Hitch four got off to a very exciting start for the Rands Crew. The ﬁrst two days were spent doing outreach to Off Highways Vehicle riders. For many of us it was our ﬁrst exposure to OHV users and quite the cultural experience. We passed out maps and permits to educate the riders about staying on designated routes and the area of critical concern. The area of critical concern is the area most highly populated by the endangered species, the Desert Tortoise in the Rands Mountains. The crew were able to explore new parts of the Rands during the outreach and get a better grasp of their management area. Two lucky Randies (Ju and Alex) got to take a helicopter ride and get an aerial view of the Rands.
After the holiday weekend was over and most of the OHV riders had headed home, we set out into the ﬁeld. It was warm and sunny the ﬁrst few days but as the week went on the frigid northern winds picked up. The crew experienced our windiest hitch yet and with any luck the windiest we’ll experience. It was heard that this was the highest the winds had been in the last twenty years and that it was blowing in from Santa Anna. As the winds picked up the crew worked on (with a couple dozen layers of clothing of course)! Although it can be very diﬃcult to carry a large pile of sticks, which act as a sail, while the wind is trying to blow you over. At night we hunkered down in our kitchen tent playing UNO and discovered our new favorite crew meal…Tempeh Ruben Sandwiches! Mmmm. Thousand Island dressing and sauerkraut! Delicious! Jamie saved our lives one terrifying evening. Now out of the ﬁeld and back in our home with walls we are proud to report that we restored four incursions this hitch. To break that down into numbers we restored a total of 700 square meters and planted 125 vertical mulch plants. The Randies are happy to be home but excited for next hitch, especially for our ATV training, when we ﬁnally get to take to the desert trails. Another highlight of our hitch was crew member Ju’s 23rd birthday. In celebration there was pizza, deliciously made red velvet cake, and a homemade desert tortoise piñata (complete with batted eyelashes, a psychedelic shell, and of course, Ju’s favorite dessert… candy)!
Till next time!
The Rands Crew