Hitch 11

The Golden Valley Crew pulled out its arsenal of skills this hitch taking on some monitoring, restoration, and fence building in both Grass and Golden Valley. We began the work week by removing the last of the barbed wire from Grass Valley. Finally we are done with that heinous fence. I can’t tell you how glad we all are to never have to work with barbed wire again. Our wounds can finally begin to heal. The next day we split into teams and monitored the North, South, and Western boundaries in Golden Valley. Besides some minor fence repairs and a wilderness sign that had been blown to smithereens (see photo), the boundary and some previous restoration sites were still holding. Revisiting some of the old restoration sites in Golden was pretty sweet…Some of the places that we monitored hadn’t been visited since our first hitch.

The rest of our hitch was spent in the southeast corner of Grass Valley. It’s a long drive out there along narrow, dirt roads and we were sure to take a couple of breaks to pose for some random photos along the way. The main task to be done at the southeast corner was to build a mile long fence at the boundary. Before we could do that, we had to restore an incursion at the beginning of the proposed fence. The crew tackled that project in a day and we were ready to begin fencing the following morning. Alex from the BLM came out to help us sight the entire fence line and once all the corners had been established, we got started digging holes for the H-braces. The next couple days were spent pounding in t-posts and stringing the steel wire for the fence and by the time we were ready to head home, we’d done about a ¼ mile.

We wrapped Hitch 11 up with a tour of the famous petroglyphs on the China Lake Naval Base. The Owens crew wasn’t doing anything (as usual) and decided to tag along for the day. After going through security we were led by tour guides through Little Petroglyph (Renegade) Canyon. The place was littered with thousands of drawings, everywhere you looked, some as old as 16,000 years. The half day tour onto China Lake was a great way to end Hitch 11 and head into a much deserved break…