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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: North
Michelle Williams
Monday, August 19
Monday, August 19
We are camped at Jericho Creek, another undeveloped, gorgeous spot, with the CDT crossing just up the road. We got here early, around noon, and Charlie set us free to go hike. Cheryl and I stayed behind briefly to set up our tents and make lunch, but by one we were hiking up the CDT, hoping to meet up with the horse-riding trekkers and the other hikers from the team. The trail was obvious at first, particularly since ATV use is allowed here and there were fresh tracks all along the path. This eventually led to some trouble, though, because those free-wheeling ATVers decided to joyride off of the trail. We accidentally followed their path rather than the CDT and promptly got lost. We bushwacked around for some time, following deer paths and trying to make sense of the landscape- where should the trail be, compared to where we were. Luckily, we hit it, but somehow we found ourselves away from the other hikers and away from the trekkers. We didn’t know this yet, and we had a path, so we continued exploring, calling out to the bears and picking through the downed trees. The path was crisscrossed with fallen timber, but the forest was still dense.

About and hour and a half into the hike, I noticed a structure just off the path. We went to explore, and found a site that could have housed a large family. There was the main house, made of lodge pole pines and primitive cement, now with no roof and listing dangerously to one side. There was also the outhouse, with the remains of a board with the proper size hole, and a wooden box just outside that said in faded stencil lettering : SOAP FROM (unreadable) COMPANY. We also found another spot with only the foundation left, covered in mounded dirt with trees at least 70 years old growing where the walls once stood. And just past that, yet another curious space that was either a cookhouse or a trash burning pit. The pit was still there, deep, with an old bucket lying in the center. Cheryl found decorative rusted metal pieces that must have been an ornate stove, as well as broken, painted ceramic. We speculated who must have lived here: maybe it was a ranger and his family, or a surveyor, or maybe just some nutty people who wanted to hang out in the woods. Whoever it was, they left few clues behind.

We hit the edge of the lodge pole pines and suddenly the forest changed to thick evergreens, sharp and unforgiving as we tried to pass. By now we figured we weren’t going to meet up with anyone from the team, and we decided to turn home. We lost the path again, twice. It was strange how the path was sometimes as wide as an ATV and other times faded to what looked like a deer path, or just abruptly ended. The last time we lost it we bushwacked our way up a hill that had weeds as high as my chest- reminding me of the backyard of my childhood house in London. This house must have had an acre of land and when we rented it, I couldn’t step foot out back for fear of getting utterly lost. I was only four years old and the weeds were six feet high. Very scary for young Michelle. Thankfully, I’ve grown, and the weeds on the field today weren’t quite as excessive as those in London; old Michelle would still get lost in that backyard.

We finally found the path, and were able to follow it back to the road that led down to our camp. I crawled into my tent for a nap, and woke in time to attack every fresh vegetable to be found in our coolers. Dinner was hot dogs and sauerkraut, deviled eggs and potato salad made with saltines instead of potatoes. I stir fried veggies and was the envy of all. After dinner I took my journal and my book and sat on a rock in the middle of the creek. Hmmm, you might wonder, what more could she possibly have to write in a day? Well… all of the thoughts and ideas that don’t make it onto the internet. A woman’s gotta have some thoughts to herself. So I wrote a few pages and read a few pages and now I’m surrounded by my team, journaling away with laptops hooked up to a generator. I got to talk to Harlan Rhodes today, and I hope he forgives if I spell his name wrong, but he’s the guy who recruited me for this journey and I didn’t get a chance to thank him when we were chatting. He was asking me questions about the trek, taping an interview to be posted on our sponsor website, sort of a sister web site to this one, and he asked me if there was such a thing as a typical day here on the trek. I told him no, that the only thing each day had in common was the setup and breakdown of camp, and the meals, but there is one more thing: the strange sight of technology juxtaposed with nature. Exactly what is happening right now. All of us are sitting on Coleman camp chairs, feet up on bins filled with tarps and tools, computers on our laps, generator to the side. The creek is not twenty feet away, lodge pole pines surround us, wildflowers are beneath our feet. So Harlan, yes, there actually are typical moments in each day although they are not typical to the rest of the world. Oh, and thank you, thank you, thank you.
for Monday, August 19
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

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List of All Journal Entries
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Thursday, September 19
Michelle Williams
Back on the Green River
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Tuesday, September 17
Michelle Williams
Two Days In A Canoe
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Monday, September 16
Michelle Williams
Jammie Pants and a Wood Cabin
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Saturday, September 14
Michelle Williams
Wild Horses!
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Friday, September 13
Michelle Williams
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Tuesday, September 10
Michelle Williams
Reflections, September 10, 2002
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Sunday, September 8
Michelle Williams
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Saturday, September 7
Michelle Williams
Saturday Night Near Jackson Hole
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Thursday, September 5
Michelle Williams
Yellowstone
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Wednesday, September 4
Michelle Williams
Is it Wednesday?
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Sunday, September 1
Michelle Williams
Fall In Idaho
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Saturday, August 31
Michelle Williams
Saturday Morning, Day 32
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Thursday, August 29
Michelle Williams
Hump Day
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Wednesday, August 28
Michelle Williams
A Ghost Town, A Dug-out Canoe, A Birthday and A Compound Fracture
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Monday, August 26
Michelle Williams
Oh, Happy Day
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Sunday, August 25
Michelle Williams
Sunday, August 25th
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Saturday, August 24
Michelle Williams
A Better Day Already
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Friday, August 23
Michelle Williams
A Challenging Day
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Wednesday, August 21
Michelle Williams
Wednesday, August 21
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Tuesday, August 20
Michelle Williams
Tuesday, August 20
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Monday, August 19
Michelle Williams
Monday, August 19
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Sunday, August 18
Michelle Williams
Easy Like...
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Saturday, August 17
Michelle Williams
More on Saturday, August 17th
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Saturday, August 17
Michelle Williams
Saturday, August 17th
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Thursday, August 15
Michelle Williams
Thursday, August 15th
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Wednesday, August 14
Michelle Williams
My Top Ten List
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Tuesday, August 13
Michelle Williams
Freezing and Fires
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Monday, August 12
Michelle Williams
Explore the River
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Saturday, August 10
Michelle Williams
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Friday, August 9
Michelle Williams
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Thursday, August 8
Michelle Williams
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