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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Catherine Kiffe
Wednesday, September 18
A thrilling ride!
I woke up during the night. The wind was howling. Hard rain was splattering the tent. It shifted back and forth as if struggling to become untethered from the ground. I snuggled down further down in my sleeping bag. The temperature was dropping. When I got up dawn was just breaking and of gray clouds filled the morning sky. Everyone was starting to gather in the RV for coffee. We can squeeze all eleven of us in on a cold morning like this. Sam served scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast.
Now comes the wonderful part. As we packed our gear, it started snowing! Beautiful little light flakes were gently blowing in the wind. We packed on clothing in layers. I wore insulated shirt and pants, two other long sleeve shirts, a pair of rain pants, my motorized riding gear pants, my fleece jacket, my American Frontiers fleece vest and my rain jacket, two pairs of gloves and under my helmet, a knit cap. I was ready!
Paul Slavik, from American Honda, gave us instructions on the new beautiful, more powerful ATVs and reminded us about safety. We were ready, engines started and warmed up. Max Reid, the forest ranger, leading us today, drove out of the camp site, his American flag bouncing on the end of a pole at the back of his ATV. We followed close behind. Mike Browning, Executive Director of the Great Western Trail joined us. Today our trek would be to follow a portion of the Great Western Trail.
The trail was muddy from the rain and now melting snow. It climbed higher, twisting and turning as it increased in elevation. I was feeling pretty sure of myself having had a great ride back on the C Bar Ranch a couple of weeks ago. Suddenly I realized I misjudged the turn, was going off the trail, definitely the wrong direction, and was heading for a stand of beautiful Aspen trees. You know how it is said, “It happened so fast?” It did. It was a very awkward position to be in, the ATV on top of me. My teammates were quickly around me, Julie in her nurse mode. She would not letting me move until she checked arms and legs for wholeness as the guys brought the four wheels of the ATV back to the ground. After I was also “righted”, Julie checked my eye movement and pupil size. She is very thorough. I wasn’t dizzy, but knew I had really “rung my bell”, with a piece of Aspen brush on my helmet.. It really brings home the importance of wearing a helmet. It made the difference between being able to catch my breathe and go on and a serious injury. Thanks Paul and Honda for being very safety conscious.
Well, back on the ATV’s. The scenery was spectacular, open range breaking into forests of green spruce with yellow aspen. Stronger snow clouds were forming. We watched as they rolled down the mountain toward us. It was a glorious ride in the snow. When we were in the forest sometimes the trail opening was only a few inches larger than our handlebars. Riding through the butter yellow leaves on crisp white snow, with the silver blue of the aspen trucks, I knew there was special magic in the air. Their was a hushed feeling even with the purr of the six ATVs filing through the forest.
Sometimes there were boulders to by pass, cattle crossings, not flat but in a hill formation and giant mud puddles to go splashing through. Sometimes the snow turned to sleet and tiny ice rocks. I was completely covered except for part of my face. The ice pellets felt like tiny pins on my cheeks. The only other.cold I really felt was my fingertips. I thought they had become permanent ice cubes and then we dropped in elevation and the temperature followed suit. It was all an incredible thrill.
On this journey we have been lucky to experience so much. The recreation has been re-creation for me and the way I understand and see ways of using the land that is ours to use. I appreciate a quiet hike, a cool mountain bike ride, a gentle horse back ride, a thrilling ATV ride. They are all very special and they all have a place, in my opinion, on our public lands. Each has its own place. Tomorrow we will meet for a roundtable discussion that will cover just such issues.

for Wednesday, September 18
North South Both




Biographical
•
Team: South
Catherine Kiffe
A new look for the teachers lounge: Cathy K gets suited up to go riding the dual-sport motorcycles.
Cathy is a Homebound Teacher for students in grades Kindergarten through 12,...
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List of All Journal Entries
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Sunday, January 5
Catherine Kiffe
Public lands in Mississippi
   >> more...

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Sunday, December 8
Catherine Kiffe
More Students Ask Questions
   >> more...

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Tuesday, December 3
Catherine Kiffe
Student's Letter
   >> more...

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Monday, November 25
Catherine Kiffe
Gifts from Long Ago
   >> more...

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Sunday, November 10
Catherine Kiffe
Gray and Beautiful
   >> more...

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Sunday, November 3
Catherine Kiffe
Using the Pictures
   >> more...

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Friday, October 18
Catherine Kiffe
Rush, rush, rush
   >> more...

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Wednesday, October 9
Catherine Kiffe
Home Again
   >> more...

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Saturday, September 28
Catherine Kiffe
   >> more...

