Yowsers. Who knew the first night at camp we would get SO acquainted? After a half day of pack in and the other half working the trail, the crew returned to base camp and immediately stripped to their skivvies and had a tick check. (Separate genders of course...) It actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise because when you know everyone's mole placement and tick-friendly areas, it's a great foundation to build a well oiled machine of a tight crew.
So that's how it all started, day one, hitch one.
Most of our work was maintenance on the River Trail, general brushing, re-tread, and log out. About day three, we started and finished a 150 ft re-route of the trail that had been washed out by the high water. The crew used the cross-cut saw to remove huge down trees and busted new trail to bring it around to the existing usable trail. So we brushed and logged some more, and doing that really works up the old appetite. So let's get to the food.
The crew ate like Kings and Queens for about 8 out of the 10 days because we sort of ran out of fuel and breakfast foods, but rice and cous cous for breakfast isn't all bad. Jake and Katrina helped make some of our dinners 'Gourmet' with the wild Morel mushrooms they harvested. Yum. Wild Mushroom Corn Chowder, Mac & Cheese Mexican Refried Bean Casserole, Stir-fry, Red Bean Quinoa Peanut Butter Medley, Penne Canned Chicken Pesto...just to name a few. My stomach is growling just thinking of those meals.
The weather from the Northwest seemed to follow us for the beginning of the Hitch with two rainy days, just enough to soak the boots and keep the river raging. But after that, the rest of our days were filled with that Oregonian Super Sunshine, not a cloud to be seen. This made the after work wash/dunk in the frigid river a little more tolerable. To save space, Brian (Chip) and Dan shared a tent as well as Katrina and Mary. They are now as snug as a bug in a rug. Jake and Daniel decided to take their own tents and were happy to have the space as Night Mice late in the hitch started to nibble (chew, tear up) on weird things like boots, gloves, shoulder straps and mouthpieces. BUMMER! Turns out the SCA and the Forest Service aren't the only ones who like our sweaty (salty) hard work.
Katrina also brought out her incredible photo taking machine when the weather was nice and she snapped some great shots. The crew camera also made an appearance but both ran out of battery with too many days left in the hitch. We have learned our lesson to come in with full charge! Not just in batteries, but in everything!
Overall, we hiked about 40 miles, brushed/cleared 5.5 miles, logged out a bunch of obstacle trees, and had a grand ole time doing it in just 10 days.
To end, we gathered in a circle and downed the last of the Honey, Syrup, and "Real Strawberry Topping" from the No-Bake JELLO cheesecake. Sugar Circle.
So now we've got four days off and head in on Monday the 21st, for a nine day hitch in the same area. Gotta love it! See you back here in a fortnight!