Project Leader: Garth Dellinger Project Dates: Sept. 28, 2010 to May 17, 2011 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 208-914-0400 Address: 316 Mesquite Ave, Ridgecrest, CA 93555
Wow, what to say? The Grateful Dead would say it’s been a long strange trip. The Band might say something like it being the end of the beginning of the end. And us Jawboners are still talking about going big or going home, and we’re close to the time when there is no option but to go home. So now we look back at our final hitch.
We kept it easy for the first few days, visiting Short Canyon to the north, and greeting our visitors (Golden Valley, Wildcorps, Rands and Owens) as they arrived over two days. Then we kicked it into high gear at AllCorps 2011, throwing down mad check dams on a hillside that had more problems than Snooki! Two-person rocks were harvested from around the hillsides and hauled up steep incursions, where they were then fitted together across the incursion and packed in with crush and dirt. Cutting the shelf for the rocks sometimes had to be done through solid rock, and worse than that was the clay-like rock layers that didn’t seem to want to fracture. We got 92 of them put in after three days of work, and did I mention the temperatures were in the 90s, and that the typical Jawbone winds were around? That’s a lot of going big over three days.
The Jawboners weren’t content with just impressing with the worksite – we also hit the rest of the DRC with our Will Smith theme that included a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air showing, and a Will Smith Showdown. Other events included a Top Chef competition and an End of Year Slideshow.
The hitch winded down with a trip to Lake Isabella, and pizza at the house. All that remains is Chorefest. It’s been real, DRC!
-Jawbone Thugs ‘n Harmony
Howdy! I'm Kevin Stadler. I'm currently attending college at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh for degrees in Biology (Ecology and Organismal) and Environmental Studies. I was born and raised a cheesehead in Fond du Lac Wiscompton. I love cheese, da Pack and kiwis. I have a Catahoula Leopard dog named Leopold who I also love. I enjoy all animals and ecosystems and want to experience as much of both as I can. I worked at Heckrodt Wetland Reserve in Wisconsin as an Invasive Plant Technician through an AmeriCorps Program prior to this position. Root!
My name is Carolyn D'Aprix. I am twenty years old and hail from upstate New York. After spending a year at the University at Buffalo, I took some time off to reorganize my thoughts while working in some of the country's most beautiful places. Within the past six months, I have managed to float around the country, spending time in Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Pennsylvania. Currently in California, I am excited to continue working outdoors in the beautiful, yet intriguing environment we all know the desert to be.
Hitch 12 was a complete success and us Jawboners sure feel swell about it! The hitch started off with a treat, as we all enjoyed a stay at Keith Axelson's beautiful home, Sageland Ranch. An experience that will stay in our memories and our hearts.
After our eye-opening and relaxing experience at Sageland Ranch, we were all rested and prepared for productive restoration in the Jawbone ACEC. We tied up a few loose ends from our prior hitch by connecting the gated entrances leading to Robbers Roost with fencing, and by finishing up our work on an incursion on SC 82. Quickly, we moved onto SC106 and completed another two incursions. While finishing our incursion restoration work, us Jawboners got to aid the BLM by helping sign legal trails in the Red Mountain Area as a part of the WEMO lawsuit settlement. Madeline and Amelyne got a 'lil stuck and dinged up, but luckily their “knight in shining armor”, an AT&T service employee, came to the rescue of the dodge.
The BLM took us on a wild flower hike near the College and pointed out flowers to us including the desert mariposa lily, desert candle stick, indigo bush and the desert calico. While there we also enjoyed a 'lil larding from The Society for Creative Anachronism, SCA.org and the JAwboners got to meet the organization that many of us have accidentally visited online.
After our restoration work was completed at all our prior sites, we moved on to preparing for our hosted ALL-CORP the following week.
The hitch wrapped up with a visit to Moose Anderson Days in the Jaw Bone Butterbredt ACEC hosted by Friends of Jawbone where us Jawboners tackled the dreaded Tamarisk bush with weed wrenches, brush trimmers, saws, and pathfinder(an herbicide). FOJ was kind enough to provide a T-shirt, BBQ lunch and ice cream treats for our volunteer work.