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Friday, September 27
Catherine Kiffe
Together Again
   >> more...

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Thursday, September 26
Catherine Kiffe
Packing Up
   >> more...

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Wednesday, September 25
Catherine Kiffe
Across Strawberry Reservoir
   >> more...

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Tuesday, September 24
Catherine Kiffe
The Last Hike
   >> more...

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Tuesday, September 24
Catherine Kiffe
A Visit with Dinosaurs (or what’s left!)
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Monday, September 23
Catherine Kiffe
Accident
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Friday, September 20
Catherine Kiffe
Another Glorious Day on the trail.
   >> more...

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Thursday, September 19
Catherine Kiffe
Roundtable---a place to learn
   >> more...

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Wednesday, September 18
Catherine Kiffe
A thrilling ride!
   >> more...

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Tuesday, September 17
Catherine Kiffe
Fishlake National Forest
   >> more...

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Monday, September 16
Catherine Kiffe
Come for a 4 Wheel Drive
   >> more...

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Sunday, September 15
Catherine Kiffe
Swirls
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Sunday, September 15
Catherine Kiffe
Invasive Weeds
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Friday, September 13
Catherine Kiffe
I Love This Land
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Wednesday, September 11
Catherine Kiffe
Memorial Day
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Tuesday, September 10
Catherine Kiffe
Special Day
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Monday, September 9
Catherine Kiffe
How We Connect
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Sunday, September 8
Catherine Kiffe
A Visit with Bill then hee,hee, hee
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Saturday, September 7
Catherine Kiffe
Wilderness Explained
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Friday, September 6
Catherine Kiffe
A River Ride and Dam View
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Tuesday, September 3
Catherine Kiffe
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Monday, September 2
Catherine Kiffe
Headlamps
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Sunday, September 1
Catherine Kiffe
What's Roaring?
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Saturday, August 31
Catherine Kiffe
The River
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Friday, August 30
Catherine Kiffe
Beginning the Walk Down
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Tuesday, August 27
Catherine Kiffe
Watch that Step
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Monday, August 26
Catherine Kiffe
Passion and Information
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Sunday, August 25
Catherine Kiffe
" Listen to All"
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Saturday, August 24
Catherine Kiffe
Trees, more or less?
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Friday, August 23
Catherine Kiffe
Dirt and Treasure and Sharing
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Thursday, August 22
Catherine Kiffe
Be ready to change
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Wednesday, August 21
Catherine Kiffe
Biscuits
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Wednesday, August 21
Catherine Kiffe
Another Short Day
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Tuesday, August 20
Catherine Kiffe
A Short Day
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Monday, August 19
Catherine Kiffe
Questions
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Monday, August 19
Catherine Kiffe
A Great Day
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Saturday, August 17
Catherine Kiffe
A Scorched Land
   >> more...

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Friday, August 16
Catherine Kiffe
What? 30 miles??? Yes!
   >> more...

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Thursday, August 15
Catherine Kiffe
I Like It!
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Wednesday, August 14
Catherine Kiffe
Life changing
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Tuesday, August 13
Catherine Kiffe
Day "off"
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Tuesday, August 13
Catherine Kiffe
Step Back In Time
   >> more...

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Monday, August 12
Catherine Kiffe
Take A Deep Breath
   >> more...

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Monday, August 12
Catherine Kiffe
A Little Bit of Water
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Sunday, August 11
Catherine Kiffe
A Different Look At Burned Areas
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Saturday, August 10
Catherine Kiffe
Take a Leap
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Friday, August 9
Catherine Kiffe
Delightful Things
   >> more...

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Thursday, August 8
Catherine Kiffe
Not a Buggy Ride
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Wednesday, August 7
Catherine Kiffe
Ready for "hosses"
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Wednesday, August 7
Catherine Kiffe
Roundtable
   >> more...

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Tuesday, August 6
Catherine Kiffe
"Bag a Peak" and Fight with a Bush!
   >> more...

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Sunday, August 4
Catherine Kiffe
Busy, busy!
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Friday, August 2
Catherine Kiffe
Third Day of the Trek
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Wednesday, July 31
Catherine Kiffe
4 Wheeling
   >> more...

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Tuesday, July 30
Catherine Kiffe
Kickoff Events in DC
   >> more...

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Tuesday, July 23
Catherine Kiffe
First day...
   >> more...

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Wednesday, May 1
Catherine Kiffe
Public lands in Mississippi
   >> more...

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Wednesday, December 31
Catherine Kiffe
More Student Questions
   >> more...

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Wednesday, December 31
Catherine Kiffe
Gray and Beautiful
   >> more...








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