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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: North
Michelle Williams
Tuesday, September 17
Two Days In A Canoe
SoÖ I have to admit something. Itís probably not terribly fitting for this public lands trek, and Iím almost embarrassed to make it known, but here goes: Iím in a motel. On a real bed. The TV is on (the National Geographic channel, of course) and I recently got out of a really long, hot bath. I donít know what stroke of genius brought us here, on this particular night, but I have to admit, Iím really, really thankful. The weather is terrible- windy, rainy, cold, and yet here I am, typing away in a warm, dry, comfy hotel room. I wore my jammie pants to dinner.

ButÖ not everything has been so cushy the last two days. Yesterday, Bob A., Kimberly and I got to join the trekkers on their first day canoeing down the Green River. It was a stunning day- around 75 degrees, light breeze, sunny, gorgeous. We had a 7.5 mile paddle, and we were so jazzed about being on the river that we made great time. Too great- only an hour and a half later, we reached the support team, waiting by the edge of the river to pull us out. We have a terrific guide, named Chris, who joined us from the BLM in Colorado. Weíre lucky enough to have him with us the whole time, as well as Sean, who works for the BLM here in Wyoming. All of us caravaned to the Weeping Rock campsite, where we were treated to more sunshine and conversation near the river. Most of the team took off to go get fishing licenses, but I stayed behind with the BLM guys and listened to their banter. Sean said that he thought one in two Wyoming residents were somehow involved in hunting. I joked that it was about the same in New York City.

After dinner, I went to my tent, pitched just away from the water, and was so tired I fell asleep in my clothes on top of my sleeping bag. Once again, in my sleep, I found my way inside my bag, and woke up at 6:45 to get the trekkers on their way. I crawled out of my tent to find two pelicans, floating on the river, waiting for me to rise just so I could see how beautiful they were. Half an hour later, I was making lunches for the team when Dave said they needed one more in the canoes- one of our guides brought her own kayak and they needed one more paddler, right now. I ran to my tent, broke everything down, and in minutes I was throwing my gear into the dry bag and strapping on my paddling gloves. This morning, the weather had turned; it was cold, cloudy and windy and all of us were wearing all three layers of warm clothes before we even climbed into the canoes. We had around 15 miles to cover, and there was no sign that the sun was going to show itself today. I shared a canoe with Rob, and we shoved off just after 8 AM. The paddle was long, and at times hard, but it was also amazing. We saw blue herons, pronghorn antelope, mountain goats, flocks of pelicans, raptors, one golden eagle and six- count Ďem, six- bald eagles. I had only seen one before, far away on a cliff as we paddled across the Clark Canyon Reservoir. These eagles were in trees on the shore of the river, close enough for us to make out the details of their feathers. The first pair we saw were flying back and forth between several huge trees, one of which housed their enormous nest. As we paddled by, the male dove from one tree and sailed to another, and we could hear the whoosh of his wings as he climbed through the air.

The rest of the day, we paddled near hundreds of birds, including two more pairs of eagles. Our new guide, Carol, paddled with us through Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge, where she is a resident wildlife specialist. She had great information about all of the birds, and also encouraged us when the headwinds and rain started to dampen our spirits. This was also supposed to be a fishing trip, but only Stephen managed to catch anything-a cutthroat trout- but you have to throw back anything below 20 inches, and Stephenís was about a foot. Finally we reached our team, and although it was a terrific trip, I was exhausted and ready for a little rest. But- no rest for the North Team- as soon as the cars were loaded we headed for the Fossil Butte National Park, where several informed park rangers waited to tell us all about fossils. It was a terrific program. We got to see the kinds of tools that are now used to reveal fossils, as well as the many complete fossils housed in the visitorsí center. One of our rangers took us to the back of the building where you can gaze up at buttes that are literally filled with fossils, most of which will be preserved in the stone for many years to wait for new paleontologic technology.

After the presentation, we headed here to the Energy Inn in, I think, Diamondville, Wyoming. Population 864. And now, with a belly full of pizza, I am going to sleep in a bed. A real bed. With sheets.
for Tuesday, September 17
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
   >> more...

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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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