Pre-hitch planning and food prep got started with some concern about our fellow corps members that were late-returning from a Death Valley camping weekend. None the less, tortilla making and bread baking was underway in our kitchen; members were hard at work (baking) in hopes of getting out in the field later in the day. We had some new menu ideas for this hitch: foods like kimbap, carrot soup, and cookies (they turned out delicious unintentionally from a new found recipe!)
Our late arriving team members showed up around 3pm. We all decided a good night’s rest would benefit us all before leaving bright and early the next morning.
On day two we arrived at last week’s same camp site where we dropped off our gear and went straight to a prior incursion that we had prepped last hitch. Both excited and motivated we got the incursion completed in a span in 3 hours and couldn’t wait to do more. Right down Road 65 we had an unexpected surprise waiting for us.-A long, hard, rigorous and jaw-dropping hill-climb. This job needed lots of work! There were many rock walls and water bars as well as chevrons; we all looked at one another, jumped into action with no hesitation. While Jack was off retrieving a CSA box we had our heads in the game, really working the project. Little did we know Jack was bringing a surprise visitor back to camp upon his return.
As we thought the project was wrapped up on the lower section, we soon learned there was more to do; we had just begun. Crew members were both hard at work on the top of the hill digging into what appeared to be almost solid rock, while others were putting the finishing texture touches on the lower half so there were no longer any traces of off-road vehicle paths. In the middle of our efforts, we heard loud yelling and saw someone jumping up and down on the middle of the hill. Apparently, a crew member spotted a large tarantula making its way over to him. Soon there was a rush of crew members crowding around the unexpected creature trying to study it.
Later in the evening we all found something to do in our off time waiting for our new guest.
When Jack returned with our Program Coordinator, Darren Gruetze, we greeted them with a great field desert of chocolate covered bananas, dried fruit and nuts.
The next day at work Darren and Jack led the charge on the other side of the hill that turned out to be steeper, longer and a lot more rocky than the prior day. We had to all take out berms and disguise the scars that were the result of over-use by off-highway vehicles. We worked on the other side of this incursion for the remaining time of our hitch. It was great to realize that after this hitch we had a few days off for Thanksgiving break!