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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Catherine Kiffe
Saturday, August 31
The River
Saturday, August 31, 2002 The River
It is very easy to wake up when you know there is another amazing day ahead. We wanted an early start, just as the sun was rising, to beat the heat of the day. Breakfast was energy bars and water, lots of water to hydrate for the day. On with our packs and off we went…..The trail consisted of some high rocks where I would sit on my butt and reach down for the next step. Some were medium rocks with small gravel, easy to slip and slide on. Switchbacks are a little easier because they zig-zag back and forth so the decline wasn't quite as steep. We rested on a saddle where we could see the river below, it was growing larger. The colors are blaze brick red, muted and golden yellows, charcoals, and various purples. One area we covered was shale and slate, dark red, a very slick mountainside. Our path was only about 6-8 inches wide. If there was a slip it meant going all the way down several hundred feet because there was nothing to hold on to or to stop a fall.
As I carefully watched the trail in front of me, essential because one moment out of sight can mean a trip or fall, I sensed the people of long ago that walked this land. I feel they tread very lightly, not disturbing the placement of the simplest rock or stone if not necessary. The bushes and small trees as familiar to them as our furniture in our own homes. I feel sureness and deliberateness of their paths. The same goes for the insects, reptiles and small animals that inhabit these crevices and facades. Just being who they are each day, knowing there mission of staying alive in this beautiful but sometimes harsh land. It is very special to be connected to all that went before and is now.
Near the end of the trail, about 400 yards, I encouraged Jake and Jan to go on. I am always sensitive to the fact that they are very fast, able hikers who long to stretch and go on at their quick, sure pace. They stay back for me. I appreciate that, but now with the river so near I wanted them to give them a chance to feel the sheer joy of sprinting to that beautiful water.
Well, I thought I could easily follow the trail, but it wasn't as clear as I thought it would be. Wayne, the National Geographic Society videographer and wandered off the trail because I thought I saw everyone follow the dry creek bed to the river. The bushes grew higher there. We were getting very hot. Rats!!! We were very tired. We went back to where Wayne had suggested the trail went. Thank goodness he was right, should have listened before. Soon we were found again. But again, it showed me the importance of sticking together.
It was thrilling to get to the river, frigid clear water, rushing over rapids. We had about two hours before the raft picked us up and we used it to rest and cool ourselves in the river.
We boarded the large raft and joined our friends Lisa, Julie, Bob, Dennis and Rodger Schmidt from the BLM and new friends from Honda. After our gear was strapped under water tight tarps we pushed off from shore. I chose to sit in front and was blasted delightfully with bucket-sized splashes of freezing water as we went through our first set of rapids. The raft peacefully slid its way down the winding Colorado River with magnificent slabs of earth millions of years old as the backdrop. I kept clicking the camera wanting to catch each chuck of rock piled upon rock. I had loved the view from the rim of the canyon, but I think the bottom is more intriguing in a many different ways with the layers of the crust of the earth twisted and contorted, the power it took to shift now evident in the countless shapes and changing directions. It is a magically place to be.


for Saturday, August 31
North South Both




Biographical
•
Team: South
Catherine Kiffe
A new look for the teachers lounge: Cathy K gets suited up to go riding the dual-sport motorcycles.
Cathy is a Homebound Teacher for students in grades Kindergarten through 12,...
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List of All Journal Entries
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Sunday, January 5
Catherine Kiffe
Public lands in Mississippi
   >> more...

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Sunday, December 8
Catherine Kiffe
More Students Ask Questions
   >> more...

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Tuesday, December 3
Catherine Kiffe
Student's Letter
   >> more...

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Monday, November 25
Catherine Kiffe
Gifts from Long Ago
   >> more...

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Sunday, November 10
Catherine Kiffe
Gray and Beautiful
   >> more...

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Sunday, November 3
Catherine Kiffe
Using the Pictures
   >> more...

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Friday, October 18
Catherine Kiffe
Rush, rush, rush
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Wednesday, October 9
Catherine Kiffe
Home Again
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Saturday, September 28
Catherine Kiffe
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Friday, September 27
Catherine Kiffe
Together Again
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Thursday, September 26
Catherine Kiffe
Packing Up
   >> more...

