Hitch 8, In Like a Lamb, Out Like a Lion


We returned to the Kiavah Wilderness for Hitch 8 for another exciting and challenging hitch! With Charlie as Hitch Leader, we headed to the desert. Kiavah Crew began this particular desert stint finishing up several restoration projects and eventually finishing all of our work in Horse Canyon. Earlier in the season, we started a project to build a hard barrier arc and make another campsite along the road. However, the soil was too rocky and at a rate of about 6 inches an hour, we decided the manual digging was not worth our time. Luckily, the Friends of Jawbone came out to help. The Friends of Jawbone are a group of responsible OHVers that partner with the BLM and are generally nice folks, but most importantly- they have an auger!! With the auger and the chainsaw, we got the campsite finished in a single day! Thanks Friends of Jawbone! Mid-hitch our dusty trusty diesel truck had some issues with the security system. While it got towed to be fixed, we got a flashy rental truck with XM radio- what a treat! As usual, there were many beautiful sunsets, sunrises, and amazing cloud formations above the Eastern Sierras. Yet, the most beautiful moment of all came on our last day of fieldwork. Waking up in the morning to fog, the weather quickly turned. Soon, the largest snowflakes we have ever seen (Even Molly from Wisconsin thought so!) began to drop from the sky by the bucket load. Taking advantage of the moisture, we broadcast seeded some desert seeds on the hill we restored two hitches before. With intermittent snowball fights and general rejoicing, we finished out Hitch 8 cold, wet, but in good spirits. Never have I seen the El Paso and Southern Sierra mountain ranges so picturesque! We returned to our green monster for tea, toast, and to wrap up a successful hitch.