The Pre-Hitch Break: An action packed and “off the chain” combo break with the Umathrillaz kept the Umakillaz quite busy for the weekend before hitch. The two crews took Pendleton by storm and rocked the Umatilla together. It was a time of great joy.
Ah it was ﬁnally hitch three and the Umakillaz were ready to start their ﬁrst all log out mission in the Umatilla Forest. The journey to Moon Meadows and the surrounding trails would be one ﬁlled with cross-cut fun, but also one with a few surprises sprinkled in.
The ﬁrst few days were spent on Packsaddle Trail, a roughly ﬁve mile trail that tours past burns and mountainsides of the southern Umatilla. The crew had an intense few work days on Packsaddle and cut more than seventy logs in just two days, not bad for before Wednesday! Then came one of the ﬁrst trials of the trails…
Wagoner Gulch Trail was the next mission for the Umakillaz, a task that seams infeasible to some. Wagoner Gulch was only 4.3 miles, easy compared to the distance of Packsaddle right? WRONG. This trail is the steepest trail that these young trail workers had ever seen. Up and down the trail wove threw the Oregonian Mountains with extreme grade. The second day the lightning storm started to rolled in just as the Umakillaz got over the steep ridges, so they chose the path of safety out on another 7 mile trail, making an intense 12 hour Saturday. All along on the Gulch, a volunteer visitor by the name of Sean was along for the ride and kept up with the crew steadily with a positive outlook all the while.
The hitch of log out continued in this manner, chopping here and cross-cutting there, and the Umakillaz were enjoying the mission all the while. The past two weeks were full of intense work but physical and spiritual reward presented itself for the crew after each day. This crew is ready and willing for the next log out journey ahead.