Hitch 11 provided the Jawbone team with a well-deserved break from restoration. As an alternative, we tried our luck at constructing a barbed-wire fence around Jawbone’s coup de gras: Robber’s Roost. For anyone who doesn’t already know, this striking geologic feature is closed from February 1st through July 1st every year for raptor nesting (‘raptor’ means birds of prey). This undertaking was nothing short of eye-opening; the learning curve was quite steep, indeed. Praise Allah our ever gracious BLM liaison was there to direct us on our first work day.
Aside from the occasional night of gale force winds attempting to blow away the white wall, the weather was amazing: plentiful sunshine. The Jawboners certainly got plenty of vitamin D. Furthermore, this was one of a few hitches so far in which we stayed (more or less) dry. ATV training was definitely a high-point of the hitch. It was exponentially more fun than chainsaw training, and emphasized the value of occasionally “hot doggin” it. Our instructor, Eddie, was very entertaining and did a great job of keeping our attention.
Finally, I have to acknowledge the impressive progression of the group’s hacky sack skills over the course of Hitch 11. We’ve come a long way, people. It really is remarkable.
With one last sweep, the Jawboners have finally kissed Polygon 26 goodbye. Work began in our new area, JB13, just in time for the rains to come. Wet boots and numb fingers drove us to the Burro Schmidt Tunnel, where we took refuge from the rain for an afternoon, and some of our crew finally learned the true meaning of “goin’ muddin’!”…. On legal routes, of course. Fortunately for us, the weather was usually at its worst during the night, and on several mornings we woke up surrounded by wet tents and snow covered peaks. On one sunny afternoon, the Jawboners attempted a sledding excursion, however, it was not exactly the exhilarating experience we had expected. Throughout all this crazy fun, the Jawboners got things done as usual. Self-taught Creosote-building master, Amelyne Major, disguised the incursions as we never have before. It was glorious. On our final day of work, we took a field trip out to Sand Canyon to teach young minds and to improve upon our hacky sacking skills. We also learned that if you see a bird, you could at least say three or four o’clock.
A final note to you bollard-thieving thieves: we know it was you.
Hitch 9 was an exciting hitch for the Jawbone Crew. Most importantly we are now once again a full crew. Carolyn and Kevin join the Jawboners for the remainder of the season and we could not be more excited. By Day 6 we were already in a groove and it felt like they have been here a lot longer than half of a hitch. Jawbone itself should be renamed the “In Crowd” as we now consist of: Amelyne, Madeline, Carolyn, Erin, Kevin, Garth and Matt (some name changes may be in order). The addition of more “ins” has already made calling someone the right name infinitely harder. Pre Hitch and preparation for LNT training went smoothly and led us to a very early morning out into Jawbone. With the Golden Valley crew in tow to refresh our memories on how to fence and a visit from our BLM contact Steve Gomez we completed a fence around the PCT, on perhaps the windiest corridor ever. We were so lucky that Golden Valley and Steve were around when we “pulled a Jawbone”, reasserting that Steve is the best BLM contact ever as he not only brings us treats but also lifts our trailer when it falls off a jack. During dinner we were joined by our final member Kevin all the way from Wisconsin. The next day we were back to our old routine, however we again had to hike about 30 minutes to an incursion to see that it already had been restored by Friends of Jawbone, so we hiked back. Carolyn and Kevin soon learned the joys of vertical mulching as we worked on 2 new incursions and touched up an old one.
We were soon back in town to do our post hitch work and prepare to go down to Joshua Tree National Park for LNT training. During our stay in Yucca Valley we wrote our “Jawbone Manifesto”, became LNT trainers with Darren and Jamie leading the way and celebrated a birthday. All in all an eventful hitch with many changes to the JB crew, setting up for an excellent end of the season!
