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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Catherine Kiffe
Friday, August 16
What? 30 miles??? Yes!
I love to see the first morning light, the trees and rocks silhouetted against the sky that still holds the stars. As I sit and watch these are my thoughts:
We assume the land is static because it doesn’t move while we stand for a moment and gaze at it. Fascination with wildlife is easy because they move about, make noise and are generally fun to observe. I watch two hawks on this morning swoop, open their claws, dip into the water and ascend with breakfast still wiggling. The hawks call out in triumph as they fly away. Meanwhile, I can feel the rock below me cold and hard. It has not always been in this one particular place. The changing of rocks, the growth of trees are much, much slower but no less profound.

Onward into the day…..
Maybe it was the power supper on Sunday night of hot fried bread and chili with cheese, tomatoes, onions, green chilies and guacamole or the filling eggs potatoes and green chilies this morning prepared by Steven, Lisa and Antal that gave me new strength for the feat ahead. I have to admit I was apprehensive about the mountain bike trip today. Last time we mountain biked I barely made it through five miles. Today it was 30 miles.
It would be on a forest road, wash board, gravel, dirt and rocks, that would swerve, dip and climb. Helmet, gloves, biking shorts and shirt made me look like I new what I was doing. How would I meet the invitation of the land?
Julie and I biked to the main road. Kay was behind, giving support and protection from traffic that might come up behind us. About ¼ of a mile down the road a herd of elk galloped across in front of us. I screamed in delight! (probably scaring the wits out of the poor animals). A single female waited and then trotted across the road about 5 yards away, watching me with big brown eyes as I fantasized about stroking her beautiful long neck and back. She glanced back at me amused. Now I was really ready to see what there was to see.
At first I had to concentrated on the road right in front of me. Slippery gravel, dust flying, ruts, hard large rocks. Soon I learned to scan and glance to the side. I was astounded to see acre upon acre of dead, gray-brown downed trees all pointing in the same direction. The camping area we had just left was green and healthy. I am constantly surprised by the instant change that can occur in the landscapes we travel through each day. Later I found out that it was the “Dude” fire of 1989.
It made me consider again, that nature does not consider change as we do. The forest is willing to be recreated, become part of the earth, the soil, the nutrients for wildlife and later generations of trees. I like the phrase that Karen, a forest service education coordinator used, “Mother Nature just pressed the reset button.”
Further along the way there were incredible vistas of undetermined (for me ) elevation changes, green tree covered sides, craggy deep rock canyons, combinations, and this morning a haze covering the distant mountains. Riding the bike means for me, feeling the land. The sun on the land today is my friend giving light, warming the chilled air. I hear the caw of the ravens and the scampering of little critters. The land says life is incredibly rich. I made the entire bike ride and feel quite a sense of personal accomplishment.



Later in the afternoon we met with representatives from the Apache Nation for a program on the Battle of Big Dry Wash here in the Rim Area. Listening we hear yet another perspective, Native Americans telling their story of this land past down through oral history by family and clan members. I feel a sense of calm and gentle deliberateness in this man who is past chairman for the Yavapai-Apache Nation, the historian now. We sit at the feet of Vincent Randall (American name) telling what he knows about the battle between the Apache Dilze-eh and the US military. Through a grant written by Peter Pilles from the Forestry Service, white man and Native Americans will re-look at the exchange that happened. I will let someone far more capable relate than myself relate that story.
I asked Vincent what message he would like us to convey as we travel on Public Lands. Pausing, with great care and thoughtfulness he relates all to spiritualness. This spiritualness stems from the beliefs of their roots in their ancestral lands, when the earth was created. He related that he thought lands should be accessible to all, that we should listen to all the people, hear all sides, have respect for people everywhere, and stand for the protection of the land. He says “Our lands are in our hearts.”, “Be One with the land.”



for Friday, August 16
North South Both




Biographical
•
Team: South
Catherine Kiffe
A new look for the teachers lounge: Cathy K gets suited up to go riding the dual-sport motorcycles.
Cathy is a Homebound Teacher for students in grades Kindergarten through 12,...
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List of All Journal Entries
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Sunday, January 5
Catherine Kiffe
Public lands in Mississippi
   >> more...

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Sunday, December 8
Catherine Kiffe
More Students Ask Questions
   >> more...

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Tuesday, December 3
Catherine Kiffe
Student's Letter
   >> more...

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Monday, November 25
Catherine Kiffe
Gifts from Long Ago
   >> more...

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Sunday, November 10
Catherine Kiffe
Gray and Beautiful
   >> more...

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Sunday, November 3
Catherine Kiffe
Using the Pictures
   >> more...

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Friday, October 18
Catherine Kiffe
Rush, rush, rush
   >> more...

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Wednesday, October 9
Catherine Kiffe
Home Again
   >> more...

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Saturday, September 28
Catherine Kiffe
   >> more...

