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
Thursday, August 15
Thursday, August 15th
Yesterday only got more interesting after Dave’s car caught fire. We spent the afternoon preparing for the trekkers to return and organizing our gear for the daily moving that begins today. We expected the trekkers to come off the trail at about 5, at which point some of us would take their laundry to town, others would shuttle the trekkers to the showers, and the rest of us would put up their tents to give them one less thing to worry about. We also had a dinner date with the Forest Service folks at 7 PM. They were making us elk burgers. So the plan was to get all of this done by 7, get over for dinner and a presentation on Lewis and Clark. Five o’clock rolled around, then six, then seven, and still no trekkers. Ravi and Bob V. had gone to the trail head to meet them, and had actually hiked in two miles, and there was no sign of them. So the rest of us packed off and went to dinner, anxiously trying to call them on the satellite phones. Finally, at around 8:30, Ravi got a call on the sat phone he was carrying saying they were about an hour out. They had gone about 23 miles on horseback and then had started hiking because the horse trail went over private lands. Naturally, the trekkers have to stay on public lands. So a route had been planned for them but the trail was not well maintained. Apparently they also had to bushwack their way up three peaks.

Ravi and Bob came and met us at the Forest Service, shivering and hungry, having been out in the cold since 3:30 waiting for the trekkers in case they were early. When ten o’clock rolled around, and we had not heard another word, we assembled a small group to go out and find them. We were in touch with Charlie, our team leader, who was at the trail head waiting for them. Bob V., Geordie the tech guy, and myself were preparing to go out on the search crew when the Forest Service walkie-talkie crackled to life. It was Marty, the guide with our trekkers. The first thing she said was “We’re all here and we’re all okay”. They had been in full dark for over two hours, with only two headlamps, trying to follow a trail that only existed about half of the time. But no one was hurt- it was just far more than they had bargained for. Bob V. went out to bring Charlie his warm clothes and more flashlights, and the two of them hiked in to meet the group. The rest of us threw all of the elk burgers and salads into bags and headed back to our campground.

By now it was around midnight, bitterly cold and windy, but at least everyone was alive and well. We had picked up all of the trekker’s bags at the point where they got off their horses, so we had all of their gear. We put on a pot of hot water for coffee and went to work setting up the tents and rolling out the pads and sleeping bags. We also set out the food since they hadn’t eaten since lunchtime. And still, they were at least an hour out. A few of us gave up and went to bed; Charlie and Dave (and I’m not sure who else) stayed up to feed them, shuttle them to the showers, and do what they could to ease their fears and pains.

I was so tired I didn’t even hear them get home. They didn’t get to bed until after 3 AM. I knew that they had to be on the trail this morning at 8:30, on yet another 20 mile horse trip, so I got up early to make lunches for them and their guides. When they slowly started to drag themselves out of their tents, they all seemed in decent spirits- exhausted, but okay. Certainly resigned to what they had to face today. None of us have had much time to talk to them, so I don’t yet know the details of their harrowing journey. They took off a little late- about 9 AM- and we have spent the morning taking down their tents and breaking down camp. And now… we are off to Stemple Pass…one mile from where the Unabomber’s house was (until the FBI carted it off intact). And tomorrow, I finally get to horse pack myself. I hope to catch up with them, check on their various scratches and bruises, and make sure that their minds are holding up as well. I’m not too worried about them- they are as hardy a bunch as I’ve ever seen- but I’m looking forward to throwing a little love their way.


BREAKING NEWS- WILD ANIMALS IN THE CAMPGROUND!!!

Okay, so they were just cows. We are here, on Stemple Pass in the Helena National Forest, on a completely undeveloped site (read: no toilets...sigh)and as I was throwing up Charlotte's tent a very large, very cute, and rather put out cow wandered through the woods right by the tent. Another one followed shortly, and they bellowed at us as they passed.

Somehow, even though we are less that twenty miles away from last night's campground, it is 6 PM and we're only just getting set up. There's always so much STUFF to do, minutia, really, little things that turn into used hours. But this site is gorgeous. We are set up on a folding table, under a pop-up canopy, hills before us, mountains beyond that, Pringles on the table and dinner on the way. Not so bad.
for Thursday, August 15
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.