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 The Trek: Media Center

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Monday, August 19, 2002
American Frontiers Trekkers Check In!
Trekkersí Journal Entries Provide Glimpse of Excitement and Hardships of Historic Border-to-Border Trek

ALBUQUERQUE, NM, August 19, 2002 - In a first-of-its-kind border-to-border journey of Americaís public lands, eight trekkers and 20 support team members are learning about the ups and downs of living on, in, and off the land they love.

Conceived and planned by the Albuquerque, NM-based Public Lands Interpretive Association, American Frontiers: A Public Lands Journey is the incredible journey by two teams of trekkers - one team beginning at the border of Mexico and New Mexico, and the other team at the border of Canada and Montana - who are traveling exclusively along public lands from July 31 to Sept. 27, when the teams will meet together in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Reports from the Trek:

Each adventurer is keeping an online journal that is updated regularly at www.americanfrontiers.net. Along with entries that include the teamsí adventures of the day, photos straight from the trek are also available in a downloadable format. Some examples:

ìIt took me about 45 minutes of hard scrambling to get to the top, and there was no way to get to the headwall from there. It would be too exposed for us to travel that way so I relayed the info to Jimmy who was down the slope a bit. I made my way back down which was harder than going up and rejoined the group.

At this point we were left with no other choice but to drop down to the talus slope and climb back up when we reached the headwall. Once we got to the wall we decided to climb between the wall and the washout. The climb was about 800 ft of scrambling ,soon we were above treeline and I was loving it!

I was really glad that no one was complaining especially since they might not have been so comfortable ."Welcome to my world" I said to the group as we reached the top of the wall.

-Rob Carlo, North trek team member
Taken from Robís Aug. 4 journal entry. For the complete entry and spectacular photos from the trek, click on http://www.americanfrontiers.net/journals/RobertCarlo.php

The diversity of public lands is astounding. On one hand we have grandiose national parks and monuments and on the other have pieces of rangeland and desert. From popular majestic wonders to desolation. From easy-to-travel playgrounds to harsh impenetrable landscapes.

It's the extremes I love. Everything inbetween is quite marvelous too but the
extremes paint the most impressive pictures and give us new and exciting things to think about.


-more-


American Frontiers Trekkers Check In / Page 2

For example, the panorama from the summit of a Glacier Park summit is as impossible to describe as a sunset. But each of us has our own way to describe such a wonder, whether we know it or not, in mind and spirit.

Another example, this one from the scrub oak forest of the Gila Forest foothills. Harsh and impenetrable, this landscape repels people because of the difficulties of traveling through it. Yet to take the time to move through the land, foot by scraping foot, conjures a rich thought.

Repelling human intrusion is its best way to save itself from being loved to death. By the virtue of being what it is it saves itself. How can we not love that?

My wife, a shower, a steak, and a soak in a hot tub, these are the things that swim my mind as I reach to turn off the light.

-Jan Nessett, South trek team member
Taken from Janís Aug. 6 journal entry. For the complete entry and photos, click on http://www.americanfrontiers.net/journals/JanNesset.php

My friend Dianne sent an email that the Dean finally signed my dissertation and my ten copies were on their way to be bound. Lori cooked chicken noodle soup, and we had cake. Lots of toasts were made to me for finishing my Doctor of Education degree. My graduation is set for August 15. Of course I will miss my hooding.

During the night I was awakened by something trying to pull my backpack
from under my tent rainflap. I hit the side of the tent with my fist and yelled. It didn't stop pulling until I turned on a light. whatever it was walked to the front of my tent, then walked away. I didn't sleep much after that. Lori thinks it was a raccoon.

-Kay Gandy, South support trek team member
Taken from Kayís Aug. 8 journal entry. For the complete entry and photos, click on http://www.americanfrontiers.net/journals/view.php?newsid=1028852942,80500,&trekker=KayGandy.php&team=S

The trekkers are traveling the public lands route via hiking, mountain biking, Honda ATVs, horseback, motorboats, and more. The trek is being sponsored by a combination of public and private partners, including the Departments of Interior and Agriculture, National Geographic Society (www.nationalgeographic.com/geographyaction), the Bureau of Land Management, American Honda, the Coleman Company, and others, in order to educate Americans about the importance and grandeur of the nationís vast public lands and waters.

American Frontiers is a public awareness campaign designed to educate Americans about the value, relevancy and role of public lands, with a goal of keeping these lands in public trust.


MEDIA NOTE: The trek is open to media; a limited number of credentials are available. To interview Lisa Madsen, Executive Director of the Public Lands Interpretive Association, or any of the trek team members, or to join the trek for an hour or for a day or a night, contact Debbie Payton at (404) 245-8500. Credential request forms are available online at www.americanfrontiers.net and can be emailed to dpayton3@msn.com.


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