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Thursday, November 7, 2002

A Day At Earth Analytic's Home
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Jan and Wetherbee review the trek route.

Jan and Wetherbee review the trek route.

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Offices of Earth Analytic, the American Frontiers mappers.

Offices of Earth Analytic, the American Frontiers mappers.
Courtesy Jan Nesset

Earth Analytic, the Santa Fe, New Mexico-based company that specializes in geographic information systems, was of huge importance to the American Frontiers effort. Without Wetherbee Dorshow and his staff of “techies,” I am doubtful of the trekkers' ability to pull off the huge task of crossing the country entirely on public lands.

But we did, thanks in large part to the mapping and GIS/GPS support provided by Earth Analytic (www.earthanalytic.com). Like the American Frontiers team, Earth Analytic volunteered its efforts. But unlike the American Frontiers team, Earth Analytic couldn't afford to spend 60 days away from its day-to-day business. As such, there were gaps when Earth Analytic could not be with the team. Overhead and salaries needed tending to back in Santa Fe so the gaps were necessarily spent satisfying clients at there. When Earth Analytic was with us, however, we trekkers had a much easier time of navigating in the field by using the maps created in the tech trailer and the routes programmed into our GPS units.

There are a lot of people to thank – Wetherbee, William, Hollis, Brenda, Amanda, et al – all of whom we greatly appreciate.

Lisa Madsen, executive director of the Public Lands Interpretive Association, emailed to ask if I could travel to Santa Fe to help Wetherbee finalize the details of the southern route. The details of the route will be built into a map and a website so all interested people could have access to the day-by-day movement of the team.

Of course, I said, and made arrangements to travel yesterday and work with Earth Analytic today.

Departing yesterday at noon-15, I arrived in Santa Fe a quick four hours and 216 miles later. En route I traveled through the beautiful Carson National Forest. I’d been through the Forest twice earlier this year to get to Wheeler Peak, New Mexico’s highest mountain (13,161 feet). I had traveled to climb it but both times I was turned away: once by deep snows and inclement weather, and another time because the Forest was closed because of fire danger. I’m hoping the third time will be a charm.

But this trip, rather than heading east from a point south of Chama, I continued south toward Santa Fe, through an entirely new section of the Carson Forest. The Carson Forest has 1.5 million acres, of which 86,193 acres are wilderness, and 300 miles of recreational trails. It’s a great place to explore. The region’s hunting seasons are in full swing, so I’m surprised to see two large mule deer bucks chase does across the highway. But the rut makes bucks go crazy for love, so I’m not that surprised.

Arriving at a high spot just north of Santa Fe I got my first glimpse of the capital of New Mexico. I had to double-take because the town blends well with the forest. Its natural stealth comes from adobe, which has been used to construct the entire city. The city of 62,000 is also much larger than I had expected.

Wetherbee and the gang are doing well and busy as can be. Hollis and Brenda have moved on to other things but not William. He’s there, as well as Baranika and Eric. They all say hi to the American Frontiers gang.

Had I walked into the Earth Analytic building and seen plush offices I would have been disappointed. But the Earth Analytic work space is more of a place than a bunch of offices. The work stations are gathered to the west side of the space, which thanks to high ceilings can be described as a large garage. In fact, an old Chevy hot rod is sitting pretty in the middle of the area and the two Earth Analytic tech trailers are parked in an “L” shape at the east side of the space. The American Frontiers decals and posters still cling to the trailers. There’s a loft area with a bed. On the walls are cork boards, posters, a calendar with a photo of Bob Marley, and documents showing degrees and courses taken. In the corner of Wetherbee’s space is his walking stick, awarded to him at the Public Lands Day event in Salt Lake City.

And Wetherbee, the man who put so much into the American Frontiers effort, is undoubtedly in charge. His emails say he’s the Principal of his work force, but he’s also the man with the vision and smarts to keep everything and everybody on task. He’s an amazing man.

