10 Day Hitch
Greetings from SCA Alaska Team 1! We are currently sitting in a comfy, plush cabin that the kind people of Eagle River Parks and Rec put us in as a thanks for all of our hard work. Complete with steak, BBQ chicken, and a beautiful, relaxing lake, it was all much needed after our ten day hitch, where we faced less than ideal weather and some minor setbacks on our path to opening phase 2 of our trail on beautiful Mount Baldy.
The second half of our hitch saw some major improvements in both moral and the trail. Once the rain stopped, the team quickly got back to work to open up phase 2, a 1200 foot section with a nice switchback halfway through to break up the steep climb. Fueled by the eagerness of local hikers and the complaints of young children who they dragged along with them up the insanely steep and braided old Baldy trail, we made up for our time we could not spend working on the trail very quickly. First, we started by making crush, which involves taking a giant double jack (think really long sledgehammer) and swinging it down on the helpless rocks underneath it. Take that geology! This makes a nice gravel which we can use to fill in parts of the trail which need some extra support, especially our switchback, which without crush was more like chocolate pudding than a trail. As the trail dried and crush was put in, we made one last pass through the entire section, fine tuning it to ensure that all feet and paws that passed through were happy and our trail could withstand the elements.
|Evan Working on Our Muddy Switchback|
Once phase 2 opened, we moved on to revegetating the old portion of the Baldy trail that was now closed. Armed with tundra mats that were cut up from phase 2, we relocated them to a new home hoping that they can give Baldy a little bit more growth. To those who don’t know, the process of revegetation, it’s quite simple. Cut the ground, haul the mat, place the mat, and pray that it grows. All the areas that don’t receive a mat still get cut up, and we sprinkled grass seed all over them. In total, we did 8900 square feet! To top it all off, the Interior Trails people who laid out the plans for our trail, Gabe and Christine, came by to review our work. Despite some of our perfectionist misgivings, they both gave it their stamp of approval, and now we move on to phase 3 of our trail in our last week in Anchorage.
After our long work week, we were all quite tired and in need of some rest, so logically we decided to do a 2 day, 26 mile hike in Chugach State Park during the Fourth of July. Not exactly a spa, but still a great way to take advantage of our four day weekend and see what Alaska has to offer. Complete with stunning views, river crossings, pizza, and even some snow crossings, Crow Pass was one beautiful hike.
|Crow Pass – Stunning!|
|The Crew at Crow Pass|
Just before coming to the cabin, we resupplied at Costco, and, if you’re unsure of what it looks like when a bunch of hungry trail workers are able to buy an entire pizza for $10 and a forearm sized ice cream swirl for $1.35, just check the picture below. Who says Alaska isn’t cheap?
|Calorie Catch-Up at Costco!|
Well, that’s all for this week. Just one more week on Baldy and then Corps Team 1 is off to Denali! Easy goings!
|Teammate Tyler Looking Photogenic|