Hitch 7 U-routes: This u-routes hitch began with a mix of two veterans and two newbies. John and Eric had no previous u-routes experience, but Brett changed that and by the end of the first day they were trimble-using machines. We were primarily confined to areas near Moyer due to the raging Salt Fire of 2011, and the plumes of smoke that we witnessed from the opposite ridges were epic. We were at times convinced that the apocalypse had arrived. By day six we got the word to evacuate Moyer. Together with Veg, we packed up the base and within an hour and a half a crew of very cute heli-rappellers were escorting us out via North Fork. We spent the remainder of hitch at the Incident Command Post fire camp where they fed us 6000 calories per day and allowed us to witness the planning process of fighting wildland fire. It wasn’t pertinent to u-routes, but it was an exciting experience and definitely something to write home about.
October 15, 2011 •