Welcome to our riveting Wild50 blog! My name is Leah, and I am lucky enough to be The SCA Project Leader for this absolutely wonderful Desert Restoration Crew- The Wild50 team. Formerly, this crew has been known as WildCorps team, but since a great deal of our focus here will be on promoting education about our wonderful company and what we have to do with the Wilderness 50th event this upcoming September- our name has been changed. If you ask me, I think it adds some quirk. I am excited to have you follow us this season, and it is only right to start this off from my view of where it all began…
What I knew:
- -There were three individuals coming- all 23, two females and one male
- -They were coming to join this exciting leader training program in which they will live, work and play in the desert.
- -We would soon be thriving by day with tools in our hands.
- -We would soon be laughing by night as we all eat dinner in camp chairs sitting in a naturally made circle talking about the red hot setting sun, the mesmerizing stars, and if lucky- the full desert moon.
- -They were each driving their own vehicles to come and participate in world that will start off as an unknown void- soon to be ﬁlled with unforgettable memories.
o Side note: One form said California, one said Connecticut, and the other said Florida… and what I love about SCA is that they have the ability to connect people from all over, for common purposes.
- -I have only spoken with each of them once on the phone, answering questions about gear, and telling them how excited I am to meet them. (As a leader… putting a name with a face is quite a moment!)
What I learned in the next week:
- -They are all enthusiastic about the outdoors, conservation work, community-style living, and making the best meals that we can possibly eat.
o Side note: Coming back after a long day of swinging tools to a meal that will make you drool before it hits your mouth is a divine feeling.
- -These three individuals are driven, ready and eager to get to work.
o Side note: I know this because their brains have been seeping in knowledge with a smile on their faces.
- -One loves cooking, and making both jewelry and homemade deodorant.
- -One loves rock climbing, and got to participate in SCA Hurricane Sandy Cleanup!
- -One has more knowledge about the state of California than anyone I have ever met.
- -They all have dogs. (Although, I think one is lying about that still)
- -If I tell them there is 70 dollars alotted for this grocery trip, they come back with a receipt for $69.52. UNBELIEVABLE!
- -I am going to enjoy the next 6 months immensely.
Our training has come and gone so quickly, and now are about to enter our ﬁrst Hitch of the season! Please check out the pictures below which highlight some of the things we have done so far.
Amelyne was able to come and give us a fresh perspective on important topics such as how to stay safe here, and how to be an effective leader. Her knowledge of the desert life is vast, and the crew enjoyed hanging out and talking with her!
Carrie over at the BLM was able to join us on a hot summer January day to teach us all about desert plant identiﬁcation. This will be handy to us in any desert restoration work, or plant monitoring we end up doing during our time here. She was a wealth of knowledge, and roaming around the desert with a view of the raging city of Ridgecrest below made for a wonderful day!
Next, the crew packed up and headed off to the beautiful China Date Ranch in Tecopa, CA. As we meandered our beautiful truck and trailer through the mountains, we dove deep into a canyon and were greeted by date trees, and our project for the next few days. We were to build a hiking trail that would be accessible by wheelchairs- complying to all ADA standards. Luckily enough, SCA sent a knowledgeable and talented work skills instructor our way! We want to thank Sam for all your help, hard work, and for all the information you shared with us. We also want to thank the Amargosa Conservancy contact- Jordan, and the owner of the Date Farm- Brian. We appreciate everything you did for us, and those date milkshakes at lunch were just a delight!
Stay tuned after our next hitch, as the Wild50 team will start telling you about desert life from their eyes!