Our final hitch and project were on the side of beautiful Santa Rosa Mountain overlooking Palm Springs and the Indio Valley. We were tasked with maintaining the Sawlead mill trail which had fallen into disrepair after years of no work and minimal use.
We cut tread, cleared downed logs, fixed drainage issues, brushed back vegetation and reworked switchbacks. It was great work in near perfect conditions with unbeatable weather. While only 2.5 miles in length the trail was steep in the southern sections, climbing over 1000 feet. We hiked a lot, worked hard and breathed in the cool mountain air deeply, savoring our last wilderness voyage of the season.
The final two days of the hitch were a Leave No Trace trainer course in Joshua Tree National Park. We were lead and taught by Matta Duarte, who has accompanied us into the field before. It was a great educational opportunity and we now feel comfortable teaching the LNT principles should we find outselves in a place to share them. It was also a great way to round out an already successful season. We walked 13 miles in the park and were able to soak in the desert one last time.