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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Jan Nesset
Sunday, October 27
Back To The Wave
View
Christina Nesset explores the texture of the sandstone in The Wave.

Christina Nesset explores the texture of the sandstone in The Wave.
Courtesy Jan Nesset

View
Jan Nesset in The Wave. Check out the water!

Jan Nesset in The Wave. Check out the water!
Courtesy Christina Nesset

I envy whoever first discovered “The Wave” in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona. The spectacular swirling sandstone formations, located in a small and remote part of the north Coyote Buttes Wilderness Area within the monument, resemble the closest thing to nature’s magic that can be found in sandstone.
Its mesmerizing coral pink, pink, red, crèmes, and subdued cherry colors put the taste of berries in my mouth. The sight of its array of twisting sandstone cones gives an impression of swirled soft ice cream. No, you can’t eat The Wave but it is indeed a delicious place.
On September 5, the American Frontiers team has its opportunity to experience The Wave. Today with a walk-in permit in my hand I am back, this time with my wife, Chris, who does what nearly everybody I’ve seen do upon entering The Wave. Her mouth dropped so far that it was hard to see her smile. She tried desperately to explain what she was seeing but soon went quiet, instead running her hands along the lines of layered sandstone, exploring its texture.
The Wave has been sculpted mostly by wind, which has blasted smooth hallways through the base of the most exposed cones. There’s not a crease or an edge to be found here -- smooth and rounded is the name of the game.
I showed Chris where I had previously fallen while goofing off with my American Frontier team. Now she knows exactly where I received the small scar next to my left eye.
When the American Frontiers team visited The Wave the area was dry and warm although that afternoon we received a hard rain. Chris and I visited The Wave the day after a long hard rain had slammed the area the previous evening. We camped in the nearby BLM campground in that rain. Curious, I got up in the middle of the night to see that the small wash near the entrance of the campground was flashflooding.
The Wave, dry when I first explored it, was drenched today. The wet sandstone colors were richer, somewhat darker, than the September visit. Pools of fresh rainwater filled the hallways in The Wave.
Chris and I climbed above The Wave to a high point where Jacob MacLeod and I once stood looking down on the American Frontiers crew. While up there I guided my wife to the amphitheater discovered and explored by Jake and me. But this time Chris stood on top of the golden sand dune in the heart of the amphitheater while I took photographs. She undoubtedly was standing in Jake’s tracks.
Chris and I followed the sandstone ridge back, paralleling our route in. We checked out the dinosaur tracks that BLM’s Becky Hammond and Marcy Demillion had led us to in September. It was nice to be able to guide my wife directly to the tracks, which are located high on a sandstone slope across a wash to the northwest of The Wave. We even made some dinosaur track discoveries of our own by searching the area longer and harder than the American Frontiers team had time to do.
On the way out Chris commented on the route in, and how navigation to The Wave could be a problem for the navigationally challenged people. She’s right. The route to The Wave is not obvious and all the maps I’ve seen do not show a clear, easy-to-follow path to it. Personally I’m grateful for the lack of navigational aids but admit that my gratefulness is in part a result of my route-finding abilities, which are generally above average.
Chris remembered Rachael Tuller, the BLM employee who works at the Paria Plateau information center, saying to us when we picked up our permit that there’s a lot more to see in the area than The Wave. Chris suspects Rachael says that knowing that some people are unlikely to find their way to The Wave, which would be unfortunate.
For more information on fun things to do in the Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness Area and to apply for a permit, visit: www.az.blm.gov/paria/index2.html.
for Sunday, October 27
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
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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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