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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Jan Nesset
Saturday, August 10
My Aching Back In The Saddle
The sun stretches its glow across the meadow and the camp chores begin. A huge fir tree at the top of the meadow catches my eye, again, and my thoughts turn to the nature of things. This huge fir tree, probably hundreds of years old, is in an excellent spot to be noticed. The most impressive sentinel in this meadow in a land of few meadows, this ancient fir is likely to have sheltered native people when they were common here. Maybe Aldo Leopold himself noticed this tree.
If I could remove the sounds of camp and horses, Id hear just the wind blowing and the flies buzzing.
Its impossible to know the way of the wind in these mountain tops. The mountains here are shouldered with erratic high points and low points, with hills and mountains bunched into valleys and slopes. Its as if the landscape has been confined to half the area it needs to stretch out. Its a hard land, but peaceful too.
Aldo Leopold didnt focus his conservation efforts solely on this piece of wilderness that bears his name, but hed like it here.
Becky and Sherry cling to these mountains to sustain their lives, and the four of us just blow through like the winds in these mountaintops.
Cathy Kiffe says our brief time here is just another example of how this trek affords only fly by glimpses of the land. I believe shes right.
In two months well fly by 1,600 miles of public land. And the fir tree will stay right where it is, our presence hardly a footnote in its story.

Our longest, hardest day in the saddle. Fifteen miles, or thereabouts, in all. It was also my favorite of the past three days. Its in the hard terrain where I most easily connect with Dolly, my strong but lazy horse. We must work together on the steeps. I coax her over tangled downfall, saying Atta Girl! when she gets through. She gets pats of reassurance on her neck, which are likely more for me than her.
Going through the tough stuff also keeps me from getting sleepy. Staying alert contributes to a good day.
Dave Warnack, our Forest Service companion, says our four-day trip from Emery Pass to Highway 59 is a trip many people in the region talk about doing but never do. Being ignorant of where were traveling and how its perceived has its blessings.
Were on a coveted trip, and not just for the sake of American Frontiers but from a regional standpoint.
Emery Pass to McKnight Cabin to Reeds Mountain and now to James Brothers Springs.
Tomorrow, after 15 miles or so of horseback riding on relatively easy terrain, weve completed this leg. Weve enjoyed ourselves immensely.
Getting to know and befriend Dolly and enjoying the steady rhythm of a comfortable saddle are my surprises. I didnt expect to like the horseback riding but in large part I have, when Ive been alert. I also didnt expect to have the pains that I do. My knees hurt although I properly adjusted my stirrups and the arch in my right foot aches. I have some soreness in my back, probably from slouching during the monotonous trail riding.
The Aldo Leopold Wilderness has seen its share of fire over the past 20 years. In fact, most of what we rode had been burned and in various stages of plant succession.
Weve set camp in a forested meadow along James Brothers Spring creek. Towering Ponderosa pines, big spruce and fir trees, and lush green grass paint this camp in finery. A whippoorwill sings - another answers.
Steak and fried potatoes.
Bed.

for Saturday, August 10
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
   >> more...

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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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