After a fun five day weekend full of baking Christmas cookies and shopping for gifts to get into the holiday spirit (kind of hard in the desert with no snow) hitch number four fell upon the Rands crew. On December 11th, 2010 the hitch officially began and we set into our basic routine of pre-hitch activities to insure we include all of the needs and wants during our ten day work period. Little did the crew members know that in fact we would venture back to the house a day and a half earlier than expected due to a solstice party with all the crews minus wild corps. In fact this little treat was intended to come as a surprise, but as the BrocoMarchetti discovered, project leader Natalie Wilson does not know how to keep a secret and eventually her pipe burst under immense pressure due to profuse questioning by the other crew members. It is all good though, she’s a pretty rad project leader.
Even though Natalie told the secret, she did hit the Rands with a big surprise! Instead of restoring incursions everyday she bewildered us with a new task at hand, build a fence. In fact this was not the only surprise, our friends who work at Owens Peak decided to come help us learn how to build fences, and oh how we learned. We discovered how to use new tools such as the comealong which tightens wire, a chisel to create effective bollards and some of us even used the auger which digs vertical holes in matters of seconds.
Owens Peak were such great teachers they made fencing look easy as making easy-mac, yet we were deceived by their skills. In fact building fences was much harder than perceived, something we learned the next day. Many mistakes were made that day such as stringing too many wires before fastening them to posts, and discovered that manning a comealong was much more confusing than we thought. Flipperjackers and switchymajiggs possess cute names, but are really annoying terms to explain how to operate such a tool, and they sometimes just do not work. In fact one of our wires snapped! This day could be summed up as frustrating but, hey we learned from our mistakes and powered through the next day on our other quarter mile of fence.
The next days followed with lots of restoration and anticipation of getting off early. Even with the taste of Christmas vacation approaching, the crew worked hard on restoring difficult incursions. This work ethic carried through even with the inclement weather on the last three days of restoration. Constant rain damped spirits, but did not affect the grade of work the Rands crew so proudly holds itself too. In times like these the little things make a huge difference such as being excited to finally be in a cloud for the first time, mud fights and planting the largest creosote branches in the tiniest hole.
As the half day rolled through BrocoMarchetti gave his environmental education piece on smart growth and how living in cities can actually help the environment by negating suburban growth. With this fun-filled lecture, the crew actually got to design their own mini-city. Their metropolis involved using their fingers to draw roads, straw to place transit systems, and different rocks to construct their infrastructure. All in all their creation turned out great, just like hitch number 4.
Incursions Completed: 4
Fence Constructed: ½ mile
Linear Meters Restored: 382m
Area Restored: 1127 square meters
Vertical Mulch #: 59
Seed Pits: 57
People Hours: 462
“When you make a mistake do not look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.” ~ Hugh White