What a great day for a service project in the Crescent City! Bad weather forced us to reschedule the project earlier this month, so we were ecstatic to be back in New Orleans, this time with sunshine and clear blue skies. The weather was a great indicator of how we’d feel by the end of the day, with yet another fantastic project completed! Upon driving into the project site we ﬁnally saw the beautiful New Orleans edition of the “HeART This City” mural by street artist Totem. The mural perfectly captures NOLA’a spirit and energy, with themes very familiar to local residents and eye-...Read more
As we arrived in Miami, the balmy night air breezing in through our rental car made this much clear: our winter was over. Where Dan and I live in New York City, this year’s relentlessly cold weather made Spring seem like a distant dream, even in the second week of April.
This Saturday Chicago showed us what it means to HeART This City! Over 50 volunteers gathered at Our Lady of Tepeyac School to spruce up the playground and ﬁnish an amazing mural by street artist Nina Palomba. We teamed up with local SCA leaders and staff and spent the morning with volunteers painting, mulching, and planting a butterﬂy garden in the school’s playground....Read more
We made it to the Windy City! This week, I arrived with the stellar “HeART this City” team and immediately set to prepping for Saturday’s event. Chicago has been warm and sunny, much to my surprise. Spring in this city is signiﬁcantly nicer than I expected!
Snagging some hip threads at a Chicago American Eagle Out...Read more
Main Characters: Puptent the dog, Rands Crew (Kyle, Rachel, Riley, Natalie and Tyler)
Setting: Rands Mountain Area; RM51-R44
So, before we jump into this instant classic story full of bravery, hope, tears, and a few laughs, let’s give a little bit of background on who the real Puptent is. Puptent came from a small, middle class family from Ohio. As he was growing up, he was always the cool, tough neighborhood dog that all of the other dogs look up to for guidance and advice. Needless to say, Puptent was special. He was destined for bigger...Read more
It’s Hitch Nine, and it feels more like home in the ﬁeld than it does anywhere else out here.
We sleep and eat in Joshua Tree Land. We sometimes work in Joshua Land; sometimes work in Creosote Land. Then we come home again to Joshua Land where the Joshua Trees are starting to bloom in the nighttime, and we call it a workday. With all that getting around from one sort of land to another—from worksite to worksite to campsite—now we know the roads of this part of Jawbone like it’s our neighborhood. It’s normal life here, but with wilder encounters.
Here in Jawbone we have hot days, windy nights, and bumpy drives. We survive by lathering on sunscreen, putting lots of rocks on our tarps and tents, and using other people’s bodies as cushions when the road gets a little rough. Even with the blazing sun and howling wind we had a very productive, fun hitch. By the end of our second work day we had already restored over 1000m2 (that’s A LOT!).
On our third day of hitch we got to go back into Ridgecrest to attend our long awaited ATV training classroom session. We learned the basic procedures to load an ATV on to a...Read more
Desert winds beat sand against any exposed skin, into the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. By the end of the day, red beards have become brown, pale skin looks tanned, and tan skin appears chalky and pale. Meals eaten outdoors are inevitably seasoned with sand and grit. Days go by, and you forget what still air is like. We climbed up and down hills, then back up and back down. We moved earth and rock. The wind picked up speed. It slowed down. It rushed back up and whirled around. The winds are unconcerned with and undeterred by the shouts, insults, and wishes of people....Read more
We made it to New Orleans! And then out of New Orleans a little earlier than expected, but more on that later. This city’s charm immediately captivated me - I can ﬁrmly say that I Heart this City! This being my ﬁrst time to NOLA, I was so excited to work and discover the town. Upon arrival, we immediately took a stroll around City Park, marveling at the beautiful trees, sculpture garden, and the people boating by. It was great to just walk around the park for a minute and get to know some new leader...Read more