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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Lorie McGraw
Wednesday, August 21
Skunks and a practical joke

South of Flagstaff

We camped today at a small campground near Mary Lake (a dried up lake), which is near Mormon Lake, which is no lake at all. The drought is hitting very hard here in AZ and most of the playa lakes are gone or so low that they may as well be gone.
The ranchers that graze cattle on public lands are being hit hard, too. The controversy about who gets to use public lands and for what is one that we hear over and over. The ranchers want to graze cattle, but the cattle deplete the grass and the ponderosa pine seedlings can sprout, but they are too close to each other and stunt their growth, then the public insists on suppressing fires that would weed out the saplings (because burning trees is “bad”) and so the stage is set for wildfires that race through the seedlings and up into the bigger trees, causing crown fires that kill the trees, rather than ground fires that just clear out the underbrush. So should we graze cattle here? The Forest Service says to reduce the numbers, the cattlemen (usually small ranchers with under 100 head of cattle, barely enough to subsist on) say we need the grazing land and the environmentalists say that we need to do no controlled burning at all because it will harm the (fill in the blank) and the result is an unhealthy forest, out of balance and in danger. Now add a series of drought years and the driest August in AZ history, and you have tinder ready to burst into flame.
The Forest Service folks are telling us that the pruning of the forests is something that has to be done now, or Mother Nature will do it for us in the only way she knows how. And we saw the results of that at the Rodeo-Chedeski site near Showlow. Mother Nature does not play favorites.

Two funny things happened today
Tonight Jake tried out his new hammock, and when he was well ensconced Jessica and Jan walked up, oh-so-innocent! They oohed and ahhed about the hammock, then took zip-ties (the hard plastic ties that come around cords and act like a twist-tie, but they are only for tightening down and not for loosening up!) and laced him into the hammock so that he was trapped. Luckily he did not have to use the bathroom that night. We all had a good laugh at that, even Jake.

The other thing that happened was a parade of skunks through the campground. One walked up to me in my tent and almost touched noses with me through the mesh, and another tried to eat his way into Julie's tent to get a midnight snack. They are very bold and not afraid of you at all, but they will not spray you unless they are threatened.
for Wednesday, August 21
North South Both




Biographical
•
Team: South
Lorie McGraw
Lorie McGraw

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List of All Journal Entries
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Saturday, September 21
Lorie McGraw
The Call of the Wild
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Monday, September 16
Lorie McGraw
Rugged Beauty
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Sunday, September 15
Lorie McGraw
Calf Creek and Grand Staircase
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Sunday, September 8
Lorie McGraw
Lake Powell and Rainbow Bridge
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Saturday, September 7
Lorie McGraw
Rain in the Desert
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Friday, September 6
Lorie McGraw
A River and a Rainbow
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Wednesday, September 4
Lorie McGraw
Condors and Rock Art
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Tuesday, September 3
Lorie McGraw
Trekkers Return and an Old Cabin
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Sunday, September 1
Lorie McGraw
Hopi, Navajo, and The North Rim
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Saturday, August 31
Lorie McGraw
A hike, a bike, and web frustrations
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Friday, August 30
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The Big Ditch
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Wednesday, August 28
Lorie McGraw
A New Job
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Tuesday, August 27
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Halfway Point
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Monday, August 26
Lorie McGraw
Doing a job, or not?
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Sunday, August 25
Lorie McGraw
Red Rock
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Sunday, August 25
Lorie McGraw
Sunset Crater and CO Bar Ranch
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Thursday, August 22
Lorie McGraw
Flagstaff and showers!
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Wednesday, August 21
Lorie McGraw
Skunks and a practical joke
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Sunday, August 11
Lorie McGraw
Mountain Lake and a Visitor
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Tuesday, August 6
Lorie McGraw
Silver City, Here We Come!
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Monday, August 5
Lorie McGraw
Vanilla Trees at Iron Creek Camp, Gila National Forest
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Sunday, August 4
Lorie McGraw
On to the Gila Forest
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Friday, August 2
Lorie McGraw
Out of the (electronic) Darkness
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Friday, August 2
Lorie McGraw
The South Team is hosted at a Ghost Town in NM
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Wednesday, July 31
Lorie McGraw
First Day Highlight
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