Project Leader: Sterling B Collins-Hill Project Dates: July - December 2010 Email Address: email@example.com 
One Last Thing 
The last six months have been amazing. From the great north woods of Washington and Oregon to the deserts of the Southwest we were able to able to see and work-in a ton of beautiful spots along the Pacific Crest Trail. We learned a lot about conservation, trailwork, life out of doors and our own thoughts and abilities. Thanks to everyone’s hard work and ability to make sacrifices we became close friends who look forward to reuniting somewhere along the trail. I cannot speak enough about the attitude and dedication that the entire crew put forth over the session. We were able to accomplish an astounding amount of great work as well as have a ton of fun.
Lori Barrow 
Why hello there, my name is Lori Barrow. I'm originally from an extremely small town of Brimfield, IL, but now call the beautiful city of Carbondale home. You can usually find me running around the woods on any given day with my dogs, leaping from rock to rock, or causing a hula hooping ruckus about town. After I received my B.S. in Forestry, I was ready to get out into the world and experience the great outdoors - to actually be a part of what I talk about! I have always found my solace among the trees and look forward to what the great western states have to offer. Hope to see you on the trails!
Hitch Ten 
After our retreat from the snowy Skodies we went south for Lake Arrowhead and a place where the PCT crosses lower altitudes and is thus, less snowy. We stayed in a nice little Forest Service cabin and had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We ate well and had a few days off to explore and hang out. We got to use some Griphoists and set some rocks on a massive wall project that we which set the foundation. We got to work with a great PCTA representative who happened to lead SCA crews a few years ago. It was a fantastic glimpse into what may lay ahead in the world of trails should any of our group pursue furthering their trailwork experience. We got to explore a new section of Deep Creek and understand what it is to tackle the unsolvable problem: erosion and use lead to trail disappearing. It was fun to work in a new capacity. Other than carrying the gear in, rigging is largely a puzzle. Moving rocks that weigh 600 pounds and placing them in spots it was difficult to climb to, with a minimal effort other than the pulling of a lever is a great cognitive exercise. We had a lot of fun and felt it an appropriate final hitch.
Hitch Nine 
Our penultimate hitch put us in the heart of the Kiava Wilderness, just south of Sequoia National Forest. We drove about two hours in on some windy back roads that clung to the hillside all the way up to our camp at 7500 ft in the Skodie Mountains. He had heard that bad weather was approaching so we psyched ourselves up to get snowed on. We put in two full days of work before our old buddy the rogue volunteer came by in a Jeep and told us that we should plan on at least 8 inches. We got up the next morning with an inch on the ground and it still falling steadily. We decided the safe thing to do was drive out then, while we knew we could make it. So we headed for Ridgecrest with ideas to wait out the storm and attempt to find another place to work. The next morning we went back to Walker pass where we had stayed the previous hitch… it lies around 5000 ft so we assumed we would see some trail… we were mistaken. But we did have a great time playing in the snow. We made the safe decision and got off the mountain and had to sacrifice a few days of work. Like any trail crew member will tell you, the job takes sacrifices.
Hitch Eight 
Our eighth hitch took us North to Sequoia National Forest where we camped at Walker Pass and worked trail south. It was the hitch of digging tread. Beginning about one mile in, the trail dwindled to less than a foot in width due to the decomposing granite hillside across which the trail is built. We set to widening it with shovels and rakes and implements of destruction. At times the work was monotonous but we managed to power through and have a good time doing it. It was another landscape that produced some amazing experiences some of which were captured by the rogue volunteer.
Hitch Seven 
On our next hitch we were treated to nights indoors. We were again working with the other SCA-PCT crew but this time staying in a Forest Service cabin overlooking Lake Arrowhead and working in Deep Creek. We put in at Splinters Cabin and worked South doing some treadwork and the routine lopping. The other crew found some spots that would benefit from a retaining wall and worked with the PCTA and some rigging equipment. We moved ahead the first few days but then worked North from the cabin on some rock checks and drainage structures. Much of the trail was severely eroded and there were many sections where exposed rock made travel dangerous. It was an opportunity to employ our critical thinking and use a combination of techniques and structures we had learned earlier. Having been at it for three months it was a great to get a project that let us flex out creative muscle. Having learned the building blocks and essential elements of trailwork, the crew was able to begin combining and altering the concepts to create sustainable solutions. Unfortunately we forgot to photograph these amazing structures. But we had another fun hitch with ideal weather and a great time in the house with the other crew.
