As our season fades out, the hitches seem shorter and the end feels near. Our eleventh hitch and sole hitch in Ridgecrest was a great change from the Wildcorps norm. We saw many familiar faces in unfamiliar places.
We began with archeology in Portuguese Canyon near Coso Junction. The artifacts are thought to be on a seasonal site where Native Americans briefly stayed after crossing the Sierras. Each day we met archeologist Ashley from the Ridgecrest office at a site that gleamed with obsidian artifacts and stones having a variety of milling features. The other DRC crews took turns coming out for the day and assisting with our surveying efforts. We spent two days walking transect lines while marking artifacts and features. Artifacts included obsidian biface flakes and arrowheads. The two following days were spent classifying, photographing, and recording the artifacts and features on paper and GPS devices. WildCorps enjoyed the unique challenges of our task and the company of other DRC members. Wildlife was booming and with a rattlesnake and a desert tortoise making appearances.
The second part of Hitch 11 was the final All-Corps, the setting was a dry lake bed in Grass Valley. Fun times were had by all. There were the famous themed potlucks, slack lines, Jurassic Park, and more. The fun was evenly spaced out between the long hot days of fencing. WildCorps got their first taste of building H-braces. It was a productive three days of work which was rewarded with all of us becoming tan and strong and fed a lot of ice cream by the Ridgecrest BLM.
Highlights of this hitch included Marcus’s birthday (featuring gluten-free German Chocolate Brownie Cake made in a cast iron skillet), seeing our first desert tortoises in the wild, Fossil Falls, visiting a swimming hole, spending quality time with other DRC crews, and getting a taste of Ridgecrest life. We are excited for our last hitch, Palm Springs, baby!