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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Jan Nesset
Thursday, August 15
Puzzled
My father didn’t much care for walking. Cancer took him two years ago but he’s very much with me on this journey. He’d be proud of me and in particular be interested in the horseback and motor vehicle portions of this adventure. Horses and roads took my dad lots of places that were special to him. Now they’re taking me lots of places.
Today, Honda 650 dual sport motorcycles will take me from Luna Lake Campground near Alpine, Arizona, west then northwest to Los Burros Campground in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. A 70-mile trip.
There’ll be seven of us, including the other trekkers: Richard, Julie and Cathy, and two journalists, Bill Wolf of “Rev” Magazine and freelancer Mark Kariya, and Paul Slavik, the man who arranged for us all the neat Honda toys: motorcycles, ATVs and automobiles.
Our special guests will take turns giving Julie and Cathy rides while Richard and I will try our best to single-handedly keep our motorcycles out of the rocks and trees.
It’s been 22 years from when I last rode a motorcycle and even back then I couldn’t say I had mastered the skill. I’m excited - vroom, vroom!
Each day of this journey presents us with a new puzzle. Some days the puzzle has just a few pieces, others many. Our first piece today materialized when I turned on the GPS unit. It had no route programmed into it. That’s a problem.
Our GPS techies come and go, each arriving with different technical strengths and weaknesses.
One step missed in uploading the GPS units and we end up here: puzzled.
The decision to proceed with our paper maps and GPS set in tracking mode excited me. Tracking draws a line in the GPS and displays it on the screen. If the line matches the road then we’re doing okay. I was nervous because it was a new, untried, unfamiliar method of navigation but confident I could get us to where we needed to go. Let’s go!
We ascended gradually to an elevation of more than 9,000 feet through some of the most picturesque country we’ve seen.
Mature ponderosa pine forest swept the landscape in all directions. Expansive open valleys and huge meadows greeted us at the corners.
Big Lake, Crescent Lake, surprisingly large lakes, were friendly landmarks that served as unmistakable reference points in today’s puzzle.
Other than the sections of road covered with loose gravel the roads were easy to ride. I was again in the lead, a position I get because I’m the navigator. My job keeps me out of the dust although I am necessarily busy watching the GPS draw a line that I desperately hope matches the road I’ve chosen to travel.
Pulling into camp, I am particularly happy. I’m elated, gratified and wearing an additional layer of confidence in my navigational skills. I know that there’ll be plenty of navigation tests ahead, and I want to be prepared for them.
As if grilled steak and Dutch Oven baked potatoes weren’t enough to wind down this fine day, somehow our evening turned into a high-energy talent night.
Jessica Terrell, Jake McLeod and Kay Gandy got things started with a fancy line dance. Jake recited a poem, Excelsior, and sang a song. We all know that Jake will one day be a guy that we’ll have the privilege to say we once knew when he wasn’t famous. He’s an incredibly talented young man whose interest in life and the nature of things makes him a pleasure to be around. A funny guy, too, he’s good with impressions. One of our favorites is his Austrian strongman schtick.
He’s on the support team along with Jessica, Kay, Lorie, Bob and Ron. They’re behind the scenes doing whatever it takes to keep the trekkers on task. They shuttle cars, fix things, restock food, work out logistics, on and on.
If it weren’t for them there would be no American Frontiers on the ground moving to mid-America. This project would be nothing more than an idea. I feel privileged to be on the same team.
Once Jake finished his show-stopping talents most of us sat back in our camp chairs satisfied that we had no talent worth the embarrassment. Jake is a tough act to follow, however his final act was by no means the end of the show. Bob Hammond stood up and “hooded” our new Doctor of Education, Kay Gandy, with a goofy sunhat that any of us would have worn with pride. He first cloaked her with a tarp. Kay beamed.
Days earlier she had said that all she wanted for receiving her doctorate was a margarita. She got that, as did we all, after Kay received her hood. Toasts all around.
Kay sang the American Frontiers blues, a song she wrote for our project.
We enjoyed a wonderful celebration. Our team members have become fast friends. Our new journalist friends must have wondered about our claims of difficulties and adventures. A fun-filled day, steak, Margaritas, laughter until our sides hurt, and it was just the first of two days the journalists were to spend with us. Nothing but the GPS snafu could indicated to them that we had had our fair share of challenges.
But that doesn’t matter. We know better, and that’s what counts.
for Thursday, August 15
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
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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
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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
   >> more...

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Thursday, August 15
Jan Nesset
Puzzled
   >> more...

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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
   >> more...








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