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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Jan Nesset
Sunday, September 1
Perfection
There is nothing more perfect than the things that dwell in an undisturbed environment. A rock, a tree, a babbling brook, each organic and inorganic thing on the planet, is perfect. If something has billions of years to get where it is today, how can it be thought of any other way?

A slightest touch will change perfection by disrupting the perfect pace to a perfectly natural shape and place.

But how can we resist tossing a rock or whittling a stick or scrambling up a slippery slope? We can’t, and that’s okay. We’re obligated to spend our days living our lives. We belong here, too, doing the best we can to live a perfectly normal life. Yet what we can do is appreciate our things not for what they can do for us but for what they are.
Think of that when you see a rock deposited on a log when the river recedes. Now that's natural selection with a big dose of special selection. That rock's route likely took billions of years to get the rock exactly where it is meant to be. All things natural progress the same way.

The same is said of the tree in a natural healthy forest or the grizzly bear who flees at its first glimpse of a human. Natural – meant to be -- perfect.

Nature’s purity is blessed perfection. Just thinking about that helps to focus my perspective. Nature teaches us how to be humble and patient.

Imagine then how humbling must be an experience at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I feel about as small as a virus riding bacteria on a flea in the hairs of a bat in a Grand Canyon cave.
The Grand Canyon walls have seen me pass by. But so too will they pass by and be carried away by the Colorado River. By then what’s meaningful about me or my passage will be long forgotten.

And the river will keep flowing.

The meaning in my life takes a new hold when we arrive at Phantom Ranch and I am in charge of the plan to get seven people 14 miles to the North Rim. That plan starts at 4 a.m. the next morning. An early start is essential to beat the heat of the sun and to arrive at Roaring Springs by 11:30 a.m. when Julie and Cathy will meet the mules who will take them the final five miles to the rim. It’s all up from Roaring Springs to the rim.
On the raft the morning we were to arrive at Phantom Ranch, we actually lollygagged to squeeze in two hours of river time. Our camp was a splendid golden beach on river left. High above the camp was a tower of rock perched on a tall slender wall. It looked like a monolith waiting for the right moment to topple onto whoever was doing bad things below. We tried to be good, and survived the night.

Our group campsite at Phantom Ranch had visitors: mule deer, a ring-tailed cat, a fox and a scorpion. The scorpion stepped lively into camp during the middle of the night. I must have heard it scuffling its scorpion boots through the sand because something triggered me awake and to sit up and turn on my headlamp. It marched toward Wayne who heard me awake. He took refuge on the top of a picnic table and didn’t come down until morning.

Phantom Ranch sells steak dinners for $28 and stew for $20. We had box lunches and a few celebratory beers, lemonade and ice tea. A night in one of the huts will run about $17.50. We camped with the scorpions, and I don’t know what that cost.

for Sunday, September 1
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
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
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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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