The end of hitch 11 has brought us one hitch closer to the end of this program. Both bringing a little sadness and a little excitement. Long gone are our nights of single digits, not seeing another person except our own crew for 12 days straight, and not seeing one insect or little critter poke it’s head out during an entire hitch. This hitch we were greeted by all the other crews during our All-Corps event, some desert tortoises, a mini OHV event, a rave, and a pizza pool party. Which is why this blog may be a little late in it’s posting, nap time was needed. Also, as a disclaimer, there may be many grammatical errors due to post nap grogginess.
As hosts to this year All-Corps event, we had a lot of prep work to do to get ready for 30+ people working on a fence bordering the Grass Valley wilderness area. Which meant lots and lots of materials were needed: t-posts, bales of wires, bollards and more bollards. Luckily Jawbone and Kiavah were up to the challenge of helping us haul a ton of wires and a couple tons of t-posts out. Which meant we all got a lot of Ridgecrest radio time (Ridgecrest radio is the best radio) or sleeping time (you know you’ve perfected your jelly ﬁsh when the bumpy roads begin to lull you to sleep). All the while we got to advance our fence sighting techniques, the task in which we try to site a straight line armed with only a compass and binoculars among many tall creosote bushes. We went from trying to see through the creosotes, to attempting the sit on another’s shoulders (that barely lasted a second..it was not in the JHA), to ﬁnally bringing out a ladder to see over the creosotes….which by far works the best.
With Jawbone and Kiavah’s help we were able to spend a day away from our All-Corps organizing to help one of the BLM archaeologists at Portuguese Canyon. We learned about obsidian tools, as well as their creation process. And we got to play archaeologists, ﬁnding and marking bifaces and milling features.
And then there was All-Corps. As hosts we arrived at our campsite for the event a day early, in order to get ready for the other crews. Driving to our campsite was easy, as all we had to do was follow “Scrappertown Urinal Target” signs, which we later found out lead to an OHV gathering at the next campsite over. When we arrived at the dry lake bed we were camping at, we were greeted by the tail end of a rave. At 11 am there were still speakers piled in a messy pyramid style, blasting some continuous rave beats, which could be heard from the corner of the lake bed we claimed as ours. After trying to ﬁnd another campsite, to no avail, we settled on calling the other crews to make sure they brought out extra earplugs and glow sticks. Which turned out to be unnecessary, as it was only a one night party and the group slowly dwindled as the day went on.
We had our own little party once the other crews came out. Which involved Jurassic Park viewing on a trailer, catchphrase, multiple games of Settler’s of Catan, tortoise viewing show at Will’s tent, and a ﬁrework show put on by our neighbors Burning Ham. Plus over 2 miles of fence being completed in over 90 degree weather. The hitch ended with a pizza pool party at our BLM contact’s parents’ home. There couldn’t have been a better way to end a hot hot hitch and say goodbye to Jawbone and Rands.