After our first hitch, the Umathrillas stayed at the luxurious Chief Timothy campground, where the lawns are cut and the men’s showers are free. While off hitch, the team enjoyed an art walk in Moscow, Idaho, explored a Petco, and saw Prometheus in theaters.
On our last day off hitch, we were united with our newest member, Dan. His first impression was all of us shining our headlamps in his face and nearly blinding him.
The Umathrillas grew tired of contemporary life and went back to our old spot in the Umatilla National Forest. We did some minor tread work, moved a rock that was roughly 850 lbs, and spent the rest of our 10 day hitch brushing intense gnar that I can only describe as a rainforest. Our leader, Tony, kept our team in high spirits by repeating the mantra, “It gets better right around the corner”. Most of the time it didn’t.
During our trip we encountered by some wildlife, including multiple snakes, 4 mountain goats, a lizard, elk and deer. We made our days more interesting by having specific theme days for each day of the week, such as Mystery Monday and Sarcastic Tuesday (it even rhymes!). After our delicious backcountry meals, we sat around the fires and had members give their autobiographies, one each night.
Then it was finally time to pack up camp and hike out of the forest. It was also Jill’s 24th birthday, so after the hike we enjoyed a night at a Forest Service building, which to us felt like a five star hotel. The next day we met with the Umakillas (Umatilla 2) and formed Megatilla starting with a bonding ritual of a group boot dance in Pendleton, Oregon. The town has many attractions including the annual wiener dog races.
What adventures are to be had in the future? I do not know, but I do know that fun and laughter is just around the corner.
The gnar numbers:
52,800 sq. feet of jungle gnar brushed
35 ft. tread rehab
1 big ole rock moved out of the trail