Hitch 8 brought about new adventures. Incipiently this was the first hitch with our newest addition to the crew; of course we did partake in All-Corp together, but this was different in that we went out as a crew, not as the whole DRC. Thus we really had the opportunity to come together as a crew. Queue sentimental awes. Coincidentally, this hitch was idealistic for good ole Sir Sterling Collins-Hill, our new Project leader, who recently hiked the entire lengthy Pacific Crest Trail. Please take note; this ominous foreshadowing. This hitch we worked arm-in-arm with the Palm Springs Bureau of Land Management. Our target goal was to GIS map 400 miles of trails focusing on social trails. For those readers less savvy on technical terms, social trails are none-designated routes created by overuse. They are often unmaintaned. Estimatedly it takes ten people to walk in the same direction to create one of these trails -and once it’s started, as the phrase goes “build it and they will come”. We perambulated nearly all of the northeastern section of the San Rosa and San Jacinto national monument. With miles and miles to go before we slept, an early start was the only way to beat the clock, or so we thought. Having neared the end of the hitch, one lesson that other crews may find helpful is that if you are in the Desert District it does not matter what time you start work because the sun will find you, and it will beat down on you with furious rays of ultraviolet beams that with literally make your sunscreen wish it was wearing sunscreen. Oh, and it you are using a Juno tremble make note as to whether the screen is on or not; because if it is off those two miles you just walked? Never happened. One beautiful thing about Sterling Darling, (as Wildcorp affectionately calls him… and if you know this lucky fellow in real life, please refer to him as ‘darling’, he really likes it. Trust me), is his ability to strategize. While myself and other unamed members believe in the, “eh lets just walk around, its bound to be the right way”, Ole Sterling believes in looking at the maps. Crazy, right? In actuality we were able to utilize this trait and use our time quite efficiently. We did our best and between us walked roughly 400 miles. Wildcorps get yoked, Palm Springs edition. This hitch was not just work, work, work, and no fun. To stick our tradition of lavish accomodations, we camped at the glamourous Ribbonwood Equestrian Camp (horses not included). With delicious potable water, flushing toliets, and temperamental “hot” showers. but The lush plethora of trees, and grass added a level of surrealness not usually found in the desert. With the summery daily weather, and nightly assemblage encircling our campfire, one could say Palm Springs Field Office knows how to spoil its work crews. In fact, we were in such a hot commodity spot that Nissan shut down the road we used to get to work sites to film a commercial. If that doesn’t seal the deal for you then Idyllwild will. Just minutes up highway 74 from Ribbonwood is an oasis like none-other. Located at 5,303 feet there are copious pine trees and profusely grassy flat lands, deer and rabbits, bars, gas stations and quiant mom and pop Inns as far as the eye can see. Due to recent rainfall and snowy winter mixes the higher elevation mountains were efforescenic. This is where the wild flowers are. The stunning sunset are unreal. One can stare at the offing of Hemet Lake, as light succumbs to dark. Everything about this fetching little town is glorious. Idyllwild was quite possibly the cynosure of the hitch. Oh, and we also had a table at this pretty hip festival in Palm Desert. No big deal, but we made some radical new friends, and made off with some swanky Smokey the Bear bandanas. Our BLM contact even got us Chipotle burritos for lunch. We appriciated having a nice day off from extreme hiking ventures, while we sat in the moderately cool shade under our EZ-UP tent. Casually sitting in folding plastic chairs sipping cool water, and talking up the SCA to anyone who would listen – So SCA CEOs, HR reps, members (special shout out to our homeboys Jamie Webler and Matt Duarte) and alum, just know if you suddenly get a rise in member applications, Wildcorps has your back.
April 14, 2013 •