The Hitch of the Double Hack
- It is a silly thing when you think about it, really… Seeing how long you and your crew can keep a sack ﬁlled with sand in the air, using only your feet. That is the point of hacky sack though; little rules and a lot of movement make the game fun. There are a few things to shoot for when you play however, like getting a “hack.” Only after everyone takes part in keeping the bag up have you reached a single hack, accomplishing a basic goal of “hacky sack.” -
At the start of this hitch a goal was set, so lofty and seemingly unattainable that we joked of the day it would happen. This goal, so far out of the normal hackers reach, would change our game from amateur to professional faster than a single kick. We were aiming for a double hack. Everyone kicks the footbag twice before it hits the ground. Almost ludicrous to think such a goal could keep a 5 man crew occupied for the entirety of a 10 day work hitch, but it did. Sweat and groan, blood and moan, the group fought for something bigger than themselves. We saw the double hack as a plausible but hard goal, achievable only to a team who put in the effort and work. This discipline, more than the game itself, was the theme of DRC work hitch #8.
A similarly hard goal was set before the crew at the start of the hitch that, like hacky sack, would test the endurance and strength of our skills; to restore 1500 meters of trail with our tried and true vertical mulching. To put that distance into scale, think of 14 football ﬁelds laid end to end. Seems kinda far, right? Past crews this season hadn’t even broken into the quadruple digits yet, but our crew accepted the challenge. After all, our wonderful Project Leader offered an incentive worth working hard for, hot greasy pizza to whoever accomplished their restoration goal.
Our minds distraught while ﬁghting for the double hack during off time, and our bodies stiff and worn from days of busting tail at work, it seemed like both challenges would get the better of us. Twice the sack fell one short of a full double rotation, and six days into hitch we were still working on the same 3 restoration projects we started on. But the crew kept pluggin’ away at them both. Motivation unwavering, we worked diligently as a team to complete our tasks. Inventive new methods like the “Restorawall Creosote” led to impressive gains in our work set and shouting jibberish to distract nerves improved our hacky sack ability.
Then it happened… the double hack. It was beautiful. The sack ﬂoating from one person’s foot to another, as time seemed to slow for the moment. Breathes were drawn and we all grew quiet, the wind whistling through desert branches and the soft slush of sack striking shoes were the only sounds present. As it reached the last, the air inside us came out through shouts of joy! It was day 7, and we had reached 1 of our 2 major goals.
With a giant boost of moral, the crew took to incursions with fury. We had 2 days of work left and we weren’t slowing down now! The double hack was ours, now for the 1500 meters! Not a thought was given to our aches as we put in our time at work. Every member facilitating the next while on the trails we worked. As the cold rain chilled us to our core on the ﬁnal day, we ﬁnished our last incursion and looked at our numbers to see where we ended. It wasn’t a miracle, it wasn’t luck, and it wasn’t even Cisco Houston who sang to us in our truck that affected the outcome. It was the hard work of Natalie Oberman, Riley Francis, Kyle Mcgovern, Tori Johnson, and I, Dan Maus that brought triumph over both goals.
Meters Restored – 1981
Vertical Mulch – 421
Restorasotes – 34
Double hacks- 3