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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Jacob MacLeod
Friday, September 27
Together Again!!
Another cold morning! We all awoke with a heightened sense of purpose. I packed my tent up with about five pounds of frost in the frigid darkness, as did everyone else, then we all got down to business packing every last thing away into the trailers. After finishing cleaning the RV, we loaded into our vehicles and headed off to breakfast to a cafe that Marsha recommended. (I had pancakes - always the breakfast of choice) Then to showers!! Our day had been carefully orchestrated so that we wouldn’t see any members of the other team until the joining. We took turns showering in industrial stalls at a marina, they were cold and wet, but it felt good to be clean. It was a cold, breezy, and sunny day. While we waited for everyone to finish, and for our allotted time to head to the campground, I removed Julie’s stitches for her, and finished reading the Jack London book I bought in Flagstaff, “Smoke Bellew.”
We took a group picture, then headed off to the campground where we were greeted with a bottle of champagne from our beloved Northerners. Word was, they thought our surprise was “sweet,” not exactly what we were going for, but touching. We set up our tents for the last time on the trip, then it was away to Dick’s for lunch, where we were joined by Lisa and Antal.
After waiting in the parking lot, soaking up our last moments, it was finally time to head back to the campground, and wait some more. After being greeted by a very enthusiastic Mrs. Nesset, we were ushered to our spot. After a few moments, Jan realized that we were on the Northern side of the campground and the Northern Team was to be walking in from the South! After a lot of fussing and trying to switch, it was decided that we would just remain where we were. We were joined by a few dignitaries, and the word was go.

Sixty days of travel, countless campsites, and vistas, sunsets and sunrises, and starry skies, and cowpies, and dust, and fire ecology, and horny toads, and new experiences, new heights, new friendships, new respect, new love, new sights, new thoughts, and laughter, silly frustrations, elk, and Steller’s Jays, and Ponderosa Pines, and cactus, and ASPEN! Firs, and frost, and shivers, and coffee, and aches, and vigor, and rocks, and cliffs, dirt, and tears, and sweat, and driving, and flat tires, and guides, and snow cones, and hugs, and hope, and adventure.

That’s what it was. And it was all culminating with our teammates of far away, who would unite with us and complete the story, complete the trek. I hardly remember walking to meet them. All I remember is all those beautiful, smiling faces. I remember thinking, “They’ve changed . . .” But so had we, and we all knew that we were the same. We spent the next ten minutes trying to hug them to death, but the trip made them too strong for that. We were oblivious to all around us for that time, the spectators didn’t exist, neither did the stage, nor the speakers, nor the trek, really. We were all just long lost friends of the best sort, together again. That’s how I know the trip was a success, because we cared for it so much, it was such a part of us, we didn’t have to think about it. We were the trek.

We had only really just begun, when we dragged ourselves apart for the wonderful speakers. I kept looking at the other team, thinking, “Gosh they’re amazing!” And they are. In meeting their eyes, I knew we couldn’t wait for more hugs and stories. We were all presented with walking sticks to commemorate our journey (which were a big hit with Sottie and Keeper), and after a group photo session, we were allowed to mingle. How we mingled! And talked to our friends we barely knew yet loved as much as our own team members, for indeed, after we joined, we were one team.
At dinner, I met Cathy’s parents and spoke to lots of other people we had known, and were able to join us on this historic event. Michele and I swapped stories for a while, then I ended up by a lantern with Jessica, who was also trying to stay warm. We were soon joined by Ravi who gave us a workout in laughter. We agreed we felt bad for Team North who were packing up their trailer that night, but we were too cold, and didn’t want to get in the way. We joined other people around the fire and took turns telling stories and singing late into the night. The cold finally drove us Southerners to our beds, for our last night of sleeping in our tents.
for Friday, September 27
North South Both




Biographical
•
Team: South
Jacob MacLeod
Jake hikes through the sandstone wonderland of the Wave formation in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. Where's your hat, Jake?

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List of All Journal Entries
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Saturday, September 28
Jacob MacLeod
National Public Lands Day
   >> more...

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Friday, September 27
Jacob MacLeod
Together Again!!
   >> more...

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Thursday, September 26
Jacob MacLeod
Our Last Full Day
   >> more...

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Sunday, September 22
Jacob MacLeod
Letter to My Family
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Thursday, September 5
Jacob MacLeod
My Bird List for the Trek
   >> more...

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Sunday, August 18
Jacob MacLeod
I Got It!!
   >> more...

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Thursday, August 15
Jacob MacLeod
Exelsior
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Monday, August 12
Jacob MacLeod
The Lesson at Eagle Peak
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Sunday, August 11
Jacob MacLeod
Snow Lake
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Thursday, August 8
Jacob MacLeod
"Attack of the Nine-Million Flies!"
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Sunday, August 4
Jacob MacLeod
Backpacking at Last
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Friday, August 2
Jacob MacLeod
El Paso and Back
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Thursday, August 1
Jacob MacLeod
A Rocky Place
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Wednesday, July 31
Jacob MacLeod
Day 1 Highlight
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Wednesday, July 31
Jacob MacLeod
The Trek Begins
   >> more...

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Tuesday, July 30
Jacob MacLeod
To the Mexican Border
   >> more...

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Sunday, July 28
Jacob MacLeod
Training Week
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