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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Stephen Braunlich
Tuesday, September 3
First Day in Yellowstone
View
Braunlich, Mike Murphy, and Dana Bell amid a field of burned forest.

Braunlich, Mike Murphy, and Dana Bell amid a field of burned forest.
Courtesy Rob Carlo

View
Braunlich poses next to a stunning Summit Lake sunset.

Braunlich poses next to a stunning Summit Lake sunset.
Courtesy Rob Carlo

View
The sun sets over Summit Lake.

The sun sets over Summit Lake.
Courtesy Rob Carlo

Tuesday, September 3, 2002

Finally a night without cars! Today I left on a backpacking trip into Yellowstone with the trekkers. It is only one night, but a decent hike at 16 miles.
We started with a drive through Targhee National Forest, which took us up in elevation almost to the Yellowstone Plateau. Along the way the Forest Ranger showed us sections that had been clear cut and sections that had burned in 1988. To me they looked very similar, both growing up densely. To get to the trail, we had a short bushwhack up some scree, and then a walk along an old logging road. On reaching the boundary of the park and the forest, the difference was amazing and it really served to emphasize the different objectives of the two services.
On the one side stood old trees that had grown in the park for years, and on the other side of the line grew younger trees. This was a result of the parks having a preservation initiative that does not allow timber sales, whereas the forest has a multiuse mandate that allows the trees to be harvested.
The 8 miles we did today took us through a lot of the area burned in 1988. The stark land has not yet fully regenerated, and for a long time all we saw were burned snags of lodge pole pine. The soil itself had been so burned as to appear incapable of supporting life. There was not a lot of grasses or anything else one would associate with early growth. To add to this, the drought has made what plant life there is brittle and dry.
Our destination, Summit Lake, was reached in plenty of time, and so we had an opportunity to relax. We also reached it at a convenient time, for we were all running fairly low on water. Thus it was a welcome sign to see its blue green water, rippling under the slight pressure of the gentle breeze.
The sunset this evening was stellar. As we ate dinner, the glow set a cloudbank afire. The crimson, orange and amethyst tones lit up in the reflection onto the pond near the lake. Though I took several photos, I doubt that they will be able to conjure up the power and grandeur of the scene.
Later, as the evening light dimmed, giving way to night, elk began bugling taps. This was the first time that I had ever heard the creatures’ call, and it was amazing. There were many elk calling, and the sound of their voices was strange and unexpected; a very primeval sound that I would never assosciate with the animal.
for Tuesday, September 3
North South Both




Biographical
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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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