Whoever said it never rains in California was a liar. It most definitely rains in California and it just happens to rain at the most opportune times, say when you’re setting up your base camp. The dreams of a warm, dry climate that had always been spoken of in the land of milk and honey were in full force as the team departed the wonderful weather of western Washington, but the PCT crew was received with a warm welcome as only the west coast can give. In a land that is renowned for being too harsh and difficult for even the most seasoned of travelers, the newly formed trail crew was put to the test early and often with a steady rain, freezing temperatures, and monstrous swarms of mosquitoes. The response to these trying times was a strong and echoing war cry of “LOVE THE SUCK.”
The team fought back so hard they cleared a mile of trail on day one, which was supposed to be an introduction to forest standards. They clawed and gnashed through everything the high sierra could throw at them and only sustained one loss; an extremely tight pair of green wranglers. Which they later learned could only be fully respected when worn by one Michael Morse, the wilderness manager for the Inyo National Forest and jockey of the mule, Betsy.
After spending a day working around Sotcher Lake, the team had a look into their future as they were introduced to the PCTA’s Can-Do crew. The Can-Do crew had already been busy in the Red’s Meadow area for a few weeks when the PCT team was introduced to them, and the team was immediately impressed by the Can-Do crew’s autonomy and passion for the outdoors, and also the stories that were passed down from those that were already life-long stewards of our environment to those just beginning their journey as conservation leaders. There was an immediate bond between the two crews that carried through their mutual training and certification with the crosscut saw. The PCT crew listened to the stories and advice of Ranger District icons such as Keith Dawley and also the tales and mentorship of Can-Doers like ‘Single-Jack’ Annie. In the end though, they were rewarded with the opportunity to get to know an oft forgotten member of the crew, the beefy bucking saw, Heidi. A grand symbol of the power of teamwork, Heidi (the crosscut saw) is a constant reminder of the power of the human spirit and ingenuity. Awkward and temperamental when operated by a single bucker, she’ll sing and dance when she works with a team. Already putting miles under their belt, the PCT team can only become more and more imposing as the summer sun toughens their skin.
15,100’ of Trail Maintained
48’ of Log Retention
36’ of Stone Retaining Wall
8 Drainage Structures