The Jawbone crew was all over the place this hitch, tying up lots of loose ends but also starting some new projects that will inevitably create some loose ends in the future. Our biggest accomplishment this hitch was retrieving our water tank, which was abandoned on the side of a mountain sometime in December. We are also proud to say that we finally finished the incursion where the water tank was left, despite hail and snow. The weather only added to previous evidence (lots of rain and snow in December) that the Jawbone gods agree with us that we should never have to hike thirty minutes straight uphill to work. Another loose end tied up was a campground definition that felt like it had taken an eternity. Much to our confusion, when the numbers were tallied, forever only added up to five days.
Other work included the completion of another campground definition, retouching two old incursions, walking and measuring the fence lines for new projects at the Pacific Crest Trail and at Robbers Roost, outreach with the Owens Peak crew in the Rand Mountain Management Area, and removing ten bollards from successfully restored incursions. We experienced the standard repertoire of Jawbone weather including, but not limited to, sun, rain, snow, and fierce wind, none of which deterred grazing cows from hanging around our campsite. They were welcome and entertaining visitors, but our favorite visit came from the WildCorps crew, who came to check out Jawbone and share dinner. There was some confusion and debate over whether the guests would show and apparently, the WildCorps dinner time is Jawbone bed time, so we ended up with no food to share. Oops!
Regular mishaps have become familiar and entertaining. In fact, we’ve heard that when things go wrong, other crews say they “pulled a Jawbone.” We are very proud of our reputation and this hitch was no exception. Not only did we nearly run out of gas in the middle of Jawbone, we also accidentally hiked the wrong mountain. We intended to make it to the top of Scodie Mountain, the highest peak in Jawbone and the namesake of the range of mountains after which our roads are named. That would have been too easy, though, so we bravely hiked the next mountain over. No one was upset when we learned the truth, and we had a delightful afternoon in a beautiful area where we were reminded that trees do exist. The hike left us cheerful and was a great end to a great hitch. With limbs and vehicles intact, the Jawbone crew can confidently say that Hitch 8 was a success!
Day one was a pre-hitch day, and we kept ourselves busy with preparations for the long drive to Blythe. About six hours of our second day was spent in the car, but we arrived at our campground near Blythe just in time to set up camp and enjoy the fantastic dinners prepared by all the DRC crews. Luckily for us, because we soon found out that we would need all the energy we could muster for the next three days. The Allcorp project was to restore five separate hill climbs and to construct a post and cable fence around the base of the hill. All the DRC crews members were mixed up and reassigned to form six Allcorp ‘pods’, each of which would tackle a different area of the project. The first day of Allcorp, each pod began moving vast amounts of rock and dirt to fill in their respective incursions. On the second day, it began to be apparent that some incursions would need more attention than others. Some pods combined to add more man power, and together we fought the strong winds and nonstop dirt to the face. Fire lines were formed, and bag after heavy bag, all full with rocks and soil, were passed up and down the incursions, filling in eroded areas, and matching color to the surrounding areas. The third day continued much like the previous two, and we all felt the satisfaction when two of the incursions disappeared into the hillside and three others neared completion. The fence was constructed, posts cemented into the ground, and cable threaded from end to end. A riotous ‘Ugly Sweater Extravaganza Competition’ ended Allcorp, and the following day, each crew departed Blythe, feeling sore and still reeking of garlic from our Ajo Fiesta dinner.
After another full day of driving, we arrived in Shoshone for the Sierra Club conference. We listened to a variety of presenters speak on topics such as renewable energy, wilderness areas, and more. It was an interesting and educational two days, and we felt very welcomed and appreciated for our conservation work there. On our last work day of Hitch 7, we went back out to our long neglected Jawbone campsite, and continued work on our hard barrier. We will all be looking forward to next hitch, when this project is finally completed.
Watch out DRC, Jawboners have gotten loose! This hitch we had a flirtatious three days in the land that we love so much, but it was also nice to get out and see the sights. First, we had a one day stand with the Rands handing out permits to OHVers. We then got around to Owens, where they taught us how to pound it, notch it, and tension it. The next day Jawbone alumnus Darren came up from Yucca to join us in the action in Jawbone, and helped us with hard barriers. Chainsaw training then cut in (get it!?) before we could get back to our sweet campground for another couple days. For the grand finale we boogied over to the El Pasos to check out some petroglyphs and tipi rings. Some mad puzzle action was also gotten on during the evenings, and we can’t forget our delightful evening with the Rands crew. They made dinner, we brought dessert, and then we Poked the Pig? It’s a game, I swear!
