Project Leader: Peter Gernsheimer Project Dates: 9/8/10 to 6/24/11 Email: email@example.com Phone: 208.914.0410 Address: 903 Lopez St, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Dawn broke peacefully over the town of Joshua Tree, casting a warm glow of cancer-causing UV rays over the high desert. The golden rays of the rising sun slowly spread across the dirty plaster walls of a former elderly home, transforming the building’s exterior from a state of shadowy gloom to something marginally more attractive. Cum tempore, the New Mexico crew had begun to think upon their newly appointed living quarters as ‘home.’ Jared Fehr’s angelic voice rang as sweet as sucanat through the dingy, poorly-illuminated apartment, calling the crew from their beds to breakfast. In a haze of sleep deprivation the five corps members and their unshaven leader devoured a repast of ‘Discount O’s in a jus of milk.’ With startling efficiency they whipped through the day’s tasks. Only one thing motivated the interns to such maniacal diligence: AllCorps.
Truck and trailer brimming with tools and the promise of a fun-filled hitch, the crew was severely dismayed to learn that due to extenuating circumstances they would be unable to leave for the Riverside Mountain Wilderness until the following morning. Shocked by the news, they very reluctantly spent the evening in their well-heated apartment eating a masterfully prepared home-cooked dinner and watching a movie. The next day they hit the road and headed east; towards the promise of new friendships and of backbreaking yet rewarding work.
The armada of Chevy Suburbans and Dodge 2500 trucks came one-by-one in procession from the far reaches of the southern California region. They rode unassumingly into the Midland Long Term Vehicle Access campground. Friendly faces peered out from each vehicle; their eyes were filled with eager curiosity and a subtle joie de vivre. Trailers were emptied, tents were erected, ugly sweaters were compared and contrasted, and a rowdy game of Backcountry Bacci was played.
Workdays at AllCorps took place on a massive hill-climb overlooking the Blythe Intaglios. The AllCorps project consisted of disguising heavily rutted vehicle tracks as well as installing a post and cable fence to further thwart off-roaders from mounting the incursion. The New Mexico crew had never before faced such a mammoth project. Having upwards of twenty extra hands to tackle the work was an exceptional blessing. Evenings back at the tent city were filled with burritos and seitan, tasteful yet humorous banter, jellyfish noises, and “intents” games of Settlers of Catan.
The pièce de résistance of AllCorps was the ugly sweater competition. A representative from each crew emerged from the New Mexico tent and strutted across a catwalk comprised of two propane lamps and a fabulous oriental carpet. Jill Kolodzne’s ugly sweater and sweater-skirt ensemble fought valiantly against a barrage of heinous eye-melting knit sacks of polyester and wool. In the end Sarah of Rands went home with the title of ugliest sweater and a bag of peanut M&Ms to share with her crew.
After four days and three nights of AllCorps, the Desert Restoration Crews parted ways. It was a sad morning for all.
In the wake of the high-paced, work-packed days of AllCorps the “NewMexiCali” crew scrambled to regroup and settle back into their routine. Everything seemed to be going swimmingly as they toiled over a segment of a massive incursion left over from hitch 8. Then, out of nowhere, a band of local off-roaders assaulted their vertical mulch and drove over hours of labor. This disruption of the crew’s day led to a lovely chat with Javier, the local BLM law enforcement ranger. He arrived too late to capture and cite the violators. The crew was forced to face the sad realization that the thrillcrafters had escaped the heavy hand of the law. The morale and spirit of the interns seemed near devastated…
… but lo’, on the horizon, Superbowl Sunday. Cramming into their Dodge the crew headed to Blythe to eat artery-clogging food at Rebel BBQ and watch the Packers destroy the Steelers.
The crew rounded out the end of hitch with a last assault on the AllCorps project. New Mexico and the AllCorps crews had managed to obscure three of the original five daunting incursions on the hill climb. As the sun set over their handiwork tears came to their eyes. Conservation had truly begun here.