Hitch 5, North Zone Trails
During hitch 5, North Zone Trails consisted of Stevi, Andrea, Kendra, and Jeff. We spent the 10 day hitch working on Sheep Creek trail, a feeder to the Continental Divide Trail. We hiked about 5 miles to where we set up our camp, and from there worked predominantly on improving the tread of the trail. Over the 10 days we widened the tread on approximately 7000 feet of trail. Much of the tread had been in a poor state, with widening clearly being necessary for making the trail safe, especially for pack animals. We also performed a significant amount of brushing and removed several blow-downs that had obstructed the trail since the last North Zone Trails hitch. Overall, the work was very taxing, but all the members of the trail crew were able to put in a consistent effort for the length of the hitch. When we weren’t looking down at the tread that we were widening, we found ourselves surrounded by beautiful views. In the distance we could see the treeless tops of continental divide mountains, while nearer to us were some lower but nonetheless impressive cliffs and wooded mountains. The trail meandered through a variety of different environments-- woods composed predominantly of Douglas firs, sage-brush meadows, and burned zones with blooming wildflowers. Supplementing our diet were delicious wild huckleberries and strawberries that we found along much of our section of trail. Finally, our packers, Arne and Robert, were both very friendly and helpful additions to our crew for days that they spent with us at the two ends of the hitch.