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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: North
Dana Bell
Sunday, August 25
My Tent
DAY 26: Salmonfly to Birch Creek Education Center, Dillon Ranger District, Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, Montana

MY TENT

Today was a very busy day of bushwhacking, ATVing, and 4WD. Departure time directly from the camp on all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) was set for 7:30 a.m. There was no problem of waking up at 6:00 as three owls hooting in the trees surrounding camp were joined by a brief serenade of coyotes. The tents, soaked from both the precious afternoon and late night rain have to be packed away wet as there is not time, sun or wind to dry them.

What fun to ride directly out of camp all decked out in our riding gear on five Honda Rincon ATVs provided by Matt Kershall, owner of the Butte Honda Dealership, and our guide for the day. The fifth ATV is for Kevin Burtnett, Producer/Photographer, Audiovisual Division, National Geographic Society. Kevin went through our Salt Lake City training with us but has spent previous Journey time with the South Team while Wayne was with us. We get to ride for about an hour through Bureau of Land Management (BLM) open sage land with wonderful outcroppings of rock and scattered pines. Then a quick change to hiker gear, the Support Team mounts our ATVs to transfer them to our next site, and we set out on one of our cross-country bushwhacking adventures. Of course, we have to climb then traverse a hillside before dropping sharply down to the waiting Support Team, ATVs, local riders from the Butte Mining City Trail Riders and Montana ATV Association and John Erickson, Recreational Planner for the Wise River Ranger District in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. The only excitement during our adventure is Rob filling his hand with cactus spines. Michelle, our EMT and one of the ATV transfer riders, doctored Robís hand, we changed back into riding gear, and away we went to ride up to the top of Storm Peak at about 7,400 feet. The trail up was great, lots of rocks, switchbacks, and off-camber to test our new ATV skills. Our two little Honda Pilots carried the Support Team as high up the peak as possible and then let them out to hike the rest of the way up to the Peak. The view just below the Peak was gorgeous - along with a huge blue sky we could see at least a 100 miles. We again handed over our ATVs to the Support Team, changed back into hiking gear, said good by to the all the riders, and set off with Elizabeth Barron, Recreational Planner for the Dillon Ranger District. Beautiful scenery and views (saw one coyote) as we hiked over two saddles and down into a river bottom where we were met by Dave Mensing. Elizabeth left us until the evening and the four of us finished (we thought) our seven miles of hiking for the day. Finally back to Daveís 4WD we started for camp and realized that we had one more, short bushwhack for the day. The hike was only about a quarter mile, down the bank from the road, across open sage land, and up a tall bank to the road again. Dave dropped us off; we scrambled down the bank, and surprise-surprise about a 10-foot wide fast running creek with no apparent easy crossing. Well, being as resourceful and determined as we are we lay a small dead tree trunk and a large branch between several boulders and playing tight-rope walkers walked across the creek without getting our boots one bit wet. Ten minutes later we were back up on the road and off for the Birch Creek Educational Center for the night. What a treat, bunk beds (real beds after 26 days on sleeping pads in tents), showers (gads, did we need them), flushing toilets, and a delicious hot dinner.

Now I want to talk a little about my tent - my space - my precious! When daily camps are set up all of our tents look alike a mushroom patch. Our Coleman tents are kind of goldíish and about 7 by 4 feet, held down and stretched out by 8 tent pegs. A folding, bendable tube, I call my snicker pole because it makes a snicker sound when you unfold or fold it, runs through a sleeve in the tent top and braced between the two side tent pegs bends up to form about a three foot ceiling. The tent is then covered by a very lightweight, waterproof fly (cover). Both the tent and the fly have side zippers for getting into or out of the tent. Within the tent is plenty of room for the self-inflating sleeping pad (actually pretty comfortable as long as you havenít pitched the tent on rocks), sleeping bag, daypack, and backpack. By the way, my Coleman (if you havenít already guessed Coleman is one of our major sponsors and really provided us with tons of good gear) sleeping bag is rated for zero degrees thank goodness. Being a native Southern Californian Iím a total wooze when it comes to being cold. And, not only do I have my soft, puffy sleeping bag but also top and bottom capolene long underwear and thick wool socks to keep toasty warm at night.

