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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Jan Nesset
Friday, August 23
"Good Morning, Flagstaff!"
“Good Morning, Flagstaff!” It didn’t really start that way but KVNA, a news and talk format radio station, A.M. 600, greeted its morning listeners with yours truly being interviewed about the Journey. I love talking about public lands and the Journey so the answers to host Mike Dougal’s questions flowed fast and focused. Seated next to me, giving me glances of encouragement and big smiles just because they come natural to her, was Karen Malis-Clark. She’s a Forest Service employee who has been of tremendous help to the team during our Coconino days. She’s as excited about our Journey as anybody can be.

The host asked a variety of questions.
One of my responses went something like this: “We have no politic agenda other than our belief that public lands should be kept public and kept for future generations. None of us are public land experts. We’re just a team of people with diverse backgrounds traveling public lands and speaking to people who use them and who depend on them, some for their livelihood. We’re learning about the issues that land managers face while trying to serve a broad range of interests. If we’re successful, if we do our jobs, we will listen to the land well enough that we can hear it speak to us so that we in turn can speak for it.”
I enjoyed the experience immensely, and I can’t wait to do it again.

Karen hustled me back to our team, who cheered upon my arrival. Many of them listened to the show.

Native Americans and their way of life thrill our team. We’re all about learning new perspectives and Native American ways are a natural interest of ours. Flagstaff is a cultural center for many tribes. I say “is” because we have learned that many Native Americans continue spiritual use of what most people know as archaelogical sites. We non-Indians don’t feel an obligation to let others know when and where we go to church, do we?
Elden Pueblo is a popular attraction near Flagstaff for its proximity to the highway and the lessons being learned there. Dr. Jesse Walter Fewkes was the first to popularize the site with his excavations and studies, beginning in 1926.
Now, Forest Service archaelogist Peter Pilles, Jr., carries on Fewkes work. And he’s continued making progress. He’s uncovering amazing things, like newly found pithouses, but one of the best things he’s uncovered is a way to involve the public with the site. Education programs are common, with students and groups even helping with new excavations. We took turns scraping soil from plots, which revealed pottery shards and flakes of obsidian.

Dr. Kay Gandy and Cathy Kiffe are our National Geographic teachers. Cathy is a trek team member and Dr. Kay is the teacher alternate. Together they build new curriculum for National Geographic. What a great job! Today they invited me to help them teach in a classroom of 120 fifth graders. Public lands, of course, was our raison d’etre. Our hope was to present a lively and educational program.
We think it worked. Dr. Kay led the program with a talk, a short video and a question-and-answer session about public lands. She’s an excellent leader in the classroom. Cathy and I took turns talking about our roles as trek members. As the trek team leader whose primary responsibility is guiding our team across public lands, I spoke about how we navigated. I brought a GPS unit for show so I could tell about how we could communicate with satellites thousands of miles in space.
Communicating with such a young crowd requires stories. To help their wonderful little minds understand one of our challenges, crossing public and private lands that appear as a checkerboard on a map, I asked them if they had ever played checkers. Most raised their hands. They oohed when I told them how we had to stay on the black squares, just like in checkers, as we crossed the corners using a GPS unit.
Getting the kids to understand the greatness of public lands required money. I asked them if they had any idea how much a million dollars was. They all seemed to know. I asked them about two million dollars. They knew that, too. Then I asked them if they’d like to have that much money. They all yelled yes. Then I asked them if they’d like to have $100 million. They screamed Yes! Then $200 million. YES! How about $650 million? YESSSSS! Then I asked if they were sure they know how much 650 million dollars was. They all said yes but because I can’t even imagine how much that is I figured we were all correct by assuming it was a very large number, one we’d all like to be associated with.
So, with all of us right where I wanted us to be, I sprung my trap by informing them that there was 650 million acres of public land that we could enjoy right now and hopefully for the rest of our lives. Some went wow but others seemed disappointed that they weren’t getting any money. And no, I don’t know how to explain to kids the size of an acre. I’m working on it.

for Friday, August 23
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
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Canyonlands in December
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Thursday, November 21
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Snow Raspberry Bounty
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Sunday, November 17
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The Bisti Badlands
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Friday, November 15
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Public Land Flows Through It
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Thursday, November 7
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A Day At Earth Analytic's Home
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Tuesday, October 29
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Slot Canyon Adventure
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Monday, October 28
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Some Things Never Change
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Sunday, October 27
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Back To The Wave
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Monday, October 7
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The Thing About Summits
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Saturday, September 28
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A New Beginning: National Public Lands Day
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Thursday, September 26
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Big Day of Sneak and Salvage
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Wednesday, September 25
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History-Coated Strawberry
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Tuesday, September 24
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The Last Of It
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Monday, September 23
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Dinosaurlandia
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Sunday, September 22
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Over The Edge
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Saturday, September 21
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God Bless America
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Friday, September 20
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Sometimes It's A Tough Life And We Get To Do It
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Thursday, September 19
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The Niche Near You
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Wednesday, September 18
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Snow Day
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Tuesday, September 17
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A Capitol Reef Bull's Eye
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Monday, September 16
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A Lucky Rift
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Sunday, September 15
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Riding The Hog's Back
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Saturday, September 14
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Oh Rhythm My Rhythm
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Friday, September 13
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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
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Public Lands And…Not You?
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Saturday, September 7
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That Place So Special
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Friday, September 6
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Just Looking To Have Some Fun – Be Dammed!
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Thursday, September 5
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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
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Back On Top
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Sunday, September 1
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Perfection
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Saturday, August 31
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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
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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
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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
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Courage On Eagle Mountain
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Sunday, August 11
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Farewell
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Saturday, August 10
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My Aching Back In The Saddle
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Friday, August 9
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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
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Free Wheelin'
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Wednesday, July 31
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An Excellent Start
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