The Umatilla II crew began our first hitch with mixed weather. The days varied on and off with sun, rain, or clouds. The days were fairly warm, and the nights were chilly. On our fourth day we talked to a Forester who has worked for Umatilla National Forest for 30 years who said that “This is the coldest and wettest spring he has ever seen”. Despite the varying weather our crew maintained high spirits throughout.
For the first part of the hitch we stayed semi-front country/semi-backcountry. We were very fortunate to start off with our trailer and truck, for the first five days. One the sixth day we went completely backcountry and the luxuries we had at our first campsite went away.
Our crew of six started off the season strong and with excitement to learn and produce quality trail work. Our first task was to complete a structure called a ‘shallow stream ford’ along a small creek that crossed the trail. After three days of heavy moving, digging, placing, and crushing of rock we completed the ford structure. The bulk of the work we completed this hitch included tread repair and restoration on approximately seventy percent of the trail. Other tasks included 14 rolling drainage dips, two rock-reinforced drainage dips (water bars), and brushing & logging out trail.
In the backcountry our crew encountered a nocturnal animal that ate and gnawed on our personal items. These items included 2 pairs of boots, 1 pair of shoes, a work shirt, 1 pair of gloves, a chainsaw helmet, and a rain jacket. We concluded that the animal was either a pack rat or a possum, because it seemed to be drawn to all of our sweaty and dirty items.
Other than the small animal dilemma, our first Hitch went extremely well. We achieved good work, slept well, and ate well.
Work SummaryHitch 1: June 6 - June 14
|Intern work hours||400|
|Trail Maintained||4 miles|
|Shallow Stream Ford||1 (80 cubic feet)|
|Standard Rolling Drain Dip||14|
|Rock-reinforced Rolling Drain Dip||2|
|Tread Repair (backslope and berm removal)||1.5 miles|