Salutations, reader! Hereafter are the tales of the Rands folk of the Desert Restoration Corps during their most-recent bout of restoration. The crew had an immense variety of work and play during this hitch and morale overall was sky-high. In spite of working many half-days and having an entire day devoted to completing the field segment of our ATV training, the crew successfully restored 1093 square meters of the Mojave Desert! Included in this restoration are 249 vertical mulch bushes, 265 seed pits and 8 erosion control structures. The change of seasons is afoot in the desert, as evidenced by the rising heat of the day, fields of wildﬂowers and hordes of desert critters becoming active once again. Below is a day-by-day tale of the hard work, cavorting and learning of the Rands crew over the past 10 days:
There once was a crew from Ridgecrest
Whose work ethic was simply the best!
They camped somewhere new, with a beautiful view
And full of birds and insects.
Next morning they drove off to restore
On the way they became deplored
They took the wrong turn, drove up steep rocks & berms
And with 4 x 4 skills they made it, Score!
Their incursions were monstrous and rough
So they cleverly placed rocks and duff (the uppermost layer of topsoil)
Did they see an iguana? No, some other lizard fauna
T’was a chuckwalla, now we all know our stuff!
Vroom, vroom went the crew’s ATVs
It was so much fun they could hardly believe
How much we all learned, when we cruised on ridges and curves
And at day’s end we went straight to sleep.
Huzzah! The monsters at last are done
It was tough, but rewarding and fun
Camel spider, hello! Here’s a home for you to go
Dan played his penny-whistle and on banjo Darrin strummed.
R85 has one more to fix
We volunteered at the BLM oﬃce
We painted a sign, and together devised
A set up to reach out to the public
That same day we worked 12 straight hours
Surprisingly we all were not sour
It was like a dream, Stephanie bought us ice cream!
Oof, how much did we devour?
At last R85 is no more!
To Red Rock Canyon we went to explore
Learned about paleo, and we all said “Whoa!”
When fossil bones were found in the canyon ﬂoor!
We began work on a new road today
Built a family of creosote to obscure the wrong way
We volunteered in town, but by then it had quieted down
But the cute tortoises all made our day.
The huge creosote city was wrapped up
We all thought, “Man, we really kicked butt!”
We lunched under a Joshua tree, got our camp all ready to leave
At midnight the moon was the color of blood!
Ahh, Post-Hitch day at last!
But shoot, we had such a blast
Great hitch y’all, safe travel near and far
Cheers to this wonderful cast!
The crew’s next hitch will be a Guys vs. Girls showdown, with an all-male crew working in the Rand Mountains. Be sure to read the next blog entry for the exciting conclusion of this friendly competition of the century!