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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Jan Nesset
Thursday, August 1
Free Wheelin'
Violent wind and hard rain buffet our camp tonight. It's a huge contrast to our day, one which presented our team with sun, some clouds, and heat in the nineties.
We began the day with a 10-minute four-wheel ride to the end of a road from where we hiked an hour through a rock canyon which ended as a gateway to the east and wide, open spaces.

Meeting us at the far edge of a clearing was our support team with our shiny new mountain bikes. It was a joy to mount those bikes and start cranking, especially here where the road we traveled did little more than roll over gently sloping hills. It was this leg that began our teacher, Cathy Kiffe, on a new stage in her life. Cathy is not a mountain biker. In fact, she's not too experienced in anything outdoors other than loving it for its spiritual and aesthetic beauty. She's an expert at that. She's also an expert at raising her four kids, which has undoubtedly been an adventure. But with mountain biking, managing 18 gears while pedaling through sand and hills is the type of adventure which falls into the mystery category. We're working on that. At a point on the bike leg, Cathy, exhausted from trying hard to maintain speed, stopped to catch her breath. Breathing hard and showing several shades closer to white than her normal face color, Cathy uttered these obviously painful words: "At what point do we accept a ride from the support team?" Here it is possible to accept a ride from the support team because they're able to drive the vehicles through public lands.
With a little encouragement Cathy was back on her bike, still shaky with gear management but in full control of her speed, which was the initial problem. She was trying hard to maintain the pace of the other three trek members, all experienced mountain bikers. Pedaling at her speed rather than ours, Cathy was soon at the end of the bicycle leg, beaming. Way to go, Cathy, you did it!

That was just the beginning of a long but marvelous day. At two points it was necessary for the trek team to hike around sections of private land. We questioned whether we clipped a corner of a private land parcel so we did the entire 1.5-hour hike again. We are devoted to our goal of traveling exclusively on public land so we're playing it safe.
Most of the day was spent in four-wheel drives negotiating canyons, arroyos and hillsides, on difficult rocky roads. Any triggering of the spedometer was noteworthy as we crept over boulders and drops, scraping bottom and losing more vehicle parts. This land is beautiful to look at and a joy to travel but is hell on wheels and vehicles.
In two days and more than a hundred slow miles on these roads we have yet to encounter another vehicle. We're happy to share our adventure with just the company of the resident flora and fauna, and the rocks and wind, and flies. Humans who enjoy this land already know the beauty of its solitude. It's reliable here.
Cattle react to us as if we're the first humans they've seen. Could be that we are, albeit doubtful.

My tent has sprung a leak. The rain has not relented. that pool of water has got to go.
for Thursday, August 1
North South Both




Biographical
•
Team: South
Jan Nesset
An experienced outdoorsman, Jan Nesset knows that everyone has to pitch in at camp
A native of Montana and the third of four children, Jan Nesset joins American...
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List of All Journal Entries
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Wednesday, April 28
Jan Nesset
American Frontiers: Part II: Taking Stock
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Sunday, December 1
Jan Nesset
Canyonlands in December
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Thursday, November 21
Jan Nesset
Snow Raspberry Bounty
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Sunday, November 17
Jan Nesset
The Bisti Badlands
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Friday, November 15
Jan Nesset
Public Land Flows Through It
   >> more...

