Hitch 13: The Jawbone Gals


The Jawbone Crew Tours the Desert


The Mattress Pavi (Hailee) strikes back, leading the gals of the Jawbone/Rands crew (Tori, Grace, Natalie, Rachel) on a whirlwind of a hitch. With this being the last hitch before Allcorps, where all five DRC crews come together to work on a big project, there was much to be done on the front lines of the Mojave. Not only did us gals breeze through many incursions in both the Rands and Jawbone areas, preventing any sort of OHV invasion into these fragile landscapes, we also brought many 4th and 5th grade Ridgecrest students to the light, by participating in SEEP (Sand Canyon Environmental Education Program). 

Although 60 MPH winds swept through the canyon on the planned morning of the program, we were not fazed. Nay, we thrived in the face of this adversity! With the helpful hands of the locals who put on this great environmental program, the fun learning was brought back to the Ridgecrest elementary school. We were able to teach many kids about Leave No Trace practices, as well as how to observe nature, while respecting it at the same time. The young ones earned Wilderness Explorer Junior Ranger badges, the Jawbone gals high-fived, and off we went, to find the next adventure on our desert tour.

All ten members of the Jawbone/Rands crew camped and worked together for a majority of the hitch, increasing our speed, resilience, and incursion completion exponentially. The wind, however, was our arch nemesis; holding creosote bush branches to our throats, it threatened us to back down. It ambushed our communal tent barracks when we least expected, and they sadly bit the dust for the remainder of this hitch. But did we hang our heads in defeat? No! We will not die like dogs, we will fight like lions! We held our heads high and stood our ground, and the power of the Jawbone/Rands 10 was strong enough to fight back, restoring more than 4200 squared meters in Jawbone alone.

The last leg of our tour took us to the Sierras, where we aided the Wilderness crew, Wildcorps friends, and BLM folk on an archeological dig. We learned a lot about the logistics and detail that goes into cataloging the finds of a dig. Some of us learned how to dig a precise 50 x 50 cm square hole, slowly sifting and searching for artifacts in each layer of soil. Others walked with archeologists from one flagged artifact to another, photographing, measuring, inspecting, and recording all important information. We were jazzed to be able to handle artifacts such as obsidian flakes, beads, pottery shards, and milling stones. It was a slow process, but getting the chance to learn from and work with such talented people was an honor, and we were humbled in their amiable presence.

This Mojave tour left us sandy and tired! After having saved and restored helpless incursions from more perilous and unlawful use, giving the gift of knowledge to the local children, and preserving priceless artifacts, it was time for the Jawbone/Rands gals to head on homeward. All in a days work. Or ten.