Crew Lead: Kailee
Crew Members: Jeremiah, Patrick, Tim, Abe, Jeff
For Hitch 3 South Zone Trails I was lucky enough to lead a group of five guys for two weeks. Wasn’t too bad and I ended up with a pretty cool nickname: Tails. Not sure where the inspiration came from, but I’ll take it. For the hitch we were working at Burnt Aspen Trail on the eastern side. For the first week we were spike camping off the trail about two miles in, which has its pros and cons. Pros being you don’t have to hike in every day to work and getting additional work done. Cons–having to hike in all your personal gear, plus any tools that were not able to be packed in and having to store food in bear canisters that are a pain to open. But for the work itself we mainly dealt with putting in drainage structures, (water bars and check steps) which was difficult because of the rocky terrain, but made the completion of each project all the more satisfying. By the end of this week we had completed 17 water bars and 19 check steps. Oh and for good measure always check the weather every day, especially while working on a mountain, to ensure you are not caught in a lightning storm and having to be in lightning position for over 40 minutes and having your feet start to go numb. Best to try and get off the mountain before this occurs!
For our second week we worked on the western side of Burnt Aspen Trail and were luckily to be able to stay at the forest service guard station for the week. There is nothing like being able to come home for the night and able to sleep in a bed after doing a day of trails, let me tell you. Work wise we completed more water bars and check steps and worked on clearing some of the corridor. The terrain seemed even harder on this side. Every time you started digging to make a place to put a log or rock down you would either hit a huge rock or a root. Very time consuming and frustrating at times. Though we persevered and completed 15 water bars and 2 check steps.
Overall it was a great hitch and I and I believe everyone else learned a lot about maintaining trails and gained some beneficial experience.