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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: North
Dana Bell
Sunday, September 22
Green River to Flaming Gorge Campground

This morning was again cold and all of the grass around the tent area was coated in hard frost.

By 8:40 we were in our canoes and for our last day paddling down the Green River. Our first treat was a doe and fawn crossing the river just in front of the canoes. The fawn had to actually swim and due to the current arrived at the bank after it’s mother. It just had to be saying, “Hey, mom, wait for me!” We also saw two large herds of pronghorn, and the usual great blue herons and assorted unidentified hawks. Rob and Paul, in the lead for most of the morning, saw a beaver and three river otters.

Our eight-mile morning, which we could have knocked off easily in two hours, stretched to over eleven miles and it wasn’t until 12:00 that we finally reached our pick-up point. In the last two miles the river broadened out and the current slowed. Often we were in less than a foot of water and had to be careful of mud and sand shoals. Beyond the white walls lining the river towering red buttes announced our entry into the Flaming Gorge area.

After we dropped off the canoes (still many miles above the dam) and said good-by to Chris, we were treated to a ride down the river on a jet boat (that wouldn’t go very fast) to the boat ramp at the Flaming Gorge Campground. The boat ramp area and campground are excellent. And, again we have received special, and much appreciated, treatment. The campground is closed for the year but been reopened just for us. So we have these great shade structures, picnic benches, scattered greasewood trees, fire rings, and a real restroom with flushing toilets and a shower for our two-night stay here.

Our initial stop in camp allowed just enough time to set up tents and grab a cold drink before setting out for an afternoon touring the Greater Red Creek Area of Environmental Concern (ACEC.) With us was Terry Del Bene, Archeologist and historian, Chris Durham, Wildlife Biologist, Terry Tezak, Fire Specialist, Thor Stephenson, Range Specialist, and John Henderson, Fisheries Biologist. The ACEC is principally important as the drainage area for the last native cutthroat trout populations.

Our first stop was at the gravesite of Malinda Armstrong, 1834 to 1852, who died while returning to Texas from Oregon on the Cherokee Trail. I was surprised to learn that the Cherokees were the most acculturated of all the native tribes, had been gold miners in George prior to being forced to Oklahoma, owned slaves, and brought those slaves with them to the new territory. The Cherokee Trail was the “main highway” from Austin, Texas to Salt Lake City, Utah from 1850 to about 1870. In Cherokee journals the writers express both surprise and fear when meeting up with the Wyoming native people.

We passed through the Sheep Mountain (Summer, 2000) fire area. Environmentally this was a good fire allowing natural cycling of plant communities. The fire removed climax old juniper whose root systems greatly reduced available water to other plants and the water table. Recovery beginning with native grass is providing better forage for wildlife and allowing more water to pass down to the water table evidenced by reappearing springs. The fire started by a lightening strike burned over an area of 35,000 acres. During a one-hour period the fire raged over seven miles. However, the same winds that pushed the fire also drove it at such a rate that the fire leaped over some areas leaving eight to nine thousand acres of unburned patches.

The road through the ACEC wound up along Coyote Creek in a little canyon where we spotted at least 100 mule deer including does, fawns and antlered bucks. At the highest point of our drive, at about 9,000 feet on a windswept ridge overlooking the Red Creek Basin, we stopped to view a religious stone circle and alter of the native people. We carefully avoided stepping within the circle where, according to Terry, the people would pray and fast and essentially be within the spirit world.

This evening John, Chris, and Terry joined us for dinner. And Terry again entertained (and informed) us with tales of the Cherokee Trail, the California Gold Rush, the Miners 10 Commandments, and “the miners song.”

DO THEY MISS ME AT HOME

Do they miss me at home – do they miss me?
‘T would be an assurance most dear,
To know that this moment some loved one,
Were saying I wish he were here;
To feel that the group at the fireside
Were thinking of me as I roam,
Oh yes, ‘t would be joy beyond measure
To know that they missed me at home.

When twilight approaches, the season
That ever is sacred to song,
Does some one repeat my name over,
And sign that I trrry so long?
And is there a chord in the music
That’s missed when my voice is away,
And a chord in each heart that awaketh
Regret at my wearisome stay?

Do they set me a chair near the table
When ev’ning’s home pleasure are nigh,
When the candles are lit in the parlor,
And the stars in the calm azure sky?
And when the “good nights” are repeated,
And all lay them down to their sleep,
Do they think of the absent, and waft me
A whispered “good night” when they weep?

Do they miss me at home – do they miss me,
At morning, at noon, or at night?
And lingers one gloomy shade round them
That only my presence can light?
Are joys less invitingly welcome,
And pleasures less hale than before,
Because one is missing from the circle,
Because I am with them no more?

A fat white full moon has risen and the four, butte formations that watch over our Gorge campground are sharply silhouetted against the moon lit sky. From the Journey, dana
for Sunday, September 22
North South Both




Biographical
•
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
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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
   >> more...

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Saturday, September 14
Dana Bell
   >> more...

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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
   >> more...

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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
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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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