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 The Trek: The Journals

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Team: South
Jan Nesset
Sunday, August 18
Roads Aplenty and Rocks of Pleasure
Our predicted 3-hour, 90-mile four-wheel drive leg doubled in time but not length. Iím not really sure how that happened because the roads we traveled were generally good and our afternoon rain and hail storm did little if anything to slow us down.
Either way - 3 or 6 hours - we had a short day. Other than watching forest transition back and forth from juniper to ponderosa, I found it difficult to feel much of a connection to the land while wending through it enclosed in a vehicle.
It did occur to me that the Forest Service is more than an agency that watches over forest and nature. Itís also a huge road agency. Roads criss-cross our public lands in great abundance. Just look at most Forest Service maps.
Some people say that the forests need more roads. I once read a letter-to-the-editor written by an elderly lady who said it was getting more difficult for her and her friends to get into wilderness. She said the Forest Service should be more compassionate to the elderly by building more roads.
Bless her heart, she loved wilderness and wanted to get to it, but she and her friends have experienced more roadless wilderness in their lifetimes than most of us will ever see.

Our camping spot at Fool Hollow Campground overlooks a lake on its north side. Cliffs of columns of basalt fringe the lake. In fact, the southern cliffs border our campsite. We sit at the edge and stare at the lake. These cliffs are fun to scramble on but itís the cliffy columns on the other side of the lake that catch my eye. They provide solid holds for climbing on our side so itís natural to assume the north side columns are solid, too. And theyíre taller, 20 to 40 feet in length.
Bob Hammond and I were conversing about the dayís events from the edge of our cliff. The far cliffs had most of my attention, however. I began exploring the lines of the cracks. The next things I knew I had abandoned the conversation and was dropping down the rocks to the lakeís edge. I stripped down to my shorts and sandals and dove into the lake, and swam the 100 yards to the other side.
Scrambling up the slope to the foot of the cliffs I was abuzz with excitement. I love to climb. Itís a natural talent of mine. When Iím on rock, climbing, my senses are fully awake. Thatís a good feeling.
Traveling at the speed of our group is something I gladly accept but the pace does not always honor my natural speed. So whenever I have an opportunity to move independently at my own speed I get great satisfaction in body and mind. Rocks.
Staring up a nice route, a crack supplemented with a variety of hand and footholds on either side, I wondered how well my sandals would hold up to the task. Best try them out.
Topping out on this easy climb, maybe rated 5.6, I heard clapping from across the lake. My teammates had clustered near Bob. And below, in the lake swimming, was Jacob McLeod. It didnít surprise me that it would be Jake to grab the opportunity.
I climbed another more difficult route while Jake scrambled up to where I was looking up at another. He and I shared the duty of watching over one another from below while the other climbed. I asked him to try to keep my head from bashing into a rock should I fall, which is about all either of us could hope to do.
While Jake tops out on what will be his last climb, I round the corner to take a look at the longest climbs here.
Many look fun but too challenging without a rope. I pick a long but easy route to finish on. Midway I feel the exposure blowing on me from all directions like a cold wind.
I am in touch with the rock - the land - and so happy.
for Sunday, August 18
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
   >> more...

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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
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Thursday, August 15
Jan Nesset
Puzzled
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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
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