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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: North
Michelle Williams
Monday, August 12
Explore the River
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Michelle writing this entry by the creek next to her tent...

Michelle writing this entry by the creek next to her tent...
Courtesy Cheryl Fusco

Last night was the best night I have had on this trek. I was sad to leave Glacier; we’d been there for almost two weeks and I was starting to believe that those mountains would always be in my back yard. But- the trek moves on- and we loaded up the trailers and cars and headed toward Aspen Grove Campground. The drive down here was harrowing for me, as it was my turn to drive one of the big trucks with a trailer, but as soon as I stepped out of the truck, all was well with the world. We are in the middle of Montana now, just northwest of Helena, the capital. The country is different but, in its own way, just as beautiful. The gracious folks at the campground gave us a lovely site, vast and woody and next to a small, swift-running river. I chose a spot just up from the water, partially shaded by trees. Gorgeous white noise to lull me to sleep.

We had leftovers for dinner (or, in my case, “tofu sludge”, since I am the token vegetarian on this trek) as the sky gave us a spectacular sunset- pinks, purples, blue like my grandma’s eyes, streaked with white clouds. And then, for the first time on this trip, we had time for a campfire. It was full dark by the time we gathered around the blaze. We must have sat there for two hours, discussing the message of our trek. You’d think we’d have something else to talk about, but we are all passionate about why we are here, and we all have much to learn from one another. We talked about ranching, grazing, clear-cutting, forests vs. parks, sustainable agricultural practices and many other sexy subjects. When the blaze got too smoky, and the night too cold, we talked about heading to bed. Yet somehow we ended up standing around a Coleman lantern, fingers stretched out to it for warmth. And then someone remembered that we could catch the Perseid meteor shower. Several of us headed out to the road, turned off our head lamps, and looked up just in time to see a meteor shoot across half of the horizon, leaving a long, illuminated tail in its wake.

Within minutes, we had several chairs in a row, all of us laying our heads on and wrapping our arms around one another for warmth. From afar it would have sounded like a bunch of kids watching a fireworks display: “Oooooh!” “Ahhhhh!” “Did you see that one?!” “Oh, man- that one was huge!!” We also saw several satellites climbing their way through the stars, and one in particular inspired all of our imaginations: it was moving through the sky directly above us when it suddenly flared more brightly than any meteor we had seen yet, for several seconds, then dulled again and within a minute was gone from our view. We had no idea what we had just seen. It may have been a normal satellite catching a strong reflection from the sun, but… it could have been anything. We’ll never know.

We stayed out on the road until about midnight, giggling and waiting for the next shooting star. When we finally turned in, several of us decided to get up at about 4 AM to catch the best part of the show, but I think only one of us made it, and it wasn’t me. I climbed into my mummy bag and even with all of the zippers and Velcro and straps and bells and whistles, I froze. It was the coldest night yet. Ravi came by about 4, and I don’t quite remember what I said to him, but I declined his star-gazing offer and burrowed deeper into my bag. I woke up to a clear, frosty morning, and I’m now sitting in the sun by the river, defrosting, trying to decide what to do with my last free day for some time. Tomorrow we get ready to welcome the trekkers back from their 8-day horse pack trip on Wednesday. From Wednesday on, we move every day until some time in September, so our free time will be highly diminished. But… some of the support team gets to tag along on these trips, and I get to go on a day horsepacking trip on Friday! That’s the best news yet.

I’m going to go explore this river.
for Monday, August 12
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

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List of All Journal Entries
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Thursday, September 19
Michelle Williams
Back on the Green River
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Tuesday, September 17
Michelle Williams
Two Days In A Canoe
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Monday, September 16
Michelle Williams
Jammie Pants and a Wood Cabin
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Saturday, September 14
Michelle Williams
Wild Horses!
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Friday, September 13
Michelle Williams
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Tuesday, September 10
Michelle Williams
Reflections, September 10, 2002
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Sunday, September 8
Michelle Williams
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Saturday, September 7
Michelle Williams
Saturday Night Near Jackson Hole
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Thursday, September 5
Michelle Williams
Yellowstone
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Wednesday, September 4
Michelle Williams
Is it Wednesday?
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Sunday, September 1
Michelle Williams
Fall In Idaho
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Saturday, August 31
Michelle Williams
Saturday Morning, Day 32
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Thursday, August 29
Michelle Williams
Hump Day
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Wednesday, August 28
Michelle Williams
A Ghost Town, A Dug-out Canoe, A Birthday and A Compound Fracture
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Monday, August 26
Michelle Williams
Oh, Happy Day
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Sunday, August 25
Michelle Williams
Sunday, August 25th
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Saturday, August 24
Michelle Williams
A Better Day Already
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Friday, August 23
Michelle Williams
A Challenging Day
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Wednesday, August 21
Michelle Williams
Wednesday, August 21
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Tuesday, August 20
Michelle Williams
Tuesday, August 20
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Monday, August 19
Michelle Williams
Monday, August 19
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Sunday, August 18
Michelle Williams
Easy Like...
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Saturday, August 17
Michelle Williams
More on Saturday, August 17th
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Saturday, August 17
Michelle Williams
Saturday, August 17th
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Thursday, August 15
Michelle Williams
Thursday, August 15th
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Wednesday, August 14
Michelle Williams
My Top Ten List
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Tuesday, August 13
Michelle Williams
Freezing and Fires
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Monday, August 12
Michelle Williams
Explore the River
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Saturday, August 10
Michelle Williams
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Friday, August 9
Michelle Williams
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Thursday, August 8
Michelle Williams
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