The last hitch started off with a bang—well, more of a collective *thump* as gear and papers were set on the table to finish up the team’s Final Report and thoroughly clean up all the equipment from the season out in the field. Thankfully, this last push was made easier in part due to taking the time at the end of previous hitches (and spare time when stuck indoors as a result of bad weather) to start this process in advance with basic cleaning and brainstorming of how to put together the Final Report.
The next day the team was off to the Manchester Ranger Station to meet with our Forest Service contacts for a casual lunch (with some awesome pizza form Al Ducci’s Pizzeria) to share experiences and stories from the season, as well as present the Final Report to our contacts and the District Ranger, who then ceremoniously signed off on our TrACS paperwork!
The last two days of work for the season were a great send-off, as the team, having completed more trails than the Forest had originally hoped to collect TrACS data on (with time to spare), got to help out at the archaeological dig once more with Dave Lacey, as well as join the Forest’s fisheries staff out in the field for a day of electro-shocking fish to collect important population data.
With the season coming to a close, feelings were bittersweet, as Kayla and Lucas were looking forward to returning to college and Dan continuing his adventures with SCA on a leader team, but in doing so had to part ways with one another and the SCA Wilderness crew that still had another week of work left. In the end, the team takes comfort in knowing that the Green Mountain National Forest will still be here in Vermont, and will always be ready to greet them with open arms whenever they choose to return for a friendly visit.
Trails TrACS’d: 509618 ft (96.52 miles)
Additional Trails Hiked: 220881 ft (41.8 miles)