On our first full day of work we focused on treadwork. Some of us used picks to make the trail wider while the other members focused on flattening the freshly dug up soil. We worked on a few switchbacks as well. We made the switchbacks wider and the drains more pronounced. On the last two days, we really focused on lopping. There were sections of the trail that had been completely taken over by tall bushes. Some group members worked diligently to cut the heavy brush, while others spent time swamping the severed plants.
A few things we observed
1. Do lop your heart out until 7 pm on the final day. In fact lop more plants than you ever thought you would lop in your lifetime
2. Do talk to thru-hikers on the trail. You may have heard of them through other friends. You may run into them again while in town. They may make you laugh, show you their scars, play a tune on their mandolin, and smoke a lot of hand-rolled cigarettes.
3. Do carry at least 30 extra pounds of food on your back. The wine-flavored cheese and the artisan salami will taste so good in the backcountry
4. Do bring the latest gossip magazine into the backcountry. Once again, so worth it.
5. Do sit in the freezing cold creek with your work chums after work. Talk about something “mildly intellectual.” Do explore the creek for the best pools to dangle your feet in.
6. Do note how your entire back becomes drenched from sweat during your hike in. Notice how the extra food and supplies on your back makes you hike like a bloated turtle
7. Do utterly annihilate inside jokes. Tell your crew members the same joke until it is remarkably unfunny and then tell them the joke again. Laugh with your crewmembers about how out of hand this joke thing has gotten.
8. Do be amazed by the dedication of your crew members. Note how they will stop at nothing to get a task done.
1. Don’t bring your tent. Just sleep on the ground. Don’t think of yourself as lazy for not wanting to set a tent up. You are being “ultra-light.”
2. Don’t leave your emergency keys in Mammoth Lakes. For that matter, don’t lock your other keys into the trailer. Furthermore, don’t lock the key hidden under the tuck inside the truck itself... you may be forced to entertain yourself in Nevada for 12 hours... by the end of your night you may become delirious from laughter as well as deft at sleeping in weird/tight spaces. Don't be scared by your teammate showing up at 2 am with the replacement keys. Don't be surprised if you don't arrive at your campsite until 4:30 am.
3. Don’t stand under or around or in the general vicinity of a bear-hang that is being lowered to the ground. Also, don't be surprised to find the Nutella on the ground after you have strung up all the other food for the evening.
4. Don’t be surprised when fireworks are not visible in the Tahoe National Forest on the Fourth of July
5. Don’t give up trying to convince your crewmates that some big-foot/bear hybrid stomped through your camp last night with the force of a dump truck.
Trail Maintained: 8000 ft