We started our hitch with a drive on the loneliest road in America, Highway 50, from Reno Nevada to Grimes Point Archeological site. We got to our work site later in the evening and cooked dinner as the sun set behind beautiful mountains across a large salt flat.
The next morning the BLM archilogist, Susan, a Native American historian, Donna, as well as our BLM contact, Dan, took us on a tour of the worksite. We were given an overview of the historical Native American’s use of the many caves in the area. They gave us a private tour of Hidden Cave which is normally locked to the public. The cave was used thousands of years ago a storage unit for food and equipment used by the Natives. Petroglyphs and pictographs were also pointed out to us on this tour. Dan explained the work projects we needed to complete and we spent the rest of the day moving equipment up to the work sites as well as learning restoration techniques.
The next morning we had breakfast ready by 4:30 so we could start work at 5:30. We liked starting early because it let us work in the cooler hours of the morning and avoid the noon to one o’clock mid day sun. We watched the sun rise as we ate our fruit and cereal and drank our coffee. The main projects at the site involved removing and replacing wooden and rock steps, erasing the many non official trails threw restoration work, and installing signage and a visitor kiosk.
The next couple of days involved very hard and rewarding work. We spent most to the mornings doing the labor intensive work, such as digging and setting the steps in and securing them with pieces of rebar and spent the later hours restoring the social trails using vertical mulch methods.
Over the course of the week we saw and experienced many beautiful things, like every day’s sunrise and sunset, bats, incredible stars, the howls of a pack coyotes and feelings of internal peace and bliss. Later in the week the Native American Historian, Donna, came back out to our camp and shared with us stories from her past and gave us deep insights to Native culture. She invited us to go to the museum she ran later in the week and when we took her up on the offer, got a private tour from her. Donna and her son shared dinner with us that night as well as our other guest, Tom, our program manager and his wife and two kids. It was a fun night with so many guests.
We finished the week out working hard to complete the many projects. The BLM contacts came by to check our work out and were highly impressed at our craftsmanship. The final night we worked a 10 hour day, packed up camp, went to an awesome Mexican restaurant, got dessert at Dairy Queen and drove back to Reno.