Hitch Six 
After a long week off in which we traveled down to southern California to begin the second half of our session we arrived in the San Bernardino National Forest. We got to work with the other SCA-PCT crew for the first time since we trained together three months ago. It was great to see them again. The California’s high desert is a far cry from the Columbia River Gorge and yet it was a continuation of the beauty that we have been lucky enough to work in since we started. We set up camp at the top of a Forest Service road not far from where Interstate 15 meets Route 138 and worked trail north almost six miles. There were places impassable for horses and the hard, prickly vegetation had grown completely over the trail in a number of spots. It was a fairly demanding mix of brushing and treadwork and the weather tested our resolve at times. But for the challenges we were rewarded with fantastic views and a great feeling of accomplishment at the end of the hitch. We were joined by some great volunteers, met some cool hikers and saw our old friends PCT1, all in all it was another good hitch.
Matt Shea 
My name is Matt Shea and I am a liver of life. My Mother gave birth to me in Connecticut and I lived there for nearly 20 years. In fact I think it was almost exactly twenty years. But then I heard the mountains call (it went something like: "cuckoo cuckoo"), and so I packed up my car and hit the road for Oregon. Now, two and a half years and a thousand adventures later I live in Connecticut again, working part time shoveling snow off the sides of a giant inflatable dome.
Kelsey Harter 
My name is Kelsey Harter and I grew up in Corona, CA. I have been going to California State University, Chico for the past three years where I enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and floating the Sacramento River. I also play women's rugby for my college and have a great time doing it. I am really looking forward to my opportunity working on the Pacific Crest Trail. I love being outside and I can't wait to live outside in beautiful places and help improve hikers' experience on the trail.
Hitch Five 
Our next hitch brought us to the Columbia River National Scenic Area. Constituting a good part of the border between Washington and Oregon “The Gorge” is quintessential Pacific Northwest; it has unique geology, a wide variety of flora and fauna and breathtaking scenic vistas. We were located on the shoulder of Table Mountain, just over the Bridge of the Gods on the Washington side. We created a campsite near where the PCT crosses an old logging road and not far from a small creek. We worked North from the campsite doing some brushing, outsloping and a few small drainage structures. Much of our time was also spent in a stream crossing that was blown out annually due to the spring runoff and the steep grade with which it crossed the trail. To prevent this from happening again we built a gabion: a wire mesh box filled with rocks. After constructing the box, we set it into the slope and filled it with rock before sewing it shut and stacking another on top it. The two boxes ran 14 feet long, three deep and, three tall, thus tying into the solid mineral soil on both ends and elevating the trail to the proper height. It was another great project that allowed us to practice what we had learned earlier and challenge us with new construction ideas and techniques. We had invaluable assistance from both the Forest Service and PCTA and were helped by volunteers with some of the treadwork. We were also joined by our slimy friends the slugs, some of which made it onto a helmet which we all took turns wearing.
Auguie Henry V 
Hello, my name is Auguie Henry. I am from Cottage Grove, Oregon, a small town with it's backyard in the Umpqua National Forest. I am greatly looking forward to my SCA experience working and living on the Pacific Crest Trail for six months. I feel that as a part of my education in ecology it is pertinent to spend a great deal of time living and working in nature observing how ecosystems interact and humans' place within the grand picture. I hope to learn about conservation ethics in a backcountry setting as well as growing as a leader in future endeavors.
Alex Aaker 
I grew up in the midwest where I attended St Olaf College in Minnesota, majoring in Environmental Studies with a focus on the humanities. Following my graduation in May '09 I took an SCA internship in Lake Clark National Park in Alaska, and since then I've been involved with the SCA as a member of the Desert Restoration Corps, a high school crew leader, and now am looking forward to trail work on the Pacific Crest Trail. My family tells me I'll soon tire of sleeping on the ground and working out in the elements-- but that's something I look forward to most in this upcoming crew. I find that while many things are simplified living outdoors, relationships are stronger and more genuine in the woods.
