WE FINISHED OUR FENCE! The crew is very pleased to be finished with our 2 miles of fence through the rough terrain along the aqueduct road but also quite sad to know that there are no more notches to be notched, holes to be dug or wires to be stapled and clipped. After spending six hitches on the main project of the year, you get quite attached to it, and having completed it is somewhat a symbol of the end of our time here.
With many of us figuring out future plans, getting accepted to colleges, some off to fire crews and some to farms, completing our last .15 miles of fence this hitch made us realize what little precious time was left. The crew stayed in the house the first night of hitch due to a broken trailer, but early morning on day two set out to Owens. The next day, a lovely wildflower tour in the Natural Desert Tortoise Area led us to find tortoise mating rejection at its best. A male tortoise was bothering a female tortoise who was trying to eat by following her around, vigorously bobbing his head and attempting to mount her. She only put up with ten minutes of this before kicking sand into his face repeatedly.
It was quite a setback when, so close to finishing our fence, a necessary hole took a little over eight hours with people switching out. The hole was brutal but also allowed for Scott, who wasn’t there that day, to help finish the fence. The end was filled with cheers and close-up pictures of the last of everything (last staple, last clip, last stay). Six people working chaotically on the smallest bit of fence made for a great finale.
We took an afternoon to walk and bask in the glory of our extraordinarily straight masterpiece. Then we ventured to Golden Valley for Captain Falco’s surprise birthday party with all the crews, a few cakes, an effigy and games of Frisbee, soccer and hacky sack. It was basically a giant sleep over, though, as all the crews left the next morning. We chose to stay at our second home for a few days and get a little more fencing in while we could, for Golden was entering a boulder field and really needed the help. To polish off the hitch, we took a beautiful hike into Golden Valley to explore behind the mountains where we’ve worked for almost three hitches. A hitch filled with wild flowers, games and more gado gado than the crew could have ever asked for was a fitting transition from the lousy sMarch weather to the sunny days of April. I believe!