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Thursday, November 7
Jan Nesset
A Day At Earth Analytic's Home
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Tuesday, October 29
Jan Nesset
Slot Canyon Adventure
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Monday, October 28
Jan Nesset
Some Things Never Change
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Sunday, October 27
Jan Nesset
Back To The Wave
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Monday, October 7
Jan Nesset
The Thing About Summits
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Saturday, September 28
Jan Nesset
A New Beginning: National Public Lands Day
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Thursday, September 26
Jan Nesset
Big Day of Sneak and Salvage
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Wednesday, September 25
Jan Nesset
History-Coated Strawberry
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Tuesday, September 24
Jan Nesset
The Last Of It
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Monday, September 23
Jan Nesset
Dinosaurlandia
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Sunday, September 22
Jan Nesset
Over The Edge
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Saturday, September 21
Jan Nesset
God Bless America
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Friday, September 20
Jan Nesset
Sometimes It's A Tough Life And We Get To Do It
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Thursday, September 19
Jan Nesset
The Niche Near You
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Wednesday, September 18
Jan Nesset
Snow Day
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Tuesday, September 17
Jan Nesset
A Capitol Reef Bull's Eye
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Monday, September 16
Jan Nesset
A Lucky Rift
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Sunday, September 15
Jan Nesset
Riding The Hog's Back
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Saturday, September 14
Jan Nesset
Oh Rhythm My Rhythm
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Friday, September 13
Jan Nesset
Precious Images
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Thursday, September 12
Jan Nesset
From the Hole to the Staircase
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Wednesday, September 11
Jan Nesset
Happy Days
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Tuesday, September 10
Jan Nesset
Do You Believe In Magic?
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Monday, September 9
Jan Nesset
The Bridge Over the River Why
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Sunday, September 8
Jan Nesset
Public Lands And…Not You?
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Saturday, September 7
Jan Nesset
That Place So Special
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Friday, September 6
Jan Nesset
Just Looking To Have Some Fun – Be Dammed!
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Thursday, September 5
Jan Nesset
Do The Wave
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Wednesday, September 4
Jan Nesset
The Condors Are Coming!
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Tuesday, September 3
Jan Nesset
Fires Are For The Birds
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Monday, September 2
Jan Nesset
Back On Top
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Sunday, September 1
Jan Nesset
Perfection
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Saturday, August 31
Jan Nesset
The Wheels Have Left The Tarmac
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Friday, August 30
Jan Nesset
Star Light
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Thursday, August 29
Jan Nesset
The Traditional Connection
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Wednesday, August 28
Jan Nesset
Onward and Upward On Mountain Bikes
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Tuesday, August 27
Jan Nesset
Checkerboard Kings and Queens
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Monday, August 26
Jan Nesset
Aldo Leopold As Ranch Manager
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Sunday, August 25
Jan Nesset
A Story In Everything
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Saturday, August 24
Jan Nesset
Fire In The Whole
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Friday, August 23
Jan Nesset
"Good Morning, Flagstaff!"
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Thursday, August 22
Jan Nesset
Hoping For The Best
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Wednesday, August 21
Jan Nesset
Could Get Stinky
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Tuesday, August 20
Jan Nesset
Wheels Asunder
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Monday, August 19
Jan Nesset
Hurt Me, Thank You!
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Sunday, August 18
Jan Nesset
Roads Aplenty and Rocks of Pleasure
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Saturday, August 17
Jan Nesset
Of Dragons and Fire
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Friday, August 16
Jan Nesset
Motorcycles and the Zen of Route Mechanics
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Thursday, August 15
Jan Nesset
Puzzled
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Wednesday, August 14
Jan Nesset
A Day Off, Sort Of
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Tuesday, August 13
Jan Nesset
A Delightful, Light Day
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Monday, August 12
Jan Nesset
Courage On Eagle Mountain
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Sunday, August 11
Jan Nesset
Farewell
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Saturday, August 10
Jan Nesset
My Aching Back In The Saddle
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Friday, August 9
Jan Nesset
Back In The Saddle
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Thursday, August 8
Jan Nesset
In The Saddle
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Wednesday, August 7
Jan Nesset
Shut My Mouth!
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Tuesday, August 6
Jan Nesset
Diversity and Song
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Monday, August 5
Jan Nesset
An Unraveling
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Sunday, August 4
Jan Nesset
A Bagged Peak
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Saturday, August 3
Jan Nesset
Lines On A Map
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Friday, August 2
Jan Nesset
GPS-Marriage Made In Heaven
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Thursday, August 1
Jan Nesset
Free Wheelin'
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Wednesday, July 31
Jan Nesset
An Excellent Start
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