Ah, hitch 13, our last full hitch together as a crew in the Owen’s Peak Wilderness. It twas a good one.
This hitch started off slightly different than the others, with an educational and exciting all corps trip to the farm that provides us with our Abundant Harvest CSA boxes. No time was wasted upon arrival, and we were immediately put to work harvesting some chamomile plants. After they were good and satisﬁed with our labor, the farm owner, Uncle Vernon, took us on an enthralling tour of the rest of the farm. However, this didn’t mean that our work was done. More was required from us, and we were put back into the ﬁelds to help prune some nectarine trees and then thrown into an assembly line of workers to help put together the CSA boxes. Overall it was an eye opening and educational experience and Uncle Vernon was brimming with advice, experience, and knowledge for us all. Upon leaving, many thanks were given and Vernon requested that we bring our children to the farm so they could share our experiences and knowledge about organic farms. Boy do I plan on it. I just need to ﬁnd some children ﬁrst.
After getting to spend some time with other crews and a night in the house, hitch rolled on as normal. However, this was not necessarily going to be a normal hitch for the Owen’s Peak crew. We were going to host some volunteers! The return of Kate and Nate and two other mystery volunteers was eagerly anticipated by all. Our fencing project in short canyon was all set up for the volunteer event, so the ﬁrst 3 days of work were spent starting a fence in Indian Wells Canyon. Although the views were great and the wildﬂowers were blooming, the digging was rough, hot and slow going. So, by day 6 we were all ready for a change of pace and for the arrival of our volunteers. Kate and Nate came bouncing in at 8 am sharp with the two other volunteers in tow. Warm greetings were given all around and we were happy to meet Tony, a competitive and vivacious lady with many surprises and lots of rings, and Jerri, a sweet and eager woman who worked hard and loved the outdoors. After setting up camp, we put them to work right away on our Short Canyon fence, and boy could they work. We sped along that fence and the volunteers helped us complete a good chunk of it in just one and a half days.
The second day of the volunteer event brought our fearless leader, Marty Dickes in her little Toyota truck and camper. In the camper was something that we had only heard magical stories about…the legendary blind cat Skidoo! He was all we had hoped for and more, and it was clear that he was in good hands with Marty. That evening we had an insanely wonderful potluck with the volunteers and Marty. The crew was amazed by all the food and happy to be able to eat more than just one dish for dinner. It was great nourishment for our day hike in the Sand Canyon wilderness the next day. We were all impressed by the hiking abilities of our volunteers in the hot and sunny weather and through some slightly treacherous terrain. All in all it was a beautiful hike and a nice day spent with our volunteers. That evening we said goodbye to Kate, Nate, Tony, and Jerri, and were sad to see them go.
The rest of hitch was hot and sweaty and just not the same without our new friends. However, we managed to make some good progress on the Short Canyon fence which we should be able to ﬁnish during our last hitch.
Farewell our faithful readers, and come back next time to read about our ﬁnal hitch and all corps!
Ermopolis the Time Traveler