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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: North
Stephen Braunlich
Monday, September 2
Long Hard Hike
Cheryl, Michelle, and I awoke today at around 7:30. As we made our lunches for our planned hike, we encountered our first wildlife for the day. I was walking over to the Honda CR-V to retrieve my daypack, when off to the right, in a clearing, was a bull moose and his cow. While the cow continued on into the woods, the bull stood for a second. Steam condensed from his hot breath as he stood in the morning sun. We all snapped photos. The day began well.
At the Targhee Creek Trailhead, we started in at 9:30. The hike took us through meadows filled with now dead sunflowers, but also some living daisies and astors. Meadow gave way to woods, and back again as the three of us traversed the rolling hills. Eventually we came to an intersection on the loop trail, we could either take the Dry Fork or the Targhee Creek side trail. We opted for the Targhee Creek fork.
Eventually we readched a point where Cheryl, who is feeling a little under the weather, did not feel like continuing on. At this juncture she and Michelled headed back for the car to go to West Yellowstone while I hiked on. My goal was to complete the entire 14 mile loop of the Targhee Creek Trail. To do this, I would need to reach Targhee pass before 1.
As I climbed up through the trees, I became more aware of my solitude as I encountered no one and heard only my own voice. This was a new and pleasant experience for me. I enjoyed the isolation as I walked below steep rock walls and above cool Targhee Creek.
Climbing out of the valley, I passed under three birds of prey, circling on the updrafts. These graceful beautiful creatures glided overhead, coming within a stone's throw of me. There were two larger raptors, and one smaller one. Perhaps a family? All sported a mottled brown underbelly, and were the proper size to suggest to me that they were red-tailed hawks. I am but an amateur, though, and cannot definitively say.
While I wanted to just sit and watch these gorgeous birds, I knew that I could not and continued my climb. On reaching the intersection with the Continental Divide Trail, I let out a whoop of joy, and a prayer of thanks. The time was 11:20, and I knew I would make the pass in time.
At the top of Targhee Pass (elev. 10,000 ft.)I could see for miles. In the far distance, I could make out the building on Sawtell Peak, and to the east I saw what appeared to be a reservoir. I sat there for awhile, looking about and enjoying the scenery. Then I began my descent.
Here I ran into trouble. After reaching the bottom of the switchbacks, the trail ran into an open, rock-strewn meadow. Being unable to identify any cairns or blazes, I had lost the trail. As a result, I decided to bushwack until the trail crossed my path. The best route, I figured was to go down into the river, and follow that to a trail crossing. Big mistake.
Perhaps it was the exhaustion, or perhaps it was plain carelessness, but I forgot an observation that I had made on the hike up.
for Monday, September 2
North South Both




Biographical
•
Team: North
Stephen Braunlich
Braunlich sports the latest look in bear collar technology

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List of All Journal Entries
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Thursday, September 12
Stephen Braunlich
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Wednesday, September 11
Stephen Braunlich
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Sunday, September 8
Stephen Braunlich
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Wednesday, September 4
Stephen Braunlich
Easy Day in Yellowstone
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Tuesday, September 3
Stephen Braunlich
First Day in Yellowstone
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Monday, September 2
Stephen Braunlich
Long Hard Hike
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Monday, August 26
Stephen Braunlich
More of the same...
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Sunday, August 25
Stephen Braunlich
Bit o' Heaven
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Saturday, August 24
Stephen Braunlich
Humbug Spires
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Friday, August 23
Stephen Braunlich
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Thursday, August 22
Stephen Braunlich
A Pockmark on Progress
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Tuesday, August 13
Stephen Braunlich
Many Thanks
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Tuesday, August 13
Stephen Braunlich
Bushwacking
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Monday, August 12
Stephen Braunlich
Welcome to Aspen Grove
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Sunday, August 11
Stephen Braunlich
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Saturday, August 10
Stephen Braunlich
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Friday, August 9
Stephen Braunlich
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Thursday, August 8
Stephen Braunlich
First Posting
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Thursday, August 1
Stephen Braunlich
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Wednesday, January 9
Stephen Braunlich
Targhee Creek Continued
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