Project Leader: Peter Gernsheimer Project Dates: 9/8/10 to 6/24/11 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 208.914.0410 Address: 903 Lopez St, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Hitch #5 Report
11/27 Day 1
This is our last hitch in El Malpais! Wow, we've come a long ways. To start, we're going to finish the Armijo Canyon exclosure. Its perimeter is about 1.4 miles long and has already taken us about three
days; With such cold and windy weather, it may take us another 3 days. This is the most bad*** thing I
have ever done...living and working in consistent 0 to 40 degree weather!
11/29 Day 3
The temperature has consistently hovered around freezing. Even after a full day of sun, our veggies,
our water, and Jared's soul continues to stay frozen. This has become a big concern because, now, not
even boiling water or steam can thaw the tap enough to let water out of our tank! I also fear our souls
will be soon be like Jared's. The only thing that did not freeze is the hummus, peanut butter, cheese,
and hot sauce. We've only been out here for three days, but we have already fallen into the trend of
lunches inside the truck to save us from the chilly winds and a minimum of four layers of clothing.
After much deliberation over the water issue and after Jim, one of our BLM contacts, told us to stop
working because this storm would not be letting up for another 24 hours, we decided to pack up and go back to Rio Rancho. We agreed it would be good for our frozen spirits and damp sleeping bags to stay in our house, with accessible water, while this wearisome weather passed. Even though we are prepared to work through any weather, I am positive each one of us was doing a little yippee on the inside.
It clearly was meant to be because on our quick stop to Walgreens, Peter finds a box of Buffalo wings right next to our truck in the parking lot! What are the chances that there is a box of untouched, uneaten chicken wings and that he didn't run over them? Were they warm? No. Did Peter eat them? Uh, yeah! Three for him and three for Michael. No one else wanted any, but we did find it pretty hilarious.
12/1 Day 5
Harsh weather has passed and we're back in the game. We should have the Armijo fence completely
down and hauled out by tomorrow. Get this, it's about 50 degrees, no wind, and sunny! New Mexico
sure has some flip-floppy winters.
Once we are done with this fence, we are heading over to Sand Canyon to close up some illegal camps
and incursions made during the fall hunting season.
12/4 Day 8
This is our last day in the El Malpais NCA! It is so bittersweet. I think by now, we are all ready to come in from the cold and take showers, but this may be the last time we come to this beautiful, historical land (unless they want us back in the spring or we each come back on our own time).
For the past two days, we worked on three campgrounds; two of them were created illegally, so we
closed them up by dragging downed logs and rocks and scattering them all over so as to “give them
hell” as the BLMers called it. Unfortunately, these are popular campgrounds and it is going to take more than just heavy logs and a carsonite to keep the seasonal visitors from trespassing. Even though they are well-established and heavily used areas, I believe we accomplished our point of letting the land users know that we aren't trying to annoy them, but rather letting them know that even though BLM land is not very regulated, they need to respect the policies laid out for these areas and that they are being monitored more so than they think they are.
Goodbye, Northwest New Mexico...for now! You gave us a spacious suburban house, Peter Rabbit (no relation to the leader), lightning storms, snow storms, breathtaking sunsets, a balloon festival, lava flows, pinon-juniper mesas, the wonderful El Malpais BLMers, and so much more!