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Friday, September 27
Catherine Kiffe
Together Again
   >> more...

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Thursday, September 26
Catherine Kiffe
Packing Up
   >> more...

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Wednesday, September 25
Catherine Kiffe
Across Strawberry Reservoir
   >> more...

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Tuesday, September 24
Catherine Kiffe
The Last Hike
   >> more...

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Tuesday, September 24
Catherine Kiffe
A Visit with Dinosaurs (or what’s left!)
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Monday, September 23
Catherine Kiffe
Accident
   >> more...

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Friday, September 20
Catherine Kiffe
Another Glorious Day on the trail.
   >> more...

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Thursday, September 19
Catherine Kiffe
Roundtable---a place to learn
   >> more...

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Wednesday, September 18
Catherine Kiffe
A thrilling ride!
   >> more...

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Tuesday, September 17
Catherine Kiffe
Fishlake National Forest
   >> more...

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Monday, September 16
Catherine Kiffe
Come for a 4 Wheel Drive
   >> more...

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Sunday, September 15
Catherine Kiffe
Swirls
   >> more...

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Sunday, September 15
Catherine Kiffe
Invasive Weeds
   >> more...

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Friday, September 13
Catherine Kiffe
I Love This Land
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Wednesday, September 11
Catherine Kiffe
Memorial Day
   >> more...

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Tuesday, September 10
Catherine Kiffe
Special Day
   >> more...

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Monday, September 9
Catherine Kiffe
How We Connect
   >> more...

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Sunday, September 8
Catherine Kiffe
A Visit with Bill then hee,hee, hee
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Saturday, September 7
Catherine Kiffe
Wilderness Explained
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Friday, September 6
Catherine Kiffe
A River Ride and Dam View
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Tuesday, September 3
Catherine Kiffe
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Monday, September 2
Catherine Kiffe
Headlamps
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Sunday, September 1
Catherine Kiffe
What's Roaring?
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Saturday, August 31
Catherine Kiffe
The River
   >> more...

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Friday, August 30
Catherine Kiffe
Beginning the Walk Down
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Tuesday, August 27
Catherine Kiffe
Watch that Step
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Monday, August 26
Catherine Kiffe
Passion and Information
   >> more...

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Sunday, August 25
Catherine Kiffe
" Listen to All"
   >> more...

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Saturday, August 24
Catherine Kiffe
Trees, more or less?
   >> more...

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Friday, August 23
Catherine Kiffe
Dirt and Treasure and Sharing
   >> more...

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Thursday, August 22
Catherine Kiffe
Be ready to change
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Wednesday, August 21
Catherine Kiffe
Biscuits
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Wednesday, August 21
Catherine Kiffe
Another Short Day
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Tuesday, August 20
Catherine Kiffe
A Short Day
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Monday, August 19
Catherine Kiffe
Questions
   >> more...

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Monday, August 19
Catherine Kiffe
A Great Day
   >> more...

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Saturday, August 17
Catherine Kiffe
A Scorched Land
   >> more...

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Friday, August 16
Catherine Kiffe
What? 30 miles??? Yes!
   >> more...

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Thursday, August 15
Catherine Kiffe
I Like It!
   >> more...

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Wednesday, August 14
Catherine Kiffe
Life changing
   >> more...

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Tuesday, August 13
Catherine Kiffe
Day "off"
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Tuesday, August 13
Catherine Kiffe
Step Back In Time
   >> more...

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Monday, August 12
Catherine Kiffe
Take A Deep Breath
   >> more...

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Monday, August 12
Catherine Kiffe
A Little Bit of Water
   >> more...

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Sunday, August 11
Catherine Kiffe
A Different Look At Burned Areas
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Saturday, August 10
Catherine Kiffe
Take a Leap
   >> more...

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Friday, August 9
Catherine Kiffe
Delightful Things
   >> more...

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Thursday, August 8
Catherine Kiffe
Not a Buggy Ride
   >> more...

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Wednesday, August 7
Catherine Kiffe
Ready for "hosses"
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Wednesday, August 7
Catherine Kiffe
Roundtable
   >> more...

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Tuesday, August 6
Catherine Kiffe
"Bag a Peak" and Fight with a Bush!
   >> more...

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Sunday, August 4
Catherine Kiffe
Busy, busy!
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Friday, August 2
Catherine Kiffe
Third Day of the Trek
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Wednesday, July 31
Catherine Kiffe
4 Wheeling
   >> more...

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Tuesday, July 30
Catherine Kiffe
Kickoff Events in DC
   >> more...

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Tuesday, July 23
Catherine Kiffe
First day...
   >> more...

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Wednesday, May 1
Catherine Kiffe
Public lands in Mississippi
   >> more...

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Wednesday, December 31
Catherine Kiffe
More Student Questions
   >> more...

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Wednesday, December 31
Catherine Kiffe
Gray and Beautiful
   >> more...








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