We started off the hitch by setting up camp at the Umatilla Forks campground, making a bougie hot lunch, and heading up Buck Mountain trail. On the way up, we gave the trail a look over. Seeing where brushing was needed, where the tread could be improved, and where water bars could be placed. We did this until we reached the end of the wilderness, about two and a half miles. We turned back, did some minor brushing, cached our tools, and called it a day.
Our work this week consisted mostly of brushing and building water bars. Oh, and walking up the steepest trail known to man. It had slopes of at least 45 degrees in some spots. And, in other places, the trail was eroded down to the bedrock. The only thing worse than going up was going down. The footing was very treacherous causing us to slip and fall multiple times, showing off our dance moves in the process. The trail was in desperate need of some TLC. Luckily, the Umathrillas are professionals.
For some unknown reason the Trail Gods wanted to make our job much harder. They gave Tony a hernia, causing him to miss a full workday and placing him on the physically unable to perform anything other than light duty work (PUPAOTLDW for short). He had ants in his pants all week. He was like a dog stuck on a boat in the middle of the lake, just itching to get in and do some hard work. The Gods gave Jill a weeklong sickness. She missed one day only because Tony made her and toughed it out for the rest of the time. She never showed any signs of pain, fatigue, or desire to stop working. I was definitely impressed by her toughness. It’s things like that, which make a team stronger. For Dan, he also caught a dose of the illness. He also missed one day. The team really pulled it together and worked even harder on the days our comrades were out.
Other than those misfortunes, we had a great hitch. Highlighted by the Umakillas (Umatilla 2) giving us a surprise visit and showing off their new uniforms. They stayed at Umatilla Forks with us for four days. We had some grand dinners and marvelous desserts. My favorites were having breakfast for dinner and some delicious apple blueberry pie that Leela beautifully crafted. As always, overeating was a common theme, especially on burrito night. Eating loads of chips, salsa, guacamole, and oversized burritos reduced me to the fetal position, swearing I would never eat again.
We did some varsity work this hitch. We did such a good job that Steve (our Walla Walla district contact) decided that he doesn’t need us to work here again. We’ll be working out of the Woodland campground, near Tollgate next hitch.
Draygon Slayer Stats
36,040 sq. feet brushed
378 feet of treadwork done
31 water bars built
3 quarts of ice cream devoured
1 crayfish feast
329 quotes of Taytay (Why do you have to be so mean?)
On the last day of hitch we finally got our snazzy SCA garb. Now I don’t need to wear a woman’s blouse for a work shirt(see hitch 4 pictures).
I’m James Kramer. Stay Classy, Planet Earth.