Despite the business of making money and moving forward with new ideas to progress his company, Wetherbee devoted the entire day to helping me finalize the southern route. He patiently showed me how to navigate the software program, a solution that allowed Wetherbee to work on other projects while I worked on the route. But whenever I needed him he gave me the attention I needed.

I had hoped that more of the data would have included the tracks (actual route) that I had diligently collected every day in the Garmin GPS units. There were some but not many, so I from memory had to go back through nearly every day of the 60-day Journey. I liked it, however, because it forced me to think of the team and how we negotiated our way from Point A to B. Sometimes I had to think of specific footsteps and how those footsteps crossed our public lands.

My mind crossed through the days and the particulars of those days like sand in a stream. My mind flowed from seeing Richard holding a part from the undercarriage of a vehicle to Cathy stepping onto the summit of Mt. McClede on to Julie, just a speck in the distance, swimming in Lake Powell. I could feel the sweat of the hot New Mexico deserts and the chill of the high Uinta nights. I felt rocks fill my shoes and my butt the saddle on Dolly, my ride through the Aldo Leopold Wilderness.

Meanwhile, the Earth Analytic team constructed a business letter. William and Baranika forged on with the requirements of the letter, and Wetherbee, like a conductor of a symphony, said yes and no, or to keep that thought but add this. That team, smart and creative, is going places.

At 5 p.m. it was time for me to go some place, too – home. I had the option of staying the night but I was perky and anxious to see my wife. There are some details to finish on the route but Wetherbee and I will do that via email. Thank God for the electronic age.

Just 3 Ĺ hours and 265 miles later, I arrived back home. I went west then north. I had no interest in retracing my route from Durango to Santa Fe. Gotta see new stuff! Four lanes and a zippy speed limit allowed me to arrive home faster despite the longer distance.

American Frontiers made history by moving efficiently across public lands, and in no small part because of Earth Analytic.

Thank you, Earth Analytic!


Jan Nesset




List of All Dispatches
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Thursday, October 2, 2003
A Visit to Valles Caldera National Preserve
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Saturday, September 20, 2003
American Frontiers Reunion 2003
A year ago this September two groups of volunteers met in Wasatch-Cache National Forest outside of Salt Lake City, Utah in...
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Thursday, September 18, 2003
Team Joining Anniversary
It's hard to believe that it's been a year since Team North and Team South completed blazing the American Frontiers Trail....
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Monday, August 4, 2003
Team South Trekker Cathy Kiffe Takes New Job
This week a very prestigious private school contacted me about taking their Learning Center Director's position. I hestitated...
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Saturday, May 24, 2003
All Who Wander Don’t Get Lost--Jan Nesset
For 3,000 miles the Garmin Vista GPS unit guided the American Frontiers’ teams on their journeys across America’s...
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Tuesday, May 20, 2003
Kodak Comes Through—Again!
Eastman Kodak Co. was one of the sponsors of last summer’s American Frontiers Trek. Max HQ One-Time-Use cameras, donated...
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Thursday, April 24, 2003
Kay Gandy Keeps On Trekkin'
South Team member Dr. Kay Gandy has been accepted in the Fulbright-Hayes Seminars Abroad Program. She will be attending...
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Thursday, April 24, 2003
National Geographic Video of the Public Lands Journey Is Finished
Kevin Burnett at National Geographic Society’s audio-visual division has created a fifty-five minute-long video of...
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Friday, April 4, 2003
Goodbye, Good Luck, and Thank You!
Rodger Schmitt Retires from BLM
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Sunday, March 9, 2003
Kay Gandy Presents at Conference
If you haven’t been to New Orleans, then you really should try to go. The “Crescent City” has great food,...
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Saturday, March 1, 2003
Kay Gandy Treks East to West
Tomorrow is March 1st, and already there are signs of spring in Louisiana. I saw dogwoods and forsythia blooming, and hundreds...
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Monday, February 24, 2003
PLIA RECEIVES 2003 PARTNERS IN EXCELLENCE AWARD
Public Lands Interpretive Association (PLIA) was the honored recipient of the first joint national BLM—Forest Service...
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Tuesday, January 28, 2003
Sam Altman from Team South Writes
The weather in Kentucky is snow and more expected...we just heard from Bob Hammond...he was on his way to CO but was redirected...
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Monday, January 20, 2003
North Team Trekker Charlotte Talley Writes . . .
Here is a quick update on me since I have gotten back.
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Wednesday, January 15, 2003
Mike Murphy (Team North) Reports
Dear America:
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Wednesday, January 8, 2003
Public Lands in Mississippi
The National Geographic Public Lands map arrived in the mail. I opened it, admiring the greens, golden yellows, and tans...
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Tuesday, January 7, 2003
New Job for Jessica Terrell (Team South)
Perseverance really does pay off! Three years ago, I moved to Missouri with no job and a brand-new biology degree. Far from...
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Tuesday, December 31, 2002
A Public Land Experience
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Friday, December 27, 2002
Gen Green (Team North) Writes
I thought I'd mention that I will start a new job in mid January. I will be setting up the GIS program for the Nature Conservancy...
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Friday, December 20, 2002
Bob Ashley (Team North) Reports
The American Frontiers trekkers may have finished their 3,000-mile journey, but the public is still discovering the events...
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Thursday, December 5, 2002
Student's Letter to Cathy Kiffe

