Hitch number four brought us back into the undulating hills of Grass Valley. We arose every morning to the silhouettes of Joshua trees amidst a pink sky. The weather was inclement as usual – icy nights and windy days. Nonetheless we got a lot of work done and shared a lot of laughs and thoughtful conversation.
Our hitch began in conjunction with the beginning of OHV season and we saw countless dirt bikes, dune buggies, ATVs, and even some things that looked like golf carts. We heard the roar of engines and smelled gasoline more often than usual but overall their presence didn’t really affect our work very much.
Some of our best work (In my opinion, anyway) was done on a project to restore an illegal route into a foot path. We lined the trail with small rocks to guide foot traﬃc along and built top-notch creosote bushes to give it a generally inviting feel. We also got the opportunity to walk the full length of the wilderness along the road that our footpath funneled into. We found some signs of the infamous “skyline bandit,” an individual who has been troubling the BLM by putting up “Skyline Trail” signs along illegal routes.
Hitch involved a number of oddities and quirks as well as solid work. I found a strange orange bombshell (our worksite neighbors military lands), which we determined to have no present danger (fortunately). We also attended our first ever webinar and learned about the logistics of our Americorps award. We ate strange new foods. Our excess of persimmons provided us with the opportunity to make persimmon bread and cookies, which turned out to be delicious. For many of us this hitch was the first time ever eating barley or tempeh, and it turns out they aren’t that weird after all. No such luck for the beets.
Our new scheduling of the day left us with about an hour of extra time in the afternoon to eat delicious meals, play card games, and Kelsey’s catchphrase game. It also provided Stuart and Dave the opportunity to get to sleep extra early as they continue their pledge to never sleep in tents.
Till next time…