The day I posted about the inaugural trip to El Pico being suggested by my friend Nate he of course walks up on N. Tryon with packed bags on his way to the Greyhound Station. I had no idea that he was in town and he had no idea that I had just mentioned him in my new blog that morning. Sometimes synchronicity just works like that. He was catching a bus which he refereed to as 'punitive transportation' back up to his apartment and University in Asheville. Nate was in place couriering here in Charlotte the day I took my first job on July 3, 1998 and we have been friends since. The other day when we ran into each other he showed me his new Pentax fast digital camera so I asked him to take some action shots which I have posted a few of above(I'm still waiting for him to send me the ones of The lady courier and I). One of the coolest images is of me an an Army Staff Sgt dressed in full urban cammy that we met as we were shooting along 3 blocks of N. Tryon. I do not want to post it because the warrior agreed to be photographed with me but he made it clear he did not want to be on the inter web. The soldier answered a few of my questions about his place in the war and one specifically about the present recruitment numbers. He told me while looking into my eyes that numbers are way down and troops are getting out as fast as possible. that ties in to what I was talking about the other day as far as the war being subbed out and private contractors doing the jobs of the military. The Staff Sgt seemed genuine and I hope he gets his wish of not returning to Iraq for his third trip.