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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Jan Nesset
Friday, August 30
Star Light
“Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight.”

Four or so miles down the Tanner Trail into the Grand Canyon, maybe it’s too early to qualify for another wish to come true. But looking up tonight at the first star that catches my eye, I wish anyway. I can’t say what I wish because then it won’t come true, but I can say that the wish has my wife as its recipient.
We all miss our loved ones, but I can only think of my wife on such a beautiful night. Chris is at home in Durango with Mo Mo Monster, a kitten who will be several sizes closer to a cat when I return home next month.
Chris would love it here in this camp. We’re atop what’s called the Red Wall. We can see the Colorado River to the northwest, far below. Up on the rim to the east we can see the lights of Desert View Tower. All around us painted on the walls, the rocks, the sandy slopes are the red and brown colors of the majestic Grand Canyon. We’re halfway to the Colorado River.
Crickets chirp. With each minute the sky grows darker yet more dazzled with stars. It will be a starry, starry night.

Three trekkers – Richard, Cathy, me – and two alternates – Jessica, Jacob – and National Geographic videographer Wayne Clague comprise our Tanner Trail hiking team.
Our other trek member, Julie, will meet us tomorrow on the Colorado River where she and team leader Bob Hammond are enjoying a raft ride with American Honda sponsors and Rodger Schmidt, BLM Director of Recreation, and Public Lands Interpretive Association Executive Director Lisa Madsen.
Julie’s knees are terribly painful on the downhills so she’s getting a ride until Phantom Ranch where she will join us for most of the hike out. She and Cathy will hike to Roaring Springs, nine miles from Phantom Ranch, where they will get a ride to the North Rim on mules, five miles out.

It’s been a good day.
We started the day at the Grand Canyon National Park Headquarters where we held a program from 30 sixth grade kids from Mesa, Arizona, on a 3-day field trip.
My part was to again present how we use GPS. Afterward I would participate in a question-and-answer session. I was also prepared with a sure-fire way to describe an acre to elementary kids when I gave my “650 million acres of public land spiel.” I’d use a soccer field to describe the size of an acre. I know it’s not an exact measurement but I thought it would help paint the picture. Besides, all kids play soccer, right?
Unfortunately, the only 30 kids on the planet who do not play soccer were on this field trip. It was their last day of the field trip and from the looks on most of their faces the trip may have been about a day too long.
Alas, they did come around and even asked good questions such as “Are we gonna get to go to a gift shop?”
Kay Gandy and Cathy Kiffe, “The Cavalry,” are not only experienced teachers but experienced saviors. They came out shooting with questions and teaching skills that drew the kids to attention.
I got back into the game by responding to the question, “What kinds of animals have you seen?” and “What is a coatimundi?”
A coatimundi described as an elongated raccoon seemed to do the trick. Ooohs from the crowd.
I drew a blank when asked the question, “We saw an elk on the side of the road?” I have so much to learn.
After our presentation our team accompanied the kids outside where they interacted with a park ranger who gave a likely presentation on fire ecology. The kids were asked to build a healthy forest by volunteering as trees, deer, predators, birds, bats, and insects.

The trees, the first to stand up and volunteer, wanted to be the mountain lion when the opportunity to volunteer for that was presented, and so on. The trees had to stay trees so some of them were growling trees with sharp teeth.
But the point about healthy and unhealthy forests was made. There are good fires and bad fires, and the inchworm distraction won’t change that.

Our team posed for pictures and chatted with the kids at the end of the program.
I really hope Carina gets her horse.

I really hope my wish for my wife comes true.
“Star light, star bright….”
for Friday, August 30
North South Both




Biographical
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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!
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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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