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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Catherine Kiffe
Tuesday, August 6
"Bag a Peak" and Fight with a Bush!
Tuesday, August 6, 2002

I sit quietly for a moment reflecting on the events of the past few days. My first thoughts actually turn to the people that are behind the scenes of this ever growing event in history. Journeys like this can never happen without, what I thought would be about 25 people, has now grown to thousands. I humbly thank each one of you, wishing that I could list each diligent helper and broadcast an acknowledgement of your piece to the gigantic puzzle in Hollywood lights. I also appreciate all of you following us online. You will be our voices to spread the word of the mission of American Frontiers: A Public Lands Journey to as many people as possible, for that is why we go forth on the free land each day.
Also I want you to know the patience and loyalty of my fellow teammates who stand beside me coaching and keep me keepin’ on. This is truly a team effort of mind and body, not without it’s up and downs. Thank you Jan for “put it in low gear and go at your own pace, Julie “you need to drink more water” and Richard for “big, deep breaths, fill your lungs”. The result of struggling is the exhilarating feeling of accomplishment
Each day of the trek is filled with enough events to fill five days. We are waking early, preparing for the adventure of the day with excitement. One of my favorite quotes to show how we feel some days is from Kevin, “Where are we suppose to go if this is where we are? On several of the past days we do not have trails to follow but use GPS units to give us direction. Jan right hand is going to be permanently posed in the palm up extended position.
Hiking across country became actual mountain climbing on surfaces similar to broken bricks on a steep grade. Struggling for breath and footing was the name of the game for hours. Mountains can keep many secrets, one is that when you think you have reached the top it smiles and says “There’s more!” Reaching the top on Sunday meant being at the top of Mount McClead, 6,732 feet.! Getting there meant hand over hand rock climbing, stepping carefully in the clefts for the next edge up. I understand more why people do this. It is the most magnificent sight from the top of the highest peak. It’s called “bagging a peak”. My heart still sings and I think I will hold the image in my mind that no picture can truly tell of the expanse of the panoramic view. It is mine forever.
It was a very strenuous venture and Kay took over the last pass on slippery rocks. She looked exhausted but loved it too. I rested the near the truck with Jessica, Ron and Rob and put duck tape on my toes to keep the mole skin in place over my blisters. After a short pause we drove in the 4 x 4 to the next drop off point.
This part of the hike did provide a trail to follow. Easier, right? Well, just put on a 40 lb pack and get going! We were prepared for a two night stay in the Gila National Forest. With the vegetation changing, there were times when trees provided much appreciate shade but the best treat was a plunge in the short waterfall of the creek running through the area. We returned to childhood behavior splashing, slipping and sliding on the rocks in the cold water. What a delight it was to wash off the dirt and dust of days in the desert.
We spent the night next to the creek which provided water to re-hydrate our beef stroganoff and chicken teriyaki suppers. Our evening entertainment was stories from Richard about the turtle, Jan about the alligator and Vipul about the rhino and songs from Jake. As darkness fell we crawled into our tents for a good nights sleep.
We decided to have our first leisurely morning and didn’t start out until 10 am. Our tents and some of our clothes needed sunshine to dry them out after the night’s rain. And then we were off again.
Unfortunately some of us got separated because of differnce in stride lengths and hiking abilities AND the trail disappeared. After some manuvering we were all together again, emotions were running a little high, but together we made a new decision, to take the over the hill bushwacking which would be shorter than back tracking. Have you ever bushwacked with a 40 lb. pack on your back? Well, it is a bit like dancing with the trees and bushes as they catch and cling to your arms, legs and packs. I had an out and out wrestling match with a scrub oak, it had the last "say" as it speared me in the leg. I managed to pull out half of it with another 1 inch still in my leg. Vipul, our resident physician covered it with gauze and taped it. The decision was made that I would go with Bob to Silver City for medical help----when Bob found us.
Bob did eventually discover our position through the use of the GPS unit and satellite phone. The ride to the next drop off point was very exciting as the mountains flashed by in panoramic view. After dropping of the team at their designated spot, Bob brought me into Gila Regional Medical Center where I met a wonderful staff and told them all about our adventure. Thank you Dr. Hinnecamp for your wonderful care and explanation. I promise to where long pants when hiking again, just in case I meet a rattle snake. I thank the whole emergency staff for their care and interest in our "mission".
I also want to recommend the EconoLodge in Sliver City for anyone traveling in this area. They are a great staff lead by Leslie who went for beyond the norm in our stay here.
I spend my love to family and friends. I cannot answer all the emails individually at this time, but really appreciate your encouragements! Good night
for Tuesday, August 6
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
   >> more...

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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
   >> more...

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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
   >> more...

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Friday, September 6
Catherine Kiffe
A River Ride and Dam View
   >> more...

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Tuesday, September 3
Catherine Kiffe
   >> more...

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Monday, September 2
Catherine Kiffe
Headlamps
   >> more...

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Sunday, September 1
Catherine Kiffe
What's Roaring?
   >> more...

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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
   >> more...

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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
   >> more...

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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?
   >> more...

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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
   >> more...

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Wednesday, August 21
Catherine Kiffe
Biscuits
   >> more...

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Wednesday, August 21
Catherine Kiffe
Another Short Day
   >> more...

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Tuesday, August 20
Catherine Kiffe
A Short Day
   >> more...

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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
   >> more...

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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
   >> more...

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Saturday, August 10
Catherine Kiffe
Take a Leap
   >> more...

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Friday, August 9
Catherine Kiffe
Delightful Things
   >> more...

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Thursday, August 8
Catherine Kiffe
Not a Buggy Ride
   >> more...

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Wednesday, August 7
Catherine Kiffe
Ready for "hosses"
   >> more...

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Wednesday, August 7
Catherine Kiffe
Roundtable
   >> more...

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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!
   >> more...

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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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