Project Leader: Shannon Y. Waldron Project Dates: August 8,2010-May 17,2011 Email Address: email@example.com
After spending our previous hitch traveling around Southern California (for various reasons) we were anxious to get back to our valley and back to our fence! It feels like forever since we donned our multi-tool and headed into Golden Valley with T-posts and bollards in tow. We started hitch eight with the gusto of child in front of an all-you-can-eat ice cream buffet.
As with an all-you-can-eat buffet, things are not always as perfect as they may seem. After our first full day of fencing we came back to camp excited for both a warm meal and for a break from the wicked wind that had chapped our lips and cheeks all day. The scene we came back to was grievous and not even the six rainbows we saw that day could soften the blow of what lay before us. Before I get there, let me back track just a little bit.
We possess a love-hate relationship with our white tent. The tent I refer to is our “community” tent in which we cook our meals and spend most of our off-work time when the weather is colder. She provides us a sanctuary from the elements and for that, we love her. As stated before, not everything that glitters is gold. On multiple occasions we have had to “repair” various abrasions and fissures that have mysteriously appeared with no one the wiser as to how they came to be there. We’ll gladly repair her, but it takes away from the reason we’re here, conservation! Yes, we’re all well versed in sewing with cinnamon dental floss through three layers of tough canvas. We’ve all endured “painting” with formaldehyde based glue and feeling as though we’re a preserved specimen in a giant natural history museum called the White Tent. Despite these new found talents, we’re ready to re-release the white tent into the wild and let her function as what she is, a big beautiful white tent.
As you can see, we’ve been through a journey, the White Tent and Us. To come back to see a six foot rip scarring her front, allowing for the entire side of the tent to flap so carelessly in the stiff wind (and undoubtedly eliciting more rips in the process), irked our nerves a bit.
A day after this unfavorable discovery we found ourselves trekking back out into the wilderness with more determination than when we started the hitch (and with the new found knowledge that Captain Falco was quite possibly a seamstress in his former life). If we weren’t ready to lay some fence down now we never would be.
As excited as we were to fence, we did spend one more of our hitch days out in the Rand Mountain Management Area. This was a whole new experience for us, seeing as how we are working in wilderness and don’t have as much OHV activity in our area. This was a mixed bag of goodies for our crew. Some of us got the experience of talking to large numbers of OHVers and really informing the public about their impact on the environment. Others got the joyful experience of sitting in a truck, straining for any sound of an oncoming vehicle over the roaring wind. If there is one thing that we can all agree upon though, it’s the diversity of people in the OHV community. Any preconceived notions of what an OHV rider should look like were thrown out the window as we saw everyone from five year old children to women done up in make-up and fake nails. Overall our day in RMMA was well spent and we left much more educated than when we came in.
In the end our enthusiasm carried us through to the end of our hitch. We ended up completing a little less than a kilometer and a half of the fence that will soon stretch between two private properties. We learned new techniques as we battled the trials of building a fence laterally to a road. We also became well acquainted with “dead men” as we packed them within our quarter miles. Nearing the end of our fence we have to ask ourselves: strive to finish the fence in a timely manner? Or slow down and enjoy every moment we have nestled on the south side of Golden Valley Wilderness?