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Wednesday, December 4, 2002
Trekker Cathy Kiffe Writes . . .
Gray and Beautiful
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Monday, December 2, 2002
Letter from Geography Student Shawn Kessler

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Monday, December 2, 2002
Jake MacLeod of Team South Writes . . .
While I was away on the American Frontiers Odyssey, my sister had a
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Sunday, December 1, 2002
Bob Van Deven's (Team North) Favorite Public Land
The following is a brief article about my favorite chunk of public lands, the Galiuro Mountains. The Galiuros are located...
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Sunday, December 1, 2002
Jan Nesset's Latest Trek
Canyonlands in December
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Tuesday, November 26, 2002
Jan Nesset in Snow Country
Snow Raspberry Bounty
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Monday, November 25, 2002
South Team Member Jessica Terrell Reports
National Trails Symposium
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Sunday, November 24, 2002
South Team Trekker Julie Overbough
The last time I saw Julie Overbough was on National Public Lands Day in Salt Lake City and at that time she looked like a...
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Sunday, November 17, 2002
Trekker Nesset Keeps on Trekking
The Bisti Badlands
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Friday, November 15, 2002
Jan Nesset writes . . .
Public Land Flows Through ItAt the outskirts of Durango where I figure Iím a half hour or so from my planned takeout in town,...
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Tuesday, November 12, 2002
Letter from Brent E. Garvin
Jan,
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Sunday, November 10, 2002
Richard Tyrrell: A Visit to Wharton State Park
It is a sunny Sunday afternoon and my wife Marcia and I are riding our horses in Wharton State Park in south central New...
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Thursday, November 7, 2002
A Day At Earth Analytic's Home
Earth Analytic, the Santa Fe, New Mexico-based company that specializes in geographic information systems, was of huge importance...
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Thursday, November 7, 2002
Dave Mensing Selected for Award
The American Trails organization, the principal non-profit organization representing federal, state, local, and commercial...
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Sunday, November 3, 2002
Using the Pictures
Yesterday I spent the day in a Math workshop. Ughhhh. I would rather, of course, be learning about forests, wolves, condors,...
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Tuesday, October 29, 2002
News from Kay Gandy
Kay Gandy reports that the recent National Council for Geographic Education conference in Philadelphia was a great success....
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Monday, October 28, 2002
Some Things Never Change
Revisiting an area comes with new discoveries. In September, on our first attempt at hiking a 10-mile loop in the Grand Staircase-Escalante...
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Sunday, October 27, 2002
Back To The Wave
I envy whoever first discovered “The Wave” in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona. The spectacular...
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Wednesday, October 23, 2002
Settling Back . . . Sort of
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Friday, October 18, 2002
Rush, rush, rush
I sit here at a red light on the main thorough fare of Lafayette. Cars, zoom, rumble, and spew fumes, dart from one lane...
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Saturday, October 12, 2002
Kay's Songs
Here are the words to the two songs Kay Gandy sang at the farewell dinner at Snowbird: "American Frontiers Blues" and the...
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Wednesday, October 9, 2002
Home Again
We are back at school after the cancellation of school for the past week thanks to Lili.
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Monday, October 7, 2002
The Thing About Summits
I live in a place surrounded by both mountains and desert. To the north of Durango, Colorado, the San Juan Mountains rise...
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Saturday, September 28, 2002
Happy Trails To You
Dick Bass is a mountaineer, an author, a developer of ski areas, and an overall good fellow who, although in his seventies,...
