Greetings Golden Valley comrades, hitch 13 brought us new challenges and some of the most physically exhausting work yet. We started the hitch with a joyous trip to the Abundant Harvest Organics alliance farms where we get our CSA box each week. We were able to harvest some chamomile, tour the chicken coop, thin the nectarine trees and try our hand at food packing. It was really interesting to learn about the different organic techniques and Vernon, our host, was a delight to meet.
Throughout the rest of hitch, we were able to wrap up a plethora of projects for the season in Grass Valley Wilderness, including finishing our first and second fences, laying out over 100 hay bales, repairing BLM fence, completing three restoration projects and installing bollard barriers all while the heat was in the 80-90s and the workdays were long. The days and nights got so warm, all of our coolers became hot and some of our food went bad, but even that did not lower our spirits- much. There was the Lyrid meteor shower one evening and the next morning we saw a huge meteor, and I think it brought us great luck with finishing our work. At the end of hitch, Marty came out to visit, and she brought us the most succulent frozen watermelon and refreshing soda. By then, most all of our food had spoiled and her re-supply of peanut butter, bread and watermelon really made the whole hitch for us; I think we each ate three or four peanut butter sandwiches that day.
With the sun staying up later each day and nights growing warm, we spent a lot of time hanging out together back at camp. There were kit foxes nearby with new babies, which we watched from afar with binoculars, a few more wild ﬂowers were in bloom, we saw hundreds of lizards out and about and learned to identify ten different airplanes. It was great to really enjoy our surroundings, the stars and each other’s company. I know we will all miss the wilderness when we leave, but these were a great last set of days working in the sun and nights sleeping under the stars in Grass Valley Wilderness.