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Wednesday, September 25
Catherine Kiffe
Across Strawberry Reservoir
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Tuesday, September 24
Catherine Kiffe
The Last Hike
   >> more...

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Tuesday, September 24
Catherine Kiffe
A Visit with Dinosaurs (or what’s left!)
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Monday, September 23
Catherine Kiffe
Accident
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Friday, September 20
Catherine Kiffe
Another Glorious Day on the trail.
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Thursday, September 19
Catherine Kiffe
Roundtable---a place to learn
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Wednesday, September 18
Catherine Kiffe
A thrilling ride!
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Tuesday, September 17
Catherine Kiffe
Fishlake National Forest
   >> more...

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Monday, September 16
Catherine Kiffe
Come for a 4 Wheel Drive
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Sunday, September 15
Catherine Kiffe
Swirls
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Sunday, September 15
Catherine Kiffe
Invasive Weeds
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Friday, September 13
Catherine Kiffe
I Love This Land
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Wednesday, September 11
Catherine Kiffe
Memorial Day
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Tuesday, September 10
Catherine Kiffe
Special Day
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Monday, September 9
Catherine Kiffe
How We Connect
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Sunday, September 8
Catherine Kiffe
A Visit with Bill then hee,hee, hee
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Saturday, September 7
Catherine Kiffe
Wilderness Explained
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Friday, September 6
Catherine Kiffe
A River Ride and Dam View
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Tuesday, September 3
Catherine Kiffe
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Monday, September 2
Catherine Kiffe
Headlamps
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Sunday, September 1
Catherine Kiffe
What's Roaring?
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Saturday, August 31
Catherine Kiffe
The River
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Friday, August 30
Catherine Kiffe
Beginning the Walk Down
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Tuesday, August 27
Catherine Kiffe
Watch that Step
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Monday, August 26
Catherine Kiffe
Passion and Information
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Sunday, August 25
Catherine Kiffe
" Listen to All"
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Saturday, August 24
Catherine Kiffe
Trees, more or less?
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Friday, August 23
Catherine Kiffe
Dirt and Treasure and Sharing
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Thursday, August 22
Catherine Kiffe
Be ready to change
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Wednesday, August 21
Catherine Kiffe
Biscuits
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Wednesday, August 21
Catherine Kiffe
Another Short Day
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Tuesday, August 20
Catherine Kiffe
A Short Day
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Monday, August 19
Catherine Kiffe
Questions
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Monday, August 19
Catherine Kiffe
A Great Day
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Saturday, August 17
Catherine Kiffe
A Scorched Land
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Friday, August 16
Catherine Kiffe
What? 30 miles??? Yes!
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Thursday, August 15
Catherine Kiffe
I Like It!
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Wednesday, August 14
Catherine Kiffe
Life changing
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Tuesday, August 13
Catherine Kiffe
Day "off"
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Tuesday, August 13
Catherine Kiffe
Step Back In Time
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Monday, August 12
Catherine Kiffe
Take A Deep Breath
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Monday, August 12
Catherine Kiffe
A Little Bit of Water
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Sunday, August 11
Catherine Kiffe
A Different Look At Burned Areas
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Saturday, August 10
Catherine Kiffe
Take a Leap
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Friday, August 9
Catherine Kiffe
Delightful Things
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Thursday, August 8
Catherine Kiffe
Not a Buggy Ride
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Wednesday, August 7
Catherine Kiffe
Ready for "hosses"
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Wednesday, August 7
Catherine Kiffe
Roundtable
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Tuesday, August 6
Catherine Kiffe
"Bag a Peak" and Fight with a Bush!
   >> more...

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Sunday, August 4
Catherine Kiffe
Busy, busy!
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Friday, August 2
Catherine Kiffe
Third Day of the Trek
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Wednesday, July 31
Catherine Kiffe
4 Wheeling
   >> more...

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Tuesday, July 30
Catherine Kiffe
Kickoff Events in DC
   >> more...

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Tuesday, July 23
Catherine Kiffe
First day...
   >> more...

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Wednesday, May 1
Catherine Kiffe
Public lands in Mississippi
   >> more...

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Wednesday, December 31
Catherine Kiffe
More Student Questions
   >> more...

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Wednesday, December 31
Catherine Kiffe
Gray and Beautiful
   >> more...








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