Project Leader: Shannon Y. Waldron Project Dates: August 8,2010-May 17,2011 Email Address: email@example.com
We in the Golden Valley Wilderness crew have come to expect our life and work to be quite the mixed bag (pronounced beyg, like a true Wisconsonian). So what better way to wrap up our season than with another multi-faceted thrill ride through the arid regions we’ve grown to love?
We began Hitch #13: The Luckiest Hitch Ever without our leader Shannon who was out exploring the wild wild west by car, plane, and bike. With our beautiful fence completed, we had two days prior to the Allcorps finale to fill with meaningful endeavors. Day one was spent in the nearby Southern Sierras where we hiked a segment of the Pacific Crest Trail to discuss trail maintenance theory and techniques. EnviroEdFest continued that evening with a trip to the eastern shores of Lake Isabella where Maddie taught us the finer points of frogging accompanied by the sounds of storks, red-winged blackbirds, and copious mosquitoes.
The next day saw the return of Shannon, who had a severe case of jet leyg but was more than ready to join us on our next adventure. We decided to visit the Trona Pinnacles this day, being a National Natural Landmark right in our backyard (we could see them from various points in our wilderness area) that most of us had never seen up close. We set out in the midmorning hours with lots of anticipation. As we approached the Pinnacles, it seemed our plans hit a bit of a sneyg. Our vista of these strange geologic wonders was obstructed by a mass of vehicles, trailers, and people. So the Pinnacles were being used as a backdrop for a big budget truck commercial. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed a cameo in the SCA Dodge, but we were allowed to hang out for a minute and watch the action. Elaine from the Ridgecrest BLM office informed us that there was a concurrent television shoot going on down at our beloved Cuddeback Lake, so we figured we’d go check that out as well just to make sure they weren’t leaving too much of a mark upon our beautiful valley.
How could things get more exciting?
The second half of the hitch was spent in a really beautiful section of Jawbone ACEC with all of our fellow corps members for our final Allcorps gathering, to come together and fly the fleyg of desert restoration. We spent 3 hard and hot days building check dams on a very steep and sandy slope and finally planting some vertical mulch on a very integral leg of a large intersecting incursion. The nights were filled with cow pond swimming, delicious meals and just generally enjoying the company of all these folks we’ve grown so accustomed to being around these eight months. Being quite acquainted with the atmosphere of SCA corps programs myself, the most amazing facet is the level of comfort and interdependence that develops among people that get thrown together into such foreign circumstances, thus proving the necessity of compassion and community in a media-driven world that would rather each of us remain solitary and vulnerable to unhealthy persuasion. It is one thing to have a set of ideals and ethics; it is quite another thing to carry them out unabashedly. With the strength that comes from belonging to a community such as the one we have made here in the DRC, each of us has a solid foundation to go forth into the world and exercise our ideals without the fear that we are alone in our pursuit of purity and truth.
Be well, fellow denizens of the dusty desert. Life is a mixed beyg. The best we can do is be true to ourselves.