American Frontiers PLIADOIBLMUSDA FSGeography Action from NGSHondaColemanCoca-Cola
Search
About
Dispatches
The Trek


The Trek

The Teams
Read bios about the team members and see photos.

Team Member Journals
Read online journals filled out by members of both Trek teams. Search by date, place and more.

Interactive and Downloadable Maps

Related Events

Trek Itinerary

Media Center



Exhibits
Lessons
Geo Action

PLIC Museum
Home

 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: North
Michelle Williams
Saturday, August 10
View
Michelle looking through the binoculars given to her by her friend Mike - Thanks Mike!

Michelle looking through the binoculars given to her by her friend Mike - Thanks Mike!
Courtesy Ravi Gupta

Today the world is beautiful. At 6:15 AM, Ravi, Cheryl and I woke up to run away for the day. It was another free one for us, and we had decided to hike the Highline Trail up to the Chalet, and come down the other side on the loop trail. By nine we were at the trail head. The first part of the hike was one of the most spectacular things I've seen yet- the trail winds slowly up the mountain, crawling ever higher than even the Going To The Sun Road. The views were, once again, indescribable, and before we had hiked a mile we were stopping for photos. We asked a passing hiker to shoot us and as we took the picture we met all of the people we'd be hiking with that day: Tom, the picture-taker, a couple with three little boys, and a father and son on their first day of an eight-day backpacking trip. We passed, and were passed by, these folks all day, taking turns letting each other by as our paces changed.

I got out ahead for a bit, and slowly passed two of the three young boys, but the third was intent on being in the front of the line. Every time I got close, he'd look behind and then run about fifteen feet ahead. He was wearing an oversized yellow jacket, obviously belonging to his big brother, and an enormous backpack that flopped as he ran. I was hiking pretty quickly, and so inadvertently chased him further and further away from his family. It was pretty cute. It wasn't until we reached the people ahead of us that he finally gave in, panting, and he graciously acquiesced the trail to me.

I then found myself hiking with Tom, who was without his wife and child because they didn't care for hiking, and he asked if we could hike together because it is not safe to go alone. So we walked the next two hours together, pulling away from the crowd, discovering mountain goats and bighorn sheep and red squirrels. He was a percussionist from Illinois and a really nice guy, very curious about New York during and post-9/11, as most strangers are when they meet a New Yorker. But we also fell into comfortable silences, as you will when you have a great hiking partner, and it is during those times that my mind wanders with absolute freedom. I was thinking that I could no more pick my favorite wildflower than I could my favorite color or Beatles song (although, strangely, "Lovely Rita" is up there). I was also wondering a bit what was going to happen in my life when this trek is over, as I am homeless and jobless and completely untethered. The only decision I reached was that I want to get a dog. I'm going to leave everything else to chance.

Tom kept stopping me so I wouldn't miss views, but we still got to the Chalet well ahead of Cheryl and Ravi. We fished our lunches out of our packs and sat a a picnic bench, surrounded by mountains and trees and wildlife and extremely friendly people. Soon Cheryl found us, but Ravi was almost an hour behind as he had taken the optional Garden Wall trail that went straight up the mountain for a spectacular view. It was chilly at the Chalet, but we huddled in a cabin and read books about the flowers and wildlife as we waited. The ranger up their was as nice as he was handsome.

Ravi eventually joined us in the cabin, and as soon as he was done eating we headed for the loop trail, four miles, straight down. The sun came out again and soon it was almost hot. We started to peel off our layers as we entered a dense wood, and just as I was thinking we were definitely in Bear Country, I saw the telltale sign: Huckleberry bushes. Naturally, I ate a few, and we hollered at the bears the rest of the way down, because the most dangerous thing to do is surprise a bear. If you occasionally call out, they will know where you are and more often than not, avoid you.

Our knees were about to fall off from the decent, but we finally hit bottom and joined a line of people waiting to hitchhike back up to Logan's Pass to collect our cars. One girl was doing all of the thumb work for about ten people and having no luck, so I joined her, and we managed to get a truck with two young guys to pull over. I think they were a little disappointed when three women and two men climbed in the back. But they were funny and kind, and they drove us all the way back to the Pass. As we drove, we passed the famous Weeping Wall, so named because almost two hundred feet of rock wall has a constant stream of water pouring down it. If you drive past with the windows open, is sounds as if the earth is crying. Today, though, rather than the Snoopy-Come-Home bawling that I witnessed the first week I was here, the wall was merely melancholy- just a whisper of water softly hitting the rock. The glaciers are already starting to freeze rather than melt... the park is already thinking about winter.

I, however, am not. I'm thinking about what mountain I might get to climb tomorrow. Or what car I'll get to wash if I have to stay in camp. Either way, I'm happy.
for Saturday, August 10
North South Both




Biographical
•
Team: North
Michelle Williams
No rest for the wicked-- Michelle Williams spends a day at the office, typing up journal entries for the trekkers

   >> more...



List of All Journal Entries
•
Thursday, September 19
Michelle Williams
Back on the Green River
   >> more...

•
Tuesday, September 17
Michelle Williams
Two Days In A Canoe
   >> more...

•
Monday, September 16
Michelle Williams
Jammie Pants and a Wood Cabin
   >> more...

•
Saturday, September 14
Michelle Williams
Wild Horses!
   >> more...

•
Friday, September 13
Michelle Williams
   >> more...

•
Tuesday, September 10
Michelle Williams
Reflections, September 10, 2002
   >> more...

•
Sunday, September 8
Michelle Williams
   >> more...

•
Saturday, September 7
Michelle Williams
Saturday Night Near Jackson Hole
   >> more...

•
Thursday, September 5
Michelle Williams
Yellowstone
   >> more...

•
Wednesday, September 4
Michelle Williams
Is it Wednesday?
   >> more...

•
Sunday, September 1
Michelle Williams
Fall In Idaho
   >> more...

•
Saturday, August 31
Michelle Williams
Saturday Morning, Day 32
   >> more...

•
Thursday, August 29
Michelle Williams
Hump Day
   >> more...

•
Wednesday, August 28
Michelle Williams
A Ghost Town, A Dug-out Canoe, A Birthday and A Compound Fracture
   >> more...

•
Monday, August 26
Michelle Williams
Oh, Happy Day
   >> more...

•
Sunday, August 25
Michelle Williams
Sunday, August 25th
   >> more...

•
Saturday, August 24
Michelle Williams
A Better Day Already
   >> more...

•
Friday, August 23
Michelle Williams
A Challenging Day
   >> more...

•
Wednesday, August 21
Michelle Williams
Wednesday, August 21
   >> more...

•
Tuesday, August 20
Michelle Williams
Tuesday, August 20
   >> more...

•
Monday, August 19
Michelle Williams
Monday, August 19
   >> more...

•
Sunday, August 18
Michelle Williams
Easy Like...
   >> more...

•
Saturday, August 17
Michelle Williams
More on Saturday, August 17th
   >> more...

•
Saturday, August 17
Michelle Williams
Saturday, August 17th
   >> more...

•
Thursday, August 15
Michelle Williams
Thursday, August 15th
   >> more...

•
Wednesday, August 14
Michelle Williams
My Top Ten List
   >> more...

•
Tuesday, August 13
Michelle Williams
Freezing and Fires
   >> more...

•
Monday, August 12
Michelle Williams
Explore the River
   >> more...

•
Saturday, August 10
Michelle Williams
   >> more...

•
Friday, August 9
Michelle Williams
   >> more...

•
Thursday, August 8
Michelle Williams
   >> more...








TOP





All material copyright ©2002 - 2018, Public Lands Interpretive Association except photographs where ownership is otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.