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THE BEST...THE BEAUTIFUL...AND THE BIZARRE | PL8SPK
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Yosmtee Bacpkrs Diari

October 18, 1998|Daniel Nussbaum

Each word is taken from the vanity plate master list issued by the DMV*

DAYE1: HIKNEZE WITH MYOLFRN

FFFROMM JRHISCL, ROBB. TUFLYPH!

FERST WE IBALL BEUTI ITSELF:

DA VASST, XKWZZIT SUNLIT

2OLUMNE MEADOZ. THENN SITDOWN

UNDER AN MPRZZIV CRASHN WTRFAWL.

IM BBAPTZD NDA KOLDE GUSH ANDIAM

HEALD. YEAAHOO! GVMEMOR!

*

DDAY3: THIRTY5 MINITZ B4SUNUP,

AGIANT FYRBAL STREAKZ ACROSS ZEE

HEAVENS! DIS BRILYNT SHOOTN STAR

HAZZ ABIG BLUISH GREEENN TAILE.

ITBURNS LYKEMAD B4 FADING IN THA

NORTH EAST. NATRRLY, WEGOAPE.

*

DAY5: MII KAMERA DUZ JJJAM ANNDD,

UGGH, IGESS I8 SUMBAD GRUBB. I12G0 HOME.

*

DAY7: IMALONE AT SSUNRIZ NEXXXT

TTO ANNNN ALPYNE LAAKE. UPHERE

NO1 SEZ, "PLZHOLD." NOBUDY GOES,

"WTSDBUZ?" THERIZ NO BUZZZZ ATT

11 THOUSAN FEEET.

*

IGET SOOMUCH FROM WATCHN THEMTNZ

REFLXNS ONDA SURFACE OFD WATER.

IDOIDO HEREBOY DISAVOW ALLL PRIOR

TYES 2ANNIE RELEGEN, KULT ORR

CREEDE. IWORSHP N8TURE. IAM AMISTIK.

*

DAY EIGHT: ICAMBAK 2LA 2HEAR ABOUT

AFREND WHO DIED BECAUZZ DRGSKLL.

YNG, PHUNEEE AND SMART, HISLIFE WUZ

LYKE THE METEOR. IT DYD FLAREUP INDASKY

ANDTHEN END TOOSOON. TTU SOOON.

*For translation of PL8SPK, please see Page 33.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Yosemite Backpacker's Diary

Day 1: Hiking easy with my old friend from junior high school, Rob. Tough life! First we eyeball beauty itself: The vast, exquisite sunlit Tuolumne Meadows. Then sit down under an impressive crashing waterfall. I'm baptized in the cold gush and I am healed. Yahoo! Give me more!

Day 3: Thirty-five minutes before sunup, a giant fireball streaks across the heavens! This brilliant shooting star has a big, bluish-green tail. It burns like mad before fading in the northeast. Naturally, we go ape.

Day 5: My camera does jam and, ugh, I guess I ate some bad grub. I want to go home.

Day 7: I'm alone at sunrise next to an alpine lake. Up here no one says, "Please hold." Nobody goes, "What's the buzz?" There is no buzz at 11,000 feet.

I get so much from watching the mountains' reflections on the surface of the water. I do hereby disavow all prior ties to any religion, cult or creed. I worship nature. I am a mystic.

Day 8: I came back to L.A. to hear about a friend who died because drugs kill. Young, funny and smart, his life was like the meteor. It did flare up in the sky and then end too soon. Too soon.

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