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Saturday, September 28, 2002
National Public Lands Day Celebrates End of Journey
Salt Lake City
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Friday, September 27, 2002
The Teams Meet
Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Utah.
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Wednesday, September 25, 2002
National Landscape Conservation System
The 264 million acres of BLM-managed public lands represent a priceless legacy and a long-term investment for the American...
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Monday, September 23, 2002
The Big Bone Yard
Just about anywhere you go in Utah, sooner or later you’ll encounter the fossilized remains of ancient life on earth....
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Sunday, September 22, 2002
Sand Dunes in Wyoming? You Betcha!
The Greater Sand Dunes are part of the larger Killpecker dune field, the largest active dune field in North America. This...
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Saturday, September 21, 2002
7000 Years in Southwestern Wyoming
Although southwestern Wyoming has never supported large populations of people, archeological evidence shows that people have...
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Friday, September 20, 2002
"Fear Finds Within Them No Resting Place"
In 1822, an advertisement appeared in a St. Louis newspaper: Team North is traveling through Bridger country-- the Green...
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Wednesday, September 18, 2002
Three Cheers for Trona
Although the lands around the Green River in Wyoming have been used as travel routes by various groups of people over the...
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Wednesday, September 18, 2002
River of the Prairie Chicken
Each fall, about this time, most birds start getting restless, collecting in great flocks, and looking into the skies to...
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Tuesday, September 17, 2002
A Gift From the Past
The casual traveler traveling through southwestern Wyoming might think that nothing ever happens here, but they would be...
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Monday, September 16, 2002
Westward Ho!
Cast your mind back some 170 years, when the United States was a young country, looking west at their newly acquired domain,...
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Sunday, September 15, 2002
A Tribute
"What do you do all day?" my friend asks the rancher who invited us in for a glass of clear, well water."I'm just here."...
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Saturday, September 14, 2002
Wild Horse & Burro Adoption
Teton County Fairgrounds in Jackson, WY was the site of todayŪs Adopt-A-Horse-or-Burro Program, sponsored by the Bureau of...
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Friday, September 13, 2002
Wanted Dead (Not Alive): Noxious Weeds
One of the most pervasive and dangerous problems facing public lands managers right now is how to control the deadly spread...
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Friday, September 13, 2002
Searching for Team South!
I had planned to meet Team South on Lake Powell and while I had quite an adventure, things didn't quite work out as I had...
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Thursday, September 12, 2002
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon on September 9, 1996, President William Jefferson Clinton announced that by the authority...
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Wednesday, September 11, 2002
A Special Day and a Special Encounter
September 11th was a solemn day for all Americans and the North Team couldn't help but feel preoccupied as they loaded their...
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Tuesday, September 10, 2002
Wet Saddles and Muddy Trails
The Northern Team rolled into Grand Teton National Park on a rainy Thursday afternoon and pitched their tents in the Gros...
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Monday, September 9, 2002
Classrooms for the Nation
Whether you are fascinated by the mysteries of history, the story of fossils so minute you must use a microscope to view...
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Friday, September 6, 2002
Vermillion Cliffs National Monument
North of the Grand Canyon, stretching from the Colorado River on the east to St. George on the west lies what is commonly...
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Wednesday, August 28, 2002
Down the Colorado
When Sara Hatch of Hatch River Expeditions generously offered to meet the hikers from Team South in the bottom of the Grand...
