This hitch began on our home-turf. We set up camp at our original Hitch 1 campsite on the south side of Golden Valley. We’ve been around long enough now that instead of monitoring sites that were constructed by previous crews, we are revisiting our own work to ensure that it is holding up. We did some monitoring of the southern fence-line to make sure it was intact and to put in some step-overs to allow foot-traﬃc to enter wilderness.
There were some firsts on this hitch, despite being so far along in the season. We had our first campfire, which was started with a combination of ﬂint, steel, and cheat grass. We ate haggis (vegan haggis to be fair) for the first time. For some of us it was also our first time visiting Joshua Tree National Park.
We continued the removal of the barbed wire fence in Grass Valley. The days were long and we lost another trailer to the bumpy roads, but we managed to make over a thousand dollars in returns from the scrap yard. We developed a relationship with the workers at Golden Empire Salvage Yard as we returned day after day to drop off our spikey loads of barbed wire. We will eventually be donating that money to a charity.
We also got to take part in a Leave No Trace Trainer course that was set in Joshua Tree National Park. We rolled over to Yucca Valley to temporarily occupy the Wildcorps house and their orange shag carpet. Over the course of 3 days we learned all about the principles of Leave No Trace and got to go on a delightful hike led by Darren and Jamie. We each presented on one of the 7 Leave No Trace principles and learned a good deal about teaching techniques and strategies.
Overall it was a great hitch. Be sure to admire the only recorded photo of Dave smiling featured below.