April Fools started off Hitch 12 for the Golden Valley Crew after a wonderful breakfast of none other than coconut grits. Thankfully, it was just (appropriately) a joke that we (once again) had to do Owens’ work. The rest of the day we continued chugging through Pre-Hitch chores and ended with a wonderful trip to Red Rock Canyon. Tucked into a sand cove, we had the pleasure of listening to Audrey’s Environmental Ed presentation on the Kawaiisu (thanks again Josh Jones for the book)! That evening we got to roll our own vegan sushi! Yummy. After dinner, since we did not venture into the field, many crew members took the opportunity to nerd out on Game of Thrones Season 2 premiere!!!!!! It was epic.
We woke up to sushi rice turned into rice cereal! But wait…sushi rice is made with vinegar. The interesting mixtures of ﬂavors lead most of us to eat evil chewy granola. After breakfast, project leader Jon brought us into the Rand Mountains area. We continued the day helping start a large hill climb restoration project and trading snack goodies with our dear allusive friends. Milkshakes in Ransburg would have concluded a hard work day wonderfully…maybe next time. We came back to the house to enjoy delicious graten and watch the finals between the Kansas Jayhawks and the Kentucky Wildcats!
Day 3 brought us to Sand Canyon in the Owens Peak Wilderness Area to help out with SEEP (Sand Canyon Environmental Education Program). We assisted Peggy in setting up different stations and got pumped for the children to come! After an exciting day of bird watching, art, aquatics and hanging out with fourth graders, we spent an hour exploring the incredible depths of Sand Canyon. Then spotted a Chuckwalla lizard on the way to a wonderful Mexican restaurant in Inyokern-thanks Matt!
The next morning, we got ready to go home-Grass Valley here we come! The morning started out smoothly, aside from some moldy cupcakes, but as we hitched up our trailer the wheel on our jack broke. After a while of finessing, we got the trailer hitched up securely. However, as we went to fill up gas, we realized that one of our Wex Cards had been misplaced. Coincidences or Bad Omens?! We then started our 3 hour car drive out to our campsite spotting three beautiful gopher snakes along the road. About 20 minutes away from camp, we stopped to stage some fence supplies and realized our trailer was leaking: “UMM…WE HAVE A PROBLEM!” Quickly, we unloaded all of the contents of our trailer and managed to stop our gushing water tank by squeezing a plastic bag into the whole. Losing 35 gallons of water to the dusty desert road, we were thankful that this misfortune came to us on a short field hitch. After weighing our options, we decided it would be best to all stay in the field and fix the trailer after hitch. Because of the many mishaps, we got to camp in time to set up, start dinner, and create a makeshift well system to access our water. Mock Duck Salad was a hit (Ryan’s new favorite meal) and afterwards we played an intense game of Eucher, the better team coming out on top. Dappled in the beautiful sunset, the adventurous day ended well.
Finally, we got to dive, head-first, into our fencing project! The day started off with our routine stretch circle and riddle of the day. Even in the intense desert wind we pounded in a ton of t-posts, tensioned multiple strands of wire, dug to China and sawed off many bollards in preparation for our h-braces. The next morning we got to admire the start of our marvelous fence as we cruised down the road to the next corner section. The rest of hitch ﬂew by as our fence grew longer and our fencing techniques sharper. We encountered a few minor setbacks: broken wires, stuck bollards, a dysfunctional chainsaw (day 7), and a one-eyed pirate! However, we conquered all and returned back to hand sawing. Chauncey quickly recovered from a scratched eye and we went back to the joys of Ridgecrest aching and dirty; yet admiring our growing muscles, the warm sunshine, ice cream and the prospect of watching GOT.
Until next time Grass Valley!
Sending our desert thoughts,
Golden Valley Crew