Hitch 4: South Zone Trails
Eric Molnar (hitch leader), John Mattews, Andrea Harbin, Stephanie Deckman, Jeff Stenzel
For this week’s shortened hitch, we worked to improve a section of trail near Little West Fork Creek that feeds into the Frank Church Wilderness about 20 miles northwest of Challis. We arrived to find th trail in pretty bad shape; though technically only open to horses, hikers, and dirt bikes. The trail clearly had been getting a fair share of ATV usage which had greatly widened the tread of the trail and worsened some already present erosion problems. The terrain around the trail was heavily forested, which we used to our advantage, spending much of the time moving massive logs using log carriers to narrow the width of the trail and prevent ATV access. We also used logs to construct seven timber water bars along the trail to mitigate erosion in certain areas where water had clearly been running down the trail.
Overall the hitch was definitely a success, if a little uneventful, probably partly due to the shorter length. We made a lot of tasty food, with burgers on the first night, bacon for breakfast one day, and then using ALL of the leftover grease from those meals to make burrito fixins for dinner on the final night, which was quite yummy. Our camp bathroom was sort of a blessing and a curse at the same time, a metal toilet with just two walls forming a corner but facing a glorious view northeast into the Salmon River Mountains and the Continental Divide beyond. The lack hundreds of silk worms covering everything at camp like the last South Zone Trails hitch was also an added bonus.