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As could only be expected from a road trip, something “went wrong” immediately. Once I had finished packing the Subaru hatchback I tried to take picture of my packing job (just my stuff alone practically filled the entire car – I have no idea how multiple people go on car trips together!?) and the camera battery died. So, instead of driving straight to the highway to get this trip started I had to pit stop at Freddy’s (and coincidentally ran into Katie P. from high school). While this all could be quite frustrating, considering I was already several hours behind schedule, it was easy to take it with a grain of salt. Isn’t that what a road trip is all about? Wait, isn’t that what LIFE is all about? Spontaneity. Problem solving. Opportunity. Making lemonade. Hence, wrong in parentheses above, perhaps these are all just life’s little quirks where things are actually going “wrong” in order to steer us toward the “right.” Well, speaking of steering, I finally got on the road and ended up driving for about 8 hours that day¬† and covering around 450 miles. At Coeur d’Alene (where I had planned to spend my birthday evening) I thought, “Hell, let’s go further and check out this Priest Lake, Steve (Willamette buddy) told me about.” How much further I would have to go on a hungry stomach I didn’t realize.

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26 was a defining and adventurous year for Julie Williams, a Portland, Ore.-based communications consultant.

This blog chronicles Julie's crossing of the quarter-life threshold and coming of age on her solo road trip across seven Western states from Aug.-Sept. 2008.

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