In the 12th week of our program, we had rock workskills with Rebecca Pike. It was a wonderful experience because it took hard team work and determination to move boulders. The work site, a different section of the Copper Mountain Loop we worked on previously, was very beautiful. The hike there from our campsite was roughly two miles. The rocks that we needed to move for the rock wall must have been at least 800 pounds each, if not more. But we didn’t have to move just any rock – this rock was schist, a metamorphic rock. It tends to break apart with any rough movement, so we had to be very careful when moving them around. We were able to move enormous rocks to a certain location to construct a rock wall after Rebecca taught us how to use rock bars to move large rocks safely and efficiently. We learned how to place the rocks with multiple points of contact to make a strong, sturdy, and long-lasting retaining wall. Finding large rocks to build the wall was fun. We broke off pieces from the surrounding mountains or dug rocks out of the ground. We also learned a method called crush and fill to fill in the spaces in the rock wall. We smashed rocks with a double or single jack hammer to make pieces as small as possible. It was very tedious and hard work. We finished the week with a great sense of pride in our wall. Although we did not accomplish a lot of distance, we know that the wall we built is strong and will support many hikers, bikers, and equestrians and will allow many people to enjoy the Copper Mountain Loop.
December 16, 2012 •