Although we started hitch 10 down a Marchetti (who had a wedding to attend), Rands went about pre-hitch as usual. The usual now includes invading other teams’ kitchens to bake, as we are down an oven. Luckily, the PLs were willing to lend us theirs. Once prepared, we headed out for the field. We again camped in the same spot as last hitch – it has a great view of the Rands, the El Pasos, and the Sierras, and lots of wildflowers. A very cozy spot indeed.
We kicked off work by building a small stretch of fence in front of a wash. After finishing the fencing, we talked about what our goals are for the rest of the season (less than two months left!) and ended up scouting before settling on an incursion to start on. What we had thought were two small hill climbs turned out to be one end of a behemoth of an incursion. We spent the rest of the hitch working on this undulating trail that seems to get a lot of love from OHVers.
Some of the ups and downs of the hitch include: a few minor medical mishaps that meant folks were out of commission for a day or two; some days of beautiful, sunny weather, some days of rainy weather, and some days of rain; Marchetti being absent, and then coming back; a food order, which meant more cheese and chocolate chips, but no Natalie for a day; the emergence of gold field and other beautiful wildflowers; lots of wildlife, including a horned lizard that hung around our regular stretch spot.
A major high point of the hitch was having some guests out to the Rands. The Golden Valley team joined us on day 8 to knock out a big section of our behemoth incursion. With their help, we were able to decompact a long stretch, and put in over 50 vertical mulch. Their help was so appreciated, and their company welcome. But after a very-pasta-potluck dinner, Golden went home, and Rands regrouped for our last day in the field.
On day 9, we headed over to the El Paso Wilderness area to learn more about the Kawaiisu tribe who lived in the region and to find some petroglyphs for our environmental education lesson. Those whose bodies permitted headed out with GPS coordinates and a lunch into the mountains. We didn’t make it to the petroglyphs but did experience a beautiful corner of the El Pasos and got in a wonderful (and tiring) hike.
Although our first “regular” all-restoration hitch that we have had in a while turned out not to be so “regular,” we got a lot of work in, and despite a few ups and downs, had a good time. And stayed (mostly) dry through the rains.
Vertical Mulch: 111**
Person Hours: 416.8 hours
**The last incursion we worked on was not finished and will be completed on a following hitch.
ToCo Notes/ Narratives:
Lessons Learned: If you bring rock bags, you won’t need them, but if you forget them, you most certainly will be moving gravel that day. Also, not everyone has read the primary works of Foucault.