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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Jan Nesset
Tuesday, September 17
A Capitol Reef Bull's Eye
The rough terrain has claimed another piece of the bottom of one of our four-wheel-drive vehicles. It bit the dust immediately after it hit the far bank of Fremont River, the stream that our shuttle drivers, Kay and Jacob, had to cross in the vehicles early this morning.
The piece is not crucial - plastic bangplate - but it does remind us that the terrain we must cross to stay on public lands can be foreboding.
Our leg today is 51 miles of four-wheel-drive and up to five miles of hiking around private land. While Kay and Jacob have their adventure in the Fremont River, Cathy, Richard, Julie and I are hiking over a bluff and fjording the Fremont downstream of where the vehicles will cross.
I came across the nicest, most complete arrowhead of our Journey on a slope on the southern side of the river. White, long and sharp, the arrowhead has had a fortunate history.
If the arrow had been launched from a bow, either hitting or missing a target would have been hard on the thin arrowhead when it hit. But all but the tiniest, almost indiscernible piece is missing from the tip of the arrowhead. Otherwise it is complete. Did it hit its mark? Today it did. It hit a bull’s eye with our team. We wondered if we would discover such a treasure.
The GPS is working great, although today is one of only three days when we’ll have a GPS route programmed into the unit. The remaining 8 days will be without a programmed route but because we’re immersed in public land I have little doubt we’ll have any difficulties navigating or avoiding private lands.
We no longer have tech support, which is how we were able to program our GPS units. The last of the tech volunteers returned home this morning.
Typical but understandable - because of our persistent schedule -- we have blown through Capitol Reef National Park, which is too bad. It is a stunning park. Exploring the park more thoroughly will be on my list of things to do when my wife and I return to the choicest places I have discovered on this Journey.
Today we had the opportunity to drive through much of the north side of the park along the Capitol Reef Scenic Backroads which took us past the monolithic Cathedral spires. Had we driven the route during or immediately after a rain, we’d still be in there, probably getting unstuck. The road is smooth and maintained, although recent rains cut furrows through the road in several spots. But it is also easy to see where the trouble spots would be had it rained. Gumbo hills, easy to scramble upon when dry, turn to grease in the rain. A section of the road travels on steep gumbo, and we had it dry. The road also follows a stream course for a short spell, but we had it dry, too.

We’ve turned the page of a landscape picture book. We began today’s journey among sandstone sculptures and desert and ended it in forest and mountains. The mountains are mostly blanketed with spruce, pine and aspens. The aspens are turning color, to gold.

It does the heart good to hear a community express its soul through its beliefs and traditions. Tonight, we are fortunate to share Elkhorn Campground with the Mountain Man ATV festival. We joined the participants around a campfire as they introduced themselves to one another and listened to the story of American Frontiers. Dozens of men and one woman said their names and from where they came, and all but a few said they'd be back to the event, which lauds responsible ATV use and enjoys the numerous ATV trails crossing the country here. Furthermore, one by one the participants stated that their future rests in one another's hands. Stay on the trail. Pack out what is packed in. Respect the environment. Don't harass wildlife. All these things and more are important to these ATVers. I didn't expect that such a good ethic had been built into the ATV crowd. What a pleasant surprise.

for Tuesday, September 17
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
Jan Nesset
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
   >> more...

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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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