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 The Trek: The Journals

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Team: North
Stephen Braunlich
Sunday, September 8
Have spent the last two days in the Gros Ventre Wilderness Area within Bridger-Teton National Forest. While the trails were poorly maintained muddy and unbalanced, and the weather cold and rainy, I found it an altogether enjoyable experience. To be in an area so pristine as for it to be like our forefathers experienced is special.
Saturday began with my forgetting the Hennessy Hammock I use to sleep in, so I had to borrow Charlotte's tent. (She used her own hammock.) We began with the trekkers having a few short walks around private land, and the backpack starting in Teton National Forest. After 5 miles on a dirt road we hit the Wilderness Area. By this point we had passe a horse group, a bow hunter, and a jogger. I was hiking at a great clip, somewhere between 3 and 4 MPH while carrying a 20-30 lbs pack.
I had an interesting conversation with the bow hunter, who apparently lives in Jackson, WY which is close to the Gros Ventre. He had worked in various occupations that kept him close to the land, including jobs as a fishing guide, outfitter, and snowmobile guide in Yellowstone. A dedicated outdoors-man he had apparently set up a base camp from which to hunt and would carry out all the meat he killed on horseback. I have a lot of appreciation for hunters with primitive weapons like bows and black powder rifles. There is little sport to hunting Bambi with a .50 caliber rifle with sniper scope.
The hike continued on trail that had been turned to mud by yesterday's rain until we reached a pass in the mountains. Here we had a valley in front of us that was not shown on the map, and the trail ended. We could not figure out where we were. Although it turns out that our maps were just confusing, and we were in the right place, we killed 90 minutes trying to locate ourselves. By this time another rain storm rolled in, and we decided it was time to make camp. We boiled stream water to kill the bacteria, hydrated our Mountain House meals, and beat it to bed.
The next day we awoke to discover that the night's precipitation had left snow on the mountain peaks. Being at a lower altitude, we only suffered rain. We also received a call from the support team in Teton Village that confirmed our location.
Knowing our location, we set off to finish the hike. We moved along the contours of the mountainside, passing through dense stands of trees and open meadows. Our trail frequently was so slippery and so eroded that it would be easy to go rolling down the side through the grass and mud. Moreover, our trail also frequently died, being indistinguishable from the cow and game trails around us.
Eventually, though, we did make it out, and saw some pretty spectacular peaks while doing it. Although we did not go to the top, they were easy on the eye. Unfortunately we saw little wildlife.
for Sunday, September 8
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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