We, the Golden Valley Warriors, are happy to report that Hitch #2 went off without a hitch (har har). Again it was quite the mixed bag of tasks, including mapping and walking our proposed fence line, scouting vehicular activity within our wilderness area, maintaining a previously constructed fence, and a walk with the local BLM archaeologist.
We started things off with a meeting with our BLM contact Marty, who got us acquainted with topographic maps, compasses, Garmin GPS devices, orienteering, and Almond Joys. We left for the field with a whole new set of skills for the inner geographical nerd we all possess. We also became "acquainted" with the Trimble device on this hitch, which is a beast of a machine that will take some time to figure out, but we made some headway and actually got to use it in conjunction with our work sites on this hitch.
FINALLY, we made it to the valley for which our wilderness is named (Golden Valley), and found it to be a vast and surreal landscape, quite unlike anything any of us have experienced in the past. Once there, we spent a full day mapping a boundary where our fence will come in contact with some private property. We spent a day hiking to two "guzzler" sites deep within the Golden Valley Wilderness Area. A guzzler is a water-catching device installed on the desert floor that attracts not only wildlife but hunters on OHVs. Our job was to see how much water these things held, any recent vehicular activity, any wildlife usage, basically seeing if there was any purpose for the guzzlers to remain in the wilderness. We spent another full day marking the fence boundary we previously mapped out. It turns out marking a straight line with flagging over a mile and a half of terrain is quite a production. A highlight of our hitch was walking this fence boundary with the Dan, the BLM acrhaeologist, to see if our fence line would disturb any historically significant sites. We found more than we bargained for, when our own Captain Falco stumbled across a spearhead that Dan informed us was from the era formerly known as BC. Whether or not Matt took his Delorean back in time 3000 years and planted this thing, we cannot be sure.
Last but not least, I would like to introduce the newest member to our crew: Gusteau the Kangaroo Rat. He would show up every night at roughly 7 P.M. to make himself welcome to any crumbs we inadvertently left behind, and there were many. For a little desert creature he seemed to possess no fear in making himself present with 7 human beings in the room. It is this kind of spunk we look for in the DRC, unfortunately when we packed out he was nowhere to be found. We salute you, Gusteau, and wish you the best of luck in the coming winter season.