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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: North
Robert Ashley
Friday, August 16
Meyer Hill
Thursday, August 16, 2002. 6:00 p.m. Meyer Hill, Continental Divide Trail

I’m atop Meyer Hill at some 6,700’ above sea level, at a point crossed by the Continental Divide Trail. Fortunately, our trekkers were off the trail early today, at about the same time we made the steep and challenging climb to the top. For the last two nights, the outfitted horse caravan wandered in much after dark; two nights ago it was after midnight. We’ve made camp among the trees, hoping to soften the effect of winds forecasted to hit 60 miles per hour and record low temperatures tonight—I’m sure the record must be below freezing because we have experienced temperatures in the thirties several times in the past two weeks. “That’s normal,” the locals tell us. “Cold at night and hot in the daytime.”
Camp is noisy, so I escape to the other side of the hill crest where I can look back at part of the valley we passed through to get here. I was impressed with the “big sky country” effect of the wide valley of hay fields and pastures rimmed with forested mountains. Ranchers are just about finished with what I suppose is the second cutting of the grass hay, and neat stacks of great round bales dot the landscape. On some farms, the hay is still stacked in 20’-high piles by using “beaver slides,” wooden ladder-type elevator contraptions which must stand 25-30.’ On hillier slopes, cattle—especially Angus—and horses graze on undulating golden-brown pastures. Some pastures are covered with sagebrush; most are clear. Occasionally, fields of alfalfa are irrigated.
I look for “jack fence,” characterized by sets of two posts leaning toward each other and fastened together, three or four strands of barbed wire on each side. It was used occasionally near Lincoln and in some other areas, but I see none in this valley. Here I see strong, serious-looking fences with welded steel tubular gates. On the way up the primitive rock road to the top of Meyer Hill, we see stock roaming throughout the forest. Properties are separated by “cattle guard” gates, a series of parallel steel rails set on the ground to discourage cattle from crossing but permitting vehicular traffic. I also identify the small valleys which are called “coulees” or “gulches,” depending on the particular location. People in other places call them “hollows,” or in the southwest, “arroyos.”
I’m sitting on a stump as I write this. The tree that was here—and the several hundred acres of trees that once surrounded this spot—were removed several years ago by the clear-cutting method. The area has been replanted, though, and the new growth ranges from pine seedlings to plants that are now beginning to look like trees now that they are about six feet tall.
Peaceful. Quiet. I can see practically forever—if that is where those purple silhouetted mountains across the valley are.

for Friday, August 16
North South Both




Biographical
•
Team: North
Robert Ashley
Bob Ashley poses with school children at the Wyoming Hunting and Fishing Heritage Exposition 2002
. Robert Ashley is a teacher from Illinois.
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List of All Journal Entries
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Thursday, September 26
Robert Ashley
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Tuesday, September 24
Robert Ashley
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Saturday, September 21
Robert Ashley
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Friday, September 20
Robert Ashley
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Thursday, September 19
Robert Ashley
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Wednesday, September 18
Robert Ashley
Kemmerer
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Tuesday, September 17
Robert Ashley
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Monday, September 16
Robert Ashley
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Sunday, September 15
Robert Ashley
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Saturday, September 14
Robert Ashley
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Friday, September 13
Robert Ashley
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Wednesday, September 11
Robert Ashley
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Monday, September 9
Robert Ashley
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Saturday, September 7
Robert Ashley
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Wednesday, September 4
Robert Ashley
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Tuesday, September 3
Robert Ashley
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Sunday, September 1
Robert Ashley
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Friday, August 30
Robert Ashley
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Thursday, August 29
Robert Ashley
Stoddard Creek (F.S.) campground
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Wednesday, August 28
Robert Ashley
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Sunday, August 25
Robert Ashley
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Friday, August 23
Robert Ashley
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Thursday, August 22
Robert Ashley
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Wednesday, August 21
Robert Ashley
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Tuesday, August 20
Robert Ashley
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Saturday, August 17
Robert Ashley
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Friday, August 16
Robert Ashley
Meyer Hill
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Thursday, August 15
Robert Ashley
Aspen Grove
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Wednesday, August 14
Robert Ashley
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Tuesday, August 13
Robert Ashley
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Monday, August 12
Robert Ashley
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Sunday, August 11
Robert Ashley
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Wednesday, August 7
Robert Ashley
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Wednesday, August 7
Robert Ashley
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Wednesday, August 7
Robert Ashley
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Sunday, August 4
Robert Ashley
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Saturday, August 3
Robert Ashley
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Thursday, August 1
Robert Ashley
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