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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Catherine Kiffe
Friday, August 2
Third Day of the Trek
It is the third day of the trek. I will begin here and later return to fill in what has happened because the days have been very busy.

Yesterday’s hiking, mountain biking and 4 x 4 driving were very energy consuming but invigorating at the same.

I was prepared to be able to journal while we were in the 4 x4 s but the terrain kept us bouncing around inside the vehicles as we ground the bottom of the Hondas on boulders, volcanic rocks (first day), loose rock, bedrock, sandy dry riverbeds. Much of the trail lead straight up and curved down. Jan, Richard, Vipul and Kevin are tremendously skilled rough terrain drivers, each looking at the area ahead with the delight in a challenge to overcome.

I didn’t think the 5 mile mountain biking would be as breath taking (literally) as it was mostly due to the change in altitude ------what is it back home? Just above sea level. Breathing is different from 3 thousand miles up. Jan was my coach, teaching me to change the necessary gears for the inclines and down grades. Pedaling to move very slowly while resting lungs and leg muscles. I only fell once, thankfully in a pile of soft sand. A good time for a desired short rest.

This morning we have hiked across cow pastures, railroad tracks, onion fields and open grass areas. Hiking can take on many aspects whether it is on flat land, being very easy or rocky cactus filled, grab you by the leg thorn bushes, in full sunshine or up smooth hills with cloud cover and evening coming on. We experienced all of these yesterday. On the last leg of the four wheel drive, Kevin (NGS videographer) was filming the Hondas coming up a high rise as he was doing this I looked to the left and was startled by the overwhelming view of plains bathed in sunlight, and at least four mountain ranges of various shades of lavender and blue.

Slightly to the right was a closer mountain range with burnt sienna cliffs sloping down into vivid rich green. The vegetation was sparse on the plains below consisting mostly of mesquite, yucca and scruffy dried grass.

Sleeping in new places has been a surprising delight. On the first night the big dipper filled my view accompanied by millions of dazzling sparkles, blinking and winking as my bed time silent lullaby. In contrast the second night began with a gentle rain as we hurriedly set up our tents just in time for the storm coming across the valley to move into camp. Supper was eaten tucked in the cargo trailer, escaping the shower, though it did feel good to wash off the layers of dust and dirt collected from the days trekking. I slept incredibly well considered the thunder, flapping of my tent fly and lightning flashing overhead.

Today we hiked about 11 miles over plains through with scruffy low grass. Our first rattle snake was sited by Julie only footsteps away from us. It was only an adolescent and was not even interested in demonstrating his rattle for us. Along the way wipe tails skittered away from us so fast they looked liked low flying birds. We were all thankful for the cloud cover as we traveled and stopped on the top of a low hill with stacked rocks, looking somewhat Stone Hengish for lunch. At the end of the hike I felt surprisingly NOT exhausted! Mark, the BLM manager who has ridden ahead and with us since the beginning tried to guide a split horn antelope in our direction without success. We also saw a ground snake, beautiful black and red, a black tailed jack rabbit only feet away, lots of horny toads, a few dung beetles, wipe tails, and a hawk drifting on air current. All along the way interspersed between the scruffy dry grasses are the beautiful surprises of purple and yellow star-shaped flowers, light lavender flowers, pale white flowers, and brilliant orange flowers. We laugh all along the way because of witty surprising intelligent conversation.

Tonight we spend the night inside the ghost town of Lake Valley’s renovated one room schoolhouse. It should be interesting with everyone in one room. We are all looking forward to a hot meal of green chilie burgers and a special event for the community.

We have met many, many wonderful people along the trail that have helped us get where we are. We have also met many wonderful people that love the land that they live and work on and they have shared that love with us. I look forward to continuing to share the details of the happenings along the way.
for Friday, August 2
North South Both




Biographical
•
Team: South
Catherine Kiffe
A new look for the teachers lounge: Cathy K gets suited up to go riding the dual-sport motorcycles.
Cathy is a Homebound Teacher for students in grades Kindergarten through 12,...
   >> more...



List of All Journal Entries
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Sunday, January 5
Catherine Kiffe
Public lands in Mississippi
   >> more...

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Sunday, December 8
Catherine Kiffe
More Students Ask Questions
   >> more...

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Tuesday, December 3
Catherine Kiffe
Student's Letter
   >> more...

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Monday, November 25
Catherine Kiffe
Gifts from Long Ago
   >> more...

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Sunday, November 10
Catherine Kiffe
Gray and Beautiful
   >> more...

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Sunday, November 3
Catherine Kiffe
Using the Pictures
   >> more...

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Friday, October 18
Catherine Kiffe
Rush, rush, rush
   >> more...

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Wednesday, October 9
Catherine Kiffe
Home Again
   >> more...

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Saturday, September 28
Catherine Kiffe
   >> more...

