It was fall of 1977 and I was following my sister to attend the UW in Seattle. She new I was an outdoor kid since day one, so our first shopping trip was the REI store on Capital Hill. I was taken in by the many levels and creaky floors of the old tacked together buildings that made up the store. I bought my first Goretex coat, down sleeping bag, blue sleeping pad, pack and Raichle full-shank hiking boots. It was the beginning of 42 years and counting of rambling though the wonders of the Cascades and Olympics during which I've managed to climb and ski 4 of the major volcanoes and work my way through most of "Becky's Bible" of Cascade climbing routes. Thank you REI for being there with gear and advice that made it possible for a greenhorn from Connecticut!