July 1st arrived, so we had to say goodbye to our other half, the Umakillaz(Umatilla2). Then we went on our way to Walla Walla for pre-hitch duties. Day one of the hitch began by setting up camp at the Teepee Campground on the 2nd. We were front country camping for the first time this summer, which means there was less to set up. We were able to get in a half day of work after that on the Mount Misery Trail.
We spent several hours on Mount Misery trail during this hitch. Our work involved maintaining existing water bars, crosscut sawing trees out of the trails, tread work, and some general trail maintenance. We worked on the Smooth Ridge trail for two days, which was a somewhat dusty and rocky trail. Once we met our goal for the Smooth Ridge trail, we went back to the Mount Misery trail and headed north. We sawed out a plentiful amount of trees and at this point we were hiking about ten miles a day.
Front country camping was pretty luxurious for us, but some or all of us still got the gnarosis. When it comes to waking up at two in the morning from James barking in his tent, I can’t really blame the gnarosis. I think that is just his natural way of scaring off animals, which were actually just some horses that a couple of hikers had tied up at camp.
We had some nice hot and dry weather for most of the hitch, but then the storm hit. I specifically remember James saying, “Those clouds look like fun.” Then it started hailing ferociously. There were sheets of marble size hail covering camp, but our kitchen tarp was able to withstand all the hail, rain, and wind that the storm brought us. The ground under our tents did not fair as well. At one point through the storm, I had a waterbed in my tent. Once we realized what was happening to our tents, Phil ran and got a pick mattock and started digging trenches around our tents to get the rain to drain away. At one point, Dan jumped in and did the same on the other side. Then the clouds cleared away and left us with hail on the ground. Tony picked up some hail and made a snow cone, or should I call it a hail cone, with some strawberry ﬂavored jello powder.
We finished the hitch strong and then closed up shop on the 11th. We made our way to Lewiston, ID and got an ice cream cake at Dairy Queen. We downed the cake immediately after buying it in about seven minutes. We have the next few days off and we plan on resting along with some exciting excursions in the Clarkston-Lewiston area before we hit the trails again.
29,084 feet of general trail maintenance
1,504 feet of tread work
127 log outs
50 water bars maintained