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Monday, August 26, 2002
Great Job, Coconino!
I wanted to make all of you aware of the outstanding job that the Coconino National Forest did to prepare for and host the...
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Friday, August 23, 2002
Trekkers Inaugurate New Section of Continental Divide Trail
When the Trekkers arrived at Pipestone Pass, on MT Hwy 2, they participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on a newly-constructed...
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Friday, August 23, 2002
Trekkers on the Coconino National Forest
The trekkers on the Coconino:
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Thursday, August 22, 2002
Trekkers Ride Motorcycles
Trekkers ride Motorcycles as part of Journey
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Tuesday, August 20, 2002
Trip Leader's Notes
All expeditions, treks or other adventures are only as successful as the supporting structure that allows them to move ahead....
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Monday, August 19, 2002
The Battle of Big Dry Wash
During the spring of 1882 a small group of White Mountain Apache warriors, sixty at the most, came out of their wilderness...
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Saturday, August 17, 2002
A Scorched Land
APACHE SITGREAVES NATIONAL FOREST, Arizona--The view from the top of Juniper Lookout Tower is 360 degrees but it is 360 degrees...
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Friday, August 16, 2002
Adventure in Helena National Forest
The support team arrived in town on the 13th and were a very pleasant group to work with. We provided what office space we...
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Monday, August 12, 2002
Report from Gila National Forest
For the Wilderness Roundtable on August 7th, about 32 attendees participated. Attendees represented the diversity of southwest...
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Saturday, August 10, 2002
Team North Spreads the Good Word
Team North has been delighted with the first two educational programs they staged to let people know about their journey...
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Thursday, August 8, 2002
Team South: The First Days
The American Frontiers Journey, a trek from the Mexican border to the
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Monday, August 5, 2002
Entering Flathead National Forest
District Ranger Jimmy Deherrera and myself met the trekkers at
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Saturday, August 3, 2002
Lake Valley Reception
Lake Valley, NM--The monsoons have arrived. All afternoon, while PLIA Executive Director Lisa D. Madsen and I drove down...
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Saturday, August 3, 2002
Northern Team backpacks through Glacier National Park
Team North is making their way through Glacier National Park, enjoying both spectacular mountain scenery and friendly people....
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Friday, August 2, 2002
Historical Talk at Lake Valley Ghost Town
The Southern Team traveled today to a boom town gone bust-- Lake Valley New Mexico. There they visited the museum, maintained...
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Friday, August 2, 2002
Interactive Map Now Available
This interactive map is updated regularly with GIS data, pictures, video, and other memorable moments from this great adventure....
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Thursday, August 1, 2002
Warfare and Settlement on the Rio Grande
While the American Frontiers trekkers blaze a new route through the Chihuahuan desert of southern New Mexico, they arenít...
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Wednesday, July 31, 2002
Trek Teams Begin Their Journey; DC Kickoff Event Attended By Interior & Agriculture Secretaries
This morning, at 7 am MST, as the sun began to warm the Chihuahuan desert soil and melt the snows of Glacier National Park,...
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Wednesday, July 31, 2002
Welcome to the Chihuahuan Desert
The extreme southern portion of the American Frontiers Trek route starts at the US-Mexico border near Las Cruces, New Mexico....
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Saturday, January 1, 2000
Free Public Lands Map & Book Available From PLIA
As part of the continuing effort to raise awareness of and to provide education about our public lands, PLIA is offering...
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