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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Lorie McGraw
Wednesday, August 28
A New Job
Hull Cabin AZ, 1 mile from the Grand Canyon


It is funny how things happen, how bad things turn into good and misfortune becomes fortune. I am sometimes awestruck by the way fate plays a hand.

As you all know, the South Team has been suffering from frequent electronic darkness and no Internet access. Journals have been written, but have not been able to be uploaded due to technical problems. The team has been away from phone lines, so journals have been stacking up and you, our audience, have been left adrift without knowing what is going on with Team South.

At the same time, likewise I was struggling with the task and challenge of keeping the food and beverages flowing, dealing with peoples needs(few) and wants (many), and feeling increasingly frustrated and picked upon. It seemed as though nothing that I did was right, yet I had little control over the menus, provisioning, and budget, with those items being increasingly the province of the team members and the team leader, with me caught in the middle. Don’t get me wrong, the team members all pitch in and help, but usually only when asked, and I was tired of asking at every turn for help with this or that. At the time I really did not recognize how unhappy and disenchanted I was becoming with the trek. I had no time to go sightsee or even commune with nature, but all of my energy was being put into worrying about the meals, avoiding certain people, and wondering if I should just quit and pack it in. Maybe this trekking stuff was not for me, perhaps I was so far out of my element that I was hurting the trek and maybe I should just go home? I was unable to communicate with my family because of the remoteness of our locations, no phones, and no Internet for e-mail. One of my ways that I relax is by communicating with folks via the Internet, designing webpages, writing articles, and e-mail, but that was all denied, too. Sunk into a real pool of self-pity, I was beginning to resent any comment made of my duties, no matter how benign, or about the food, quality, or quantity of the food, menus, etc.

Then Steven Mauer (the founder of this project) came to visit us. He voiced his concern that the audience on the website was not getting what they need, and I said to myself “Man, I wish that I had the time to do that stuff, I could really help the viewers by putting up information about the areas we visit, the animals we see, the natural history, that is what I really know how to do!”

Well, last week Ron Monnig’s friend, Sam, joined the team with their motor home and their 2 Scottie dogs, Scotty and Keepur. Sam planned to stay with the trek team until our joining at Salt Lake. But she, a caterer from KY, did not have a real job with the team, so she has been rotating around the periphery, wanting to help, but not really part of the team. She is a delightful, intelligent, and funny lady.

Yesterday was a terrible day for me. The incessant dust and pollen has managed to put me into a borderline asthma attack, my hackles were up because of a team meeting in which I brought up the food situation, and was sorry that I did, plus I am not a morning person, my back and knees are screaming at me. Well, I do not know how it got started, but Cathy came to me and asked me a strange question. “If you were allowed to write about the trip, work on the techie stuff, and get the south team website into shape, would you do it? But you would have to give up something in return. The job of food and beverage manager. Would you like that?”

The look on my face told her the answer, but I said “that is not possible.” She said “Yes it is, I help it happen. Will you agree to accept the new job?”

It turns out that Cat was so aware of my frustration that she took it onto herself to find a solution that would help all of the team members. Sam will be with us for the whole time and she has agreed to take over the “Food and Beverage Manager” position. We will induct her into the team tonight, with Ken Chapman as the master of ceremonies. I will be backing out of that work into a new “web-geek” job with the team members to assist them with uploading their journals if the tech trailer is not available (running to town or a local ranger station if they are unable to), and by researching and putting up more information on the website that pertains to the natural history, historical and cultural information, etc. I have the patience, drive, and know-how to handle the little techie glitches, and my knowledge of GeekSpeak is pretty good, so I hope that this relieves some of the pressure on the team members to get new material to you each day. I, of course, will have other duties to perform as the support team continues to shift our camp nearly every day, shuttling vehicles, setting up camp, and helping others with their tasks. I am very excited about this shift, and I hope that the team will be happier with me, and I with them. Things are looking up!

Hmm. Strange how fate moves, isn’t it?
for Wednesday, August 28
North South Both




Biographical
•
Team: South
Lorie McGraw
Lorie McGraw

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Saturday, September 21
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Sunday, September 15
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Sunday, September 8
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Saturday, September 7
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Friday, September 6
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Wednesday, September 4
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Tuesday, September 3
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Sunday, September 1
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Saturday, August 31
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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
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A New Job
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•
Tuesday, August 27
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Halfway Point
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Monday, August 26
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Doing a job, or not?
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Sunday, August 25
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Sunday, August 25
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Sunset Crater and CO Bar Ranch
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Thursday, August 22
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Flagstaff and showers!
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Wednesday, August 21
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Skunks and a practical joke
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Sunday, August 11
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Mountain Lake and a Visitor
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Tuesday, August 6
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Silver City, Here We Come!
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Monday, August 5
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Vanilla Trees at Iron Creek Camp, Gila National Forest
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Sunday, August 4
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On to the Gila Forest
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Friday, August 2
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Out of the (electronic) Darkness
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Friday, August 2
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The South Team is hosted at a Ghost Town in NM
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•
Wednesday, July 31
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First Day Highlight
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