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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Jan Nesset
Monday, September 16
A Lucky Rift
Sometimes we get lucky. Today, at our first walk-around of private property, we got very lucky. Our journey today takes us southeast from Deer Creek trailhead where we had ended our 10-mile hike three days prior. Thirty miles of moseying through sandstone washes and down one spectacular switchback descent, we head north into Capital Reef National Park. Paralleling our drive to the east is a colossal uplifted rift. The upper 200 feet of the rift is sheer sandstone, and I know that may be a problem for us down the road.
Watching the GPS unit and map to get an idea of where the upcoming private land lie in our path, I also watched the rift float by. Rarely did I see a place where the top of the rift could be accessed from below, which is exactly what we must do when we come to the private land.
Did I say we sometimes get lucky. Of course I did! At our stopping point, looking along the rift I noticed a long sandy bank reach the entire distance to the top of the rift. Nowhere for miles in either direction was another access point tothe top, and this sandy bank was positioned nearly exactly along the GPS route programmed into my GPS. Coincidence, heavenly intervention, magic, voodoo -- or luck?
At the top of the rift, which was about a mile away from where we began our hike, stood a figure. At first glance it looked human, but a second or longer glance told us it was too fat to be human. We placed bets on what it was, because we were going to find out. Was it a pinion pine, juniper or Dairy Queen?
I guessed juniper, which was correct, but I won nothing other than gold stars and free water.
We walked along the top of the rift for the sheer fun of it before spying a road to the east, which is where we had directed our support drivers to intercept us, if possible. One of the fun things about using GPS technology is the guesswork required to determine whether a road is truly a place on the earth or a long forgotten trail that has somehow made it into the Global Information System software, which we use to make our maps.
In this case our support drivers intercepted us on the road. But they had an adventure getting to us thanks to a wet and sandy streambed. But, as luck would have it, they picked us up where we had hoped.

We nearly lost Marlene, or so we thought, and I nearly panicked! Marlene is our techie who decided to stay with us a day longer so she could see Capital Reef before heading back to Phoenix, Arizona, her home. That meant I got her for more map work, which we needed direly, and to program our GPS units.
Hours after her expected arrival, and minutes after we had made calls to track her down, she pulled into camp with a story that not many geographically wise people would admit. She got lost. Furthermore, before she realized she was lost she had pulled into Deer Creek campsite, thinking it was to be the night's campsite. She set up her tent and took a nap, waiting for us to arrive.
But she pulled it all together and made it eventually to the right camp. We made maps, we programmed GPS, we are set.

"Why in the world would you even want to walk all the way across the country on public lands?" said a lady at tonight's program. The entire crew was lined up on a stage in front of 18 Capitol Reef campground campers who had come to see our program. One by one we introduced ourselves and talked about our Journey and the hopes we have for our public lands, including how we hope that our public lands can be protected for future generations, which is partly how we answered the lady's question.
The program went on and on, until finally we had to put people to bed, in particular ourselves. But we walked away with a lot to think about, from the topics shared by the audience: "It would be nice if there were a trail built where you traveled across public lands." "I'd rather our public lands are not exposed to millions of people. The fewer people, the better." "Will there be a book or a follow-up to your Journey? I'd like to know more?"

for Monday, September 16
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
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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
Jan Nesset
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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