The holiday season brought snow, snow, snow and cows to our slopes of Jawbone. Even though we were back on our side of the mountain, the far side was still reaching us. Morning of day three, windshield had to defrost, and when the ice had cleared there was a ginormous crack. Had to get that replaced. Day five, Eric goes off for a run, comes back limping, took off his shoe, he had an extra ankle bone. Undaunted, we restored on, braving the sun turning into wind turning into cold and back to sun again. It’s nice when the chemtrails come out and it’s consistently chilly. Marko showed us all the stars (like Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer? No.) for his EE. On the last day of hitch we said farewell to Eric, who had made plans to leave after this hitch, because his New Hampshire mountains were calling to him.
We’d been asking for it since Hitch 1, “When are we going to the other side of Jawbone?” And boy did we get it! The first day in the field was normal enough cleaning up a dumpsite with Steve Gomez from the BLM. The next day, again relatively normal, we split up to work on a fencing project with Sam, and to brush SC47. Day 3 it started getting interesting. A quarter mile down SC37 loomed an imposing hill, and on top of it was an incursion we needed to restore. From the bottom of the hill I had to strain my neck to see the top, and up that beast we hauled our tools, food, and water. Quad muscles and calves be damned on those days, but the exertion was found to be worth it, as the top of the hill had a magnificent view into the eastern valley. Beautiful, spectacular, ama-…wait, did I mention that there was fog? Yeah, goodbye views. And wind? Goodbye warmth. Still we loved our incursion, because this was still a unique location. The weather wasn’t done with us yet, there was still the rain and snow. By the end of our time in the field we were wet, weary, and whipped by the weather. Oh how nice it is to be inside again.
Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays (including, but not limited to: New Year’s, Kwanza, and Boxing Day)!
Hitch 3 was a mixed bag of outreach, volunteering and restoration that kept the hitch very interesting. While permitting in the Rands we got to talk to a lot of OHV riders, and some of us met Goat, the owner of the local pizza joint, and had lengthy conversations with his charming friends. The two days of outreach also provided extra warmth in our house, which did not prepare us for the cold nights in Jawbone (18 degrees!). However, while out at Jawbone we saw some awesome sights and Matt found some type of missile head/bomb thing that brought the BLM archaeologist, Danny Tyree, out for a visit. While at Jawbone the crew restored 3 incursions along SC37 continuing polygon JB26. The first half of the first day of restoration we split into groups, half went on a scouting trip up the rest of SC37 while the rest started collecting data. The last two and half days at Jawbone were spent restoring incursions while a group split off and worked on scouting the rest of the polygon and collecting data on SC47. The last third of the hitch was spent doing volunteer work for the Kern River Preserve where we got to spend some time in the woods chipping branches and removing an old fence line, and we were again very happy to be in a wonderful warm house provided by the Southern Sierra Research Station.
On this hitch, the Jawbone crew tackled seven incursions in JB26 over the course of eight days of restoration. We restored five incursions along SC47 and two on SC120. We spent several days working on one monster incursion on SC47, the most noteworthy of the incursions this hitch. We have learned to appreciate working in an area rich with Joshua trees, as we have discovered that the fallen trees can be planted as vertical mulch and do a great job of blocking large chunks of the line of sight.
From our first hitch, we learned that we are a hungry bunch and therefore packed lots of extra food products! However, things are always bound to go awry, and the biggest disaster of the hitch was the discovery that we had forgotten the coffee press. Additionally, Murphy's Law is always accurate when it comes to Jawbone vehicles. This time, we got a flat tire on the vehicle without a manufacturer’s jack. The minor mishaps were an excellent introduction to hitch life for Matt, our newest member. All in all, we had a great hitch 2!
