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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: North
Michelle Williams
Tuesday, August 13
Freezing and Fires
Yesterday...the last of lovely free days for some time. Turns out we all froze last night- the bitter cold was not my imagination- so we started the day by taking a brisk walk on the roads leading out of the camp site. I occupied myself by naming the wild flowers on the side of the road. We are lucky enough to have naturalists on the support team who can answer all kinds of questions about flora and fauna and so I get to glean information even on a walk to the pit toilet. Ahh, the pit toilets. I wonder if anyone has written about those yet. They are actually a welcome retreat from the elements, the only time we are surrounded by four walls and a roof. And they could certainly smell worse. They are kept impeccably clean by the forest service and we are lucky to have them at all. It's the little things.

I had some trouble exploring the river yesterday. There was no trail and no good way to cross it either. Instead, since it was her birthday, I went into town (Lincoln, Montana, home to Unabomber lore) with Cheryl and had a fun day just running around. We lunched at a little cafe, filled the spare cans with gas, checked out a little bar to see if they could feed all of us tonight, and went grocery shopping. We bought all of the chicken in Lincoln. Cheryl's birthday dinner was chicken parmigiana, and we had to buy out both grocery stores in order to have enough chicken for everyone. I also had the pleasure of drinking a double vanilla latte, the only thing from civilization that I truly miss.

Dinner was terrific- we cooked together, ate together, toasted and thanked Cheryl for being so darn fantastic. It was too windy for a fire afterwards so a few of us went to town to continue celebrating the day. At a little restaurant we met a crew of forest service firefighters and I spent the evening learning about tree thinning techiniques. I asked one of the firefighters what he did when there was no fire and he said that he worked on re-creating the damage that a fire would normally cause. He said that fire prevention was so successful that the trees that were supposed to burn, according to the natural cycle of things, and that were supposed to give nitrogen and other nutrients to the soil when it burned, never did, and so compromised the health of the older trees. So his job when there was no fire was to identify which trees needed to be felled in order to sustain the health of the forest. Interesting.

When we got back to camp, we did some more star-gazing, and then finally crawled off to bed. Thankfully, it was a much warmer night, and I fell asleep reading my latest book: Ambrose's "Undaunted Courage" about the Lewis and Clark journey. It's terrific. I'm only at the part where Lewis is waiting for his drunken boatmaker to finish his boat. Good stuff.

Breaking news: a few team members just came back from the ranger station to report that Dave Mensing's rental car just caught fire! He was inside the station when someone ran in to say that a car was burning and Dave ran out to see flames licking up out of his engine. Yeesh! Thankfully he was not near the car, and word is that he was able to salvage everything inside... but that's just terrifying. How often do cars spontaneously burst into flames?

I best go make sure he's okay.
for Tuesday, August 13
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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