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Friday, September 27
Catherine Kiffe
Together Again
   >> more...

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Thursday, September 26
Catherine Kiffe
Packing Up
   >> more...

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Wednesday, September 25
Catherine Kiffe
Across Strawberry Reservoir
   >> more...

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Tuesday, September 24
Catherine Kiffe
The Last Hike
   >> more...

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Tuesday, September 24
Catherine Kiffe
A Visit with Dinosaurs (or what’s left!)
   >> more...

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Monday, September 23
Catherine Kiffe
Accident
   >> more...

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Friday, September 20
Catherine Kiffe
Another Glorious Day on the trail.
   >> more...

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Thursday, September 19
Catherine Kiffe
Roundtable---a place to learn
   >> more...

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Wednesday, September 18
Catherine Kiffe
A thrilling ride!
   >> more...

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Tuesday, September 17
Catherine Kiffe
Fishlake National Forest
   >> more...

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Monday, September 16
Catherine Kiffe
Come for a 4 Wheel Drive
   >> more...

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Sunday, September 15
Catherine Kiffe
Swirls
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Sunday, September 15
Catherine Kiffe
Invasive Weeds
   >> more...

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Friday, September 13
Catherine Kiffe
I Love This Land
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Wednesday, September 11
Catherine Kiffe
Memorial Day
   >> more...

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Tuesday, September 10
Catherine Kiffe
Special Day
   >> more...

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Monday, September 9
Catherine Kiffe
How We Connect
   >> more...

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Sunday, September 8
Catherine Kiffe
A Visit with Bill then hee,hee, hee
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Saturday, September 7
Catherine Kiffe
Wilderness Explained
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Friday, September 6
Catherine Kiffe
A River Ride and Dam View
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Tuesday, September 3
Catherine Kiffe
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Monday, September 2
Catherine Kiffe
Headlamps
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Sunday, September 1
Catherine Kiffe
What's Roaring?
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Saturday, August 31
Catherine Kiffe
The River
   >> more...

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Friday, August 30
Catherine Kiffe
Beginning the Walk Down
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Tuesday, August 27
Catherine Kiffe
Watch that Step
   >> more...

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Monday, August 26
Catherine Kiffe
Passion and Information
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Sunday, August 25
Catherine Kiffe
" Listen to All"
   >> more...

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Saturday, August 24
Catherine Kiffe
Trees, more or less?
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Friday, August 23
Catherine Kiffe
Dirt and Treasure and Sharing
   >> more...

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Thursday, August 22
Catherine Kiffe
Be ready to change
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Wednesday, August 21
Catherine Kiffe
Biscuits
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Wednesday, August 21
Catherine Kiffe
Another Short Day
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Tuesday, August 20
Catherine Kiffe
A Short Day
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Monday, August 19
Catherine Kiffe
Questions
   >> more...

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Monday, August 19
Catherine Kiffe
A Great Day
   >> more...

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Saturday, August 17
Catherine Kiffe
A Scorched Land
   >> more...

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Friday, August 16
Catherine Kiffe
What? 30 miles??? Yes!
   >> more...

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Thursday, August 15
Catherine Kiffe
I Like It!
   >> more...

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Wednesday, August 14
Catherine Kiffe
Life changing
   >> more...

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Tuesday, August 13
Catherine Kiffe
Day "off"
   >> more...

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Tuesday, August 13
Catherine Kiffe
Step Back In Time
   >> more...

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Monday, August 12
Catherine Kiffe
Take A Deep Breath
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Monday, August 12
Catherine Kiffe
A Little Bit of Water
   >> more...

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Sunday, August 11
Catherine Kiffe
A Different Look At Burned Areas
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Saturday, August 10
Catherine Kiffe
Take a Leap
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Friday, August 9
Catherine Kiffe
Delightful Things
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Thursday, August 8
Catherine Kiffe
Not a Buggy Ride
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Wednesday, August 7
Catherine Kiffe
Ready for "hosses"
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Wednesday, August 7
Catherine Kiffe
Roundtable
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Tuesday, August 6
Catherine Kiffe
"Bag a Peak" and Fight with a Bush!
   >> more...

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Sunday, August 4
Catherine Kiffe
Busy, busy!
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Friday, August 2
Catherine Kiffe
Third Day of the Trek
   >> more...

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Wednesday, July 31
Catherine Kiffe
4 Wheeling
   >> more...

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Tuesday, July 30
Catherine Kiffe
Kickoff Events in DC
   >> more...

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Tuesday, July 23
Catherine Kiffe
First day...
   >> more...

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Wednesday, May 1
Catherine Kiffe
Public lands in Mississippi
   >> more...

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Wednesday, December 31
Catherine Kiffe
More Student Questions
   >> more...

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Wednesday, December 31
Catherine Kiffe
Gray and Beautiful
   >> more...








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