Everyone on the North Team is great about respecting each otherís privacy and space. But, we are still together all day, every day. The tent is our one place where we can retire to be by ourselves. So once set up and tucked into my sleeping bag Iím warm, dry and cozy as can be. From the Journey, dana
for Sunday, August 25
North South Both




Biographical
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Team: North
Dana Bell
Dana and Mike by a beaver dam.
Dana Bell is the Project Coordinator for the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation...
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List of All Journal Entries
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Monday, September 23
Dana Bell
   >> more...

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Sunday, September 22
Dana Bell
   >> more...

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Saturday, September 21
Dana Bell
   >> more...

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Thursday, September 19
Dana Bell
Seedskadee NWR
   >> more...

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Wednesday, September 18
Dana Bell
KEMMERER TO SEEDSKADEE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
   >> more...

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Monday, September 16
Dana Bell
SCALER CABIN TO WEEPING ROCK
   >> more...

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Sunday, September 15
Dana Bell
JACKSON TO SCALER CABIN
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Saturday, September 14
Dana Bell
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Friday, September 13
Dana Bell
   >> more...

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Thursday, September 12
Dana Bell
LITTLE GREYS RIVER TO BLIND BULL MINE TRAILHEAD
   >> more...

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Wednesday, September 11
Dana Bell
CLIFF CREEK TO LITTLE GREYS RIVER
   >> more...

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Tuesday, September 10
Dana Bell
KOA CAMPGROUND, WILSON, WY
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Monday, September 9
Dana Bell
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Sunday, September 8
Dana Bell
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Saturday, September 7
Dana Bell
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Thursday, September 5
Dana Bell
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Wednesday, September 4
Dana Bell
SUMMIT LAKE TO MADISON CAMPGROUND
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Tuesday, September 3
Dana Bell
BUFFALO CAMP TO SUMMIT LAKE
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Monday, September 2
Dana Bell
BLAIR LAKE TO BUFFALO CAMP
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Sunday, September 1
Dana Bell
SPRING CREEK TO BLAIR LAKE
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Saturday, August 31
Dana Bell
EAST CAMAS TO SPRING CREEK
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Friday, August 30
Dana Bell
DAY 31 - TABLE MOUNTAIN & MISTY OF KILKORE
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Thursday, August 29
Dana Bell
Shineberger to Old Beaver Campground, Dubois Ranger District, Targhee National Forest, Idaho
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Thursday, August 29
Dana Bell
LITTLE SHEEP CREEK TO SHINEBERGER
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Tuesday, August 27
Dana Bell
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Monday, August 26
Dana Bell
Camp Life and Lewis and Clark
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Sunday, August 25
Dana Bell
My Tent
   >> more...

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Saturday, August 24
Dana Bell
WILDLIFE DAY
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Thursday, August 22
Dana Bell
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Wednesday, August 21
Dana Bell
Day 22: Bushwhacking by Foot & Horse
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Tuesday, August 20
Dana Bell
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Monday, August 19
Dana Bell
COLD CREEK WATER & MICKEY
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Saturday, August 17
Dana Bell
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Friday, August 16
Dana Bell
FAMILY & HAPPY BIRTHDAY JON
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Monday, August 12
Dana Bell
SCAPEGOAT MOUNTAIN
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Monday, August 12
Dana Bell
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Sunday, August 11
Dana Bell
SENTINEL MOUNTAIN
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Saturday, August 10
Dana Bell
Sentinel Mountain
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Tuesday, August 6
Dana Bell
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Friday, August 2
Dana Bell
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Wednesday, July 31
Dana Bell
Get ready, get set, go!
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Tuesday, July 23
Dana Bell
First Journal Entry
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