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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: North
Michelle Williams
Saturday, September 7
Saturday Night Near Jackson Hole
Rain. Rain, rain, more rain, again. It started raining two nights ago. Yesterday morning my alarm was set for 6:50 and right as it went off, the heavens dropped another huge downpour on our little patch Yellowstone. I turned off my alarm and burrowed deeper into my bag. But within minutes I had to get up, and all of us broke camp in the pouring rain, shoving sopping tents into trash bags, knocking the pools of water off of the canopies, praying for a break in the deluge. No such luck. In fact, one of the cars had a flat and we had to pump it up as puddles formed all around us. Finally we were all loaded into the vehicles and we set off for Gros Venture (pronounced gra-VANT, in butchered Americanized French) Campground where, believe it or no, it was still raining! We set up the same soggy camp we had just taken down and milled around for the rest of the evening. The campground was actually beautiful, and had there not been complete cloud cover we would have had an excellent view of the Grand Tetons. However, we did not have this view. In fact, I have yet to see them. The word on the street is that this rain will clear up by Monday, so if I am patient, maybe Iíll be rewarded with a sunny day and a beautiful hike.

I have to say, on another note, that the only time I am ever frightened on this trek is late at night in the middle of the woods. Itís a strange thingÖ forests are so beautiful by day, so vibrant and captivating and teeming with all kinds of life. Forests, by day, are filled with joy. At night, everything changes. Once the sun goes down, every forest turns into Mirkwood. The friendly little animals become distorted and menacing, the trees turn into sleeping monsters whose roots I must avoid lest I wake them and become their dinner. Last night at 5 AM, I simply had to get up to, well, use the facilities, and the bathroom was far far away. So I just walked a few feet into the woods. Iíll spare you the rest of the details other than my fear. The sun was still an hour from rising and the forest should have been deeply asleep. But there was a sense of ominous awareness, of watchful, hungry eyes staring at me from every side, and the rain was hiding the sounds of the approaching evil. My childhood imagination flared and I could sense the monster- part grizzly bear, part moose, part scary dead guy who rose from a haystack in a horror movie I watched when I was five years old. I wasnít supposed to be watching the movie- my parents were out for the night and I was hiding behind the couch, wanting to stay up with my brothers. I tell you, that movie scarred me for life.

So there I was, half asleep, alone in My Own Private Nightmare, thinking that I was literally going to get caught with my pants down. But two minutes later I was safe in my sleeping bag, comforted by the knowledge that monsters canít penetrate synthetic fibers (particularly if the bag is zipped all of the way up) and wondering just what my problem was. But I only wondered for the few seconds it took me to fall deeply asleep.

Morning broke, the sun chased the foul creatures away, and the happy forest animals filled the wood once again. Actually, thatís not true at all. What really happened is not an hour later, Cheryl and I woke up to put together lunches for the trekkers to take on their next backpacking trip. We had to have the meals ready by 6:30 AM and so we crouched in the dark trailer, rain drumming loudly above us, slathering bread with peanut butter and jelly and throwing the appropriate treats into each trekkerís bag. It was cold, wet, and way too early, but I wasnít alone, and the sun was slowly finding its way through the fog. The nightmare was over.

It is now 9:30 PM, and Iím typing in the RV as the rain continues to saturate our world. We are camping at the KOA near Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which means we have access to bathrooms, showers, payphones, and an incredibly wealthy tourist town. Not quite the wilderness, but at least I can get a good latte. Cheryl and I intend to spend part of tomorrow exploring Jackson Hole, checking out the local artists and spreading the good word about public lands.
And there are no worries of monsters tonight, unless my imagination feels like taking on a motorhome and creating something scary.

But I'll still zip my sleeping bag all the way up.


for Saturday, September 7
North South Both




Biographical
•
Team: North
Michelle Williams
No rest for the wicked-- Michelle Williams spends a day at the office, typing up journal entries for the trekkers

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List of All Journal Entries
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Thursday, September 19
Michelle Williams
Back on the Green River
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Tuesday, September 17
Michelle Williams
Two Days In A Canoe
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Monday, September 16
Michelle Williams
Jammie Pants and a Wood Cabin
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Saturday, September 14
Michelle Williams
Wild Horses!
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Friday, September 13
Michelle Williams
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Tuesday, September 10
Michelle Williams
Reflections, September 10, 2002
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Sunday, September 8
Michelle Williams
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Saturday, September 7
Michelle Williams
Saturday Night Near Jackson Hole
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Thursday, September 5
Michelle Williams
Yellowstone
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Wednesday, September 4
Michelle Williams
Is it Wednesday?
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Sunday, September 1
Michelle Williams
Fall In Idaho
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Saturday, August 31
Michelle Williams
Saturday Morning, Day 32
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Thursday, August 29
Michelle Williams
Hump Day
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Wednesday, August 28
Michelle Williams
A Ghost Town, A Dug-out Canoe, A Birthday and A Compound Fracture
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Monday, August 26
Michelle Williams
Oh, Happy Day
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Sunday, August 25
Michelle Williams
Sunday, August 25th
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Saturday, August 24
Michelle Williams
A Better Day Already
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Friday, August 23
Michelle Williams
A Challenging Day
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Wednesday, August 21
Michelle Williams
Wednesday, August 21
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Tuesday, August 20
Michelle Williams
Tuesday, August 20
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Monday, August 19
Michelle Williams
Monday, August 19
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Sunday, August 18
Michelle Williams
Easy Like...
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Saturday, August 17
Michelle Williams
More on Saturday, August 17th
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Saturday, August 17
Michelle Williams
Saturday, August 17th
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Thursday, August 15
Michelle Williams
Thursday, August 15th
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Wednesday, August 14
Michelle Williams
My Top Ten List
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Tuesday, August 13
Michelle Williams
Freezing and Fires
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Monday, August 12
Michelle Williams
Explore the River
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Saturday, August 10
Michelle Williams
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Friday, August 9
Michelle Williams
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Thursday, August 8
Michelle Williams
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