Their morning commute is a 35 minute hike past colossal cacti and under constant sun. Not a Starbucks or a donut shop in sight. Once they arrive, they use some admittedly silly routines to ensure everyone is stretched before they pick up their tools and go to work.
This is how every day has started for nearly the past two weeks. When the Alternative Spring Break team from Vermont Academy arrived at Saguaro National Park on March 6, is was still cold and wintery. A massive hail storm marked their first day, and even last night wicked winds snapped two tent poles and ripped a rainfly. Today, however, temperatures will reach into the upper 80s but the crew cannot afford to slowdown.
They have to finish a reroute of Garwood Trail, worn down to some places more than three feet below the rest of the terrain by constant equestrain use. It’s hard work but not without its rewards. Student Mike Reilly says “This is definitely one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. But it’s fun to challenge yourself.”
Shelby Johnson adds the ASB has changed her entire perspective on parks. “When you walk the trails you don’t really think about what it takes to maintain them. You just think, ‘oh, this is a nice trail.’ But when you’re here doing the work you discover just how hard it can be.”
I just posted dozens of new pix on Flickr that illustrate a Day in the Life of this ASB crew. Take a look…