Hitch Four 
Our fourth project took us to Killen Meadows on the western slope of Washington's Mt. Adams. We arrived in the rain and set up camp at about 6000 ft. Two of the members, Auguie and Matt, had hiked the 50 miles South from the last job site at White Pass to our current location and were there waiting for us... smelly but smiling. In and around Killen Meadows runs a little alpine stream that cascades over some lava falls and creates islands and isolated campsites. We worked to repair one end of a bridge just above the falls, bringing in a dozen or so massive rocks and elevating the tread to ensure the water stayed in the stream, not on the trail. We then set to work building rock check steps. A bit trickier than timber checks, they at times tried our patience but when done right are more durable than wood and come with a bit more satisfaction. We also redesigned a switchback and armored a stream crossing, all of which demanded the biggest rocks we could find. We were joined by Mattios, a friend of Lori's and his muscle and attitude were invaluable. This was another hitch that allowed us to build on our previously-learned skills and challenged us in a variety of ways. About half way through the sun came out and we enjoyed absolutely fabulous weather from then on. Mt. Adams was aglow in the morning and evening and a beacon of white all day long, when the stars came out we knew that we were some place very special and we all talk about how eager we are to return to Killen Meadows.
Hitch Three 
Hitch number three put us in the Wenatchee National Forest, just Southeast of spectacular Mt. Ranier, near White Pass, Washington. We were also finally made a complete crew by the addition of Alex Aaker, an SCA alumna an seasoned outdoors-woman. We rode the chairlift to the top of Pigtail Peak and set up camp right under the chairlift terminal. We were then introduced the world of check steps: structures that run perpendicular to the tread and retain soil thus mitigating the effects of erosion and elevating the height of the tread, making travel much easier. We were assisted by some fine US Forest Service people in the falling of trees and then set to work debarking and bucking them up into 6-8 foot lengths. We dug anchor points into the slope on both sides of the trail, making sure they were deep enough to prevent water from seeping underneath. We back-filled them with rock and capped them with soil, packing and tamping them down all the while. We had our first volunteers of the season as well as our first rain... no connection of course. We also had two days off in the middle of our long hitch and made an overnight trek into the Goat Rocks Wilderness. It was another fantastic time in which we furthered our construction skills and our connection to the land.
Hitch Two 
Our second hitch was another reroute and more fun on the slopes of Mt. Washington in central Oregon. The terrain provided us with a few more challenges and demanded that we go over some rocky sections. We concentrated on our grade reversals and building the most sustainable trail that the conditions would allow. We were able to build on the skills we practiced last hitch as well as augment our theories and knowledge about the Pacific Crest Trail. We were packed into Upper Washington Pond where the mosquitoes were few, the Pacific Salamanders were copious and a short hike brought us to a spectacular view of the Cascades. The weather continued to be perfect and we grew more in tune with our natural surroundings; waking up with sun and going to sleep bye the glow of a campfire is the way life should be lived.
Hitch One 
After the drive to Oregon our season began with a couple of reroutes near Mt. Washington in the Willamette Nation Forest. Sections of the trail were so badly eroded that the rocky bench was nearly impassible. We started by cutting the corridor through thick Pacific Northwest forests. There were trees and bushes to plow through, downed logs to remove, rocks to avoid and a number of other obstacles to tackle before we began cutting actual trail. We had a blast swing axes, working the crosscut saws and using all of our new skills to give the trail those nice curves and scenic vistas. Once the corridor was cut we set to making the smooth bench and gentle grades that western trails are known for. It was hugely rewarding to create such a nice piece of trail from scratch and then get to rehabilitate the old section in attempts to restore it to its natural state. We worked really hard in the beautiful weather and only got more excited for the work to come.
Training in the Inyo National Forest outside Mammoth CA was fantastic. From setting up a base camp, working on the vehicles, practicing our backcountry cuisine, learning about Leave No Trace, getting Wilderness First Aid and Crosscut Saw certification to getting down to some real trailwork we had a great time and learned a ton. Everyone's attitude was phenomenal and we were looking forward to starting our grand adventure.
Sterling B Collins-Hill 
Sterling grew up in rural Maine but got a unique view of the world from the bow of his father’s canoe and through his mother’s passion for playing host family to students and teachers from all over the world. He spent his first five years in the workforce as a part of his regional conservation corps where he learned the joys of serving his community and saving his planet.
He went to college in upstate New York where he studied Art and English. After moving West and working a variety of education jobs from woodworking teacher to snake handler to after-school specialist he is excited to again have an office in the great outdoors.
He views leading a trail crew down the PCT as an incredible gift and an opportunity to practice his craft. When not in the backcountry he can be found taking in live music, sampling local cuisine, dreaming about his next travel experience and pickling whatever vegetables he can get his hands on.