whales. Tomorrow we hope to take a boat tour at Crater Lake and then putz around on Wizard Island. We also fished on small and big lakes in the UP off gravel roads and windy routes. Soon the last or maybe next to last leg of our tip will begin (this trip has more legs than a millipeed) and we will move away from obvious water. But there will surely still be sand in my boots and soggy socks on my feet.