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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Jan Nesset
Monday, August 19
Hurt Me, Thank You!
The land spoke to me today. Rather, it asked me to climb onto its back and enjoy the ride.
It began early. I was pedaling a mountain bike on the Mogollon River Road. Ahead was 31 miles of road to our next campground. We are free to travel our own speed today thanks to a short distance and a brainless route to follow.
The road weaved and bobbed through ponderosa pine near the edge of the rim. While working to find my rhythm I thought about the initial pain soaking into my legs. I appreciated feeling my body awaken through the pain. But as hard as I resisted the notion that I am not what I used to be, I am aware that my 42-year-old body does not respond to strenuous activity as it once did.
I relish the feeling of “hurting so good”, a marvelous benefit of working a strong body when it is in good physical shape, of which I am. But hurting so good does not kick in as reliably as in my youth.
But today! Once my blood warmed up and I began getting into a good cycling rhythm I was more able to watch the landscape roll by rather than catching it in glimpses. On my left the Mogollon Rim dropped into huge bowls and broken valleys. On my right the forest simply went on and on being a forest.
Ahead the road rolled along, working me on the uphills and testing my wings on the downhills.

I BEGIN to work on speeding uphill and freewheeling downhill. Then, pronto!, I stop thinking at all. I begin communing with the physics of the hills. Up and down, up and down.
Apply the brakes! No, I won’t, but I will focus and maintain control. My balloon tires hit rocks that are fastened hard into the road and my bike breaks free from earth. Landed, I apply subtle pressure to my rear brake. Control is a toy, a game of catch-and-release.
I am a colt out of the corral. I am a hunting dog pointed on a pheasant.
Ahead the road shows a wash where water has deeply cut away soil. My plan to keep my wheels grounded is cast aside. I pedal hard for the wash knowing I’ll have a new plan by the time I hit it. I hit the wash with a bending force and pull my bike into a jump. I land less straight that I had hoped. I hold my body to one side and snap my bike out of a fishtail.
The road ahead asks me to not let up, to keep going, to enjoy the ride, to be in love with the moment. I oblige.
I am alone in the forest, and my choice is for the land to pace me.
My lathered body rides its metal steed into camp an hour ahead of a next arrival. The meadow looks like a good place to rest.
Who I am in this moment hurts so very good.

Vincent Randall, an Apache whose Indian name means Old Man Hunter, spoke today in a way that hit our souls. He said "to have any other strengths one must first be spiritually strong."
He was one of four Apaches who gathered with us to talk about the local Indian ways, and specifically the Battle of Big Dry Wash. To be more accurate, we gathered today with Forest archeaologists and historians to discuss this famous local battle. The Apaches in our presence were invited to add perspective.
They, specifically Vince, won my day.
When asked how he thought about public lands, he said "the most important thing to us [the Apache people] is that this is still our land in our hearts. I always feel good and my heart soars when I think of that."
Maybe we should all think about that.
for Monday, August 19
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!
   >> more...

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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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