The great thing about this job is it allows you to be diverse in the work you accomplish and Hitch 10 was the hitch of many trades. In the early stages of the hitch, all four Ridgecrest crews were treated to a tour of the petroglyphs on the China Lake U.S. Naval Air Base. Getting on the Naval base required a highly intense screening process. We parked outside the base and every Truck was searched, Cameras had to be put away in a locked container, and all of us had to provide social security numbers and ID’s. After we were let on the base, an hour drive up windy roads followed. The tour was great and it included numerous amounts of incredible petroglyphs. The trail took us down a wash with several dried up waterfalls that required scrambling to continue the hike. The end of the trail took us to a drop-off that overlooked the majestic Mojave dessert. It was a great experience and everyone was so happy to get to see a great piece of Mojave history. We also returned to the Owens Peak Wilderness to clean up trash in Sand Canyon with the Grass Valley crew. It was a pretty day to do it and in the afternoon we visited Fossil Falls, the site of a now dry ancient water fall. We marveled at the super smooth rocks and the holes created by the force of water that were so deep you could fit a whole person in them. We also got to go out for two days with Grass Valley to continue the work on their fence. We had intended to go out for three days with them, but high winds drove us out of the field for a night. After out short stint to out with Grass Valley we headed down to Yucca Valley for our Leave No Trace trainer course in Joshua Tree National Park. This turned out to be the highlight for our crew. We all found the course to be really interesting, and the fact that we got to go backpacking in the park as part of it was just fantastic. Not to many folks get to say they went backpacking in a national park as part of their job.
April 21, 2013 •