There are a couple “interesting facts” about working in Jawbone that are taken like a slice of homemade bread. Rather, these “interesting facts” should be taken as a forewarning, like a jawbone on a front door, where it makes you pause, wondering if this is the right house, knowing that it obviously is. In Jawbone, there’s the LA Aqueduct , which is the closest thing to sliced bread here. Then there’s the wind, which made upside down cake out of our white wall tent during the first day of restoration work. Sandbags and stakes be damned, this is Jawbone, where the wind can take a sunny day and transform it into the winter dredges. There's nothing quite like having fifty mph wind exfoliating your face. And then there was the night a helicopter circled our camp three times. I can see, with us out in the middle of the desert living out of a big white tent and a cluster of army tents, why someone wants to check us out, but in the moment it was an alarming and alert, "WTF" that crossed my mind. The nighttime entertainment continued on our last night when Eric called our attention upwards. Marko let out a surprised comment before I also saw the odd formations of light crossing the twinkling night. I immediately thought of Star Trek First Contact, and finally thought that I would have conclusion to my long held reservations about Leonard Nimoy. Yes, the naval weapons base is not too far away, and while they are the logical explanation, it’s also fun to think we spotted aliens.
And yes, surrounding all of this was pretty restoration work. While our days are consumed with our purpose in Jawbone, it is not what has defined them. We've come to know from our first time in Jawbone during First 5 that the ordinary is the extraordinary. So be forewarned when coming out to Jawbone, it’s bound to be more than what you expected.
I'm Amelyne Major, and the best way to learn to pronounce my name is by saying the letters M-L-N several times quickly. I'm Canadian (yes, I like hockey and maple syrup), but I've spent most of my life living on the edge of Washington, D.C. I recently acquired a bachelor's degree in Chemistry from the College of Wooster, so I'm very excited to be working in a position that's pretty much the opposite of what I spent the last four years doing. I prefer spicy and salty food to sweet, and I'm very passionate about board games. Other interests include crosswords, ridiculous rap lyrics, puns, and exploring as much of the world as possible on a very limited supply of money.
Erin Kunze was raised on a small farm in Kentucky where she discovered an immense love for the outdoors and an equally great disdain for shoes. Although she was often preoccupied with riotous tunes and spontaneous dance parties, Erin managed to graduate from the University of Kentucky, where she studied lots of things, but Sustainable Agriculture was her favorite. In fact, Erin has lots of favorites. These are some more: digging in the dirt, food, spinning around in circles, going on neat adventures, big rocks, goats, and dandelions.
I’m Madeline Lombardo. I grew up in Grand Haven, MI which is a small resort town on the coast of Lake Michigan. In May I graduated with a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Michigan (GO BLUE!). While earning my degree I had the opportunity to work on a bird project at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado, and on a large scale climate change project in Northern Wisconsin. I am very excited to get started, to learn as much as I can about different ecosystems, and start to find out what I want to do with my degree. I enjoy all the standard outdoorsy stuff, reading, and playing games. I also know a strange amount about pop culture which makes me an excellent trivia partner!
Garth hails from somewhere between the "Sweetest Place on Earth" and Amish country. In 2007 he took time off from Pitt to do a NOLS Semester in the Rockies, and has been climbin', dirtbaggin', Americorpsin', conservin', and couchsurfin' since. Mom and Pop were proud of his degree, and he used it to work at a climbing gym and an Ethiopian restaurant before moving on to the SCA. He enjoys the outdoors, music with LOADS of energy and spirit, and seeing what all he can ferment within the confines of the law.
|Map of JAWBONE!!!|
|Garth Dellinger - Project Leader|
|Hitch 13 - Wild Wild West|
|Kickin' It With Keith|
|Hitch 11 - Hot Dog!|
|Hitch 10 - Jawbone Thugs-n-Harmony|
|Hitch 9 - Certified!|
|Hitch 8 - We've Got Cows!|
|Hitch 7 - Robusticons Unite!|
|Hitch 6 - Jawbonin' Around Town|
|Hitch 5 - Cows of This Planet|
|Hitch 4 - The Far Side|
|Hitch 3 - Da Bomb!|
|Hitch 2 - Murphy's Law|
|Hitch 1 - BLAST OFF!!!|