Project Leader: Natalie R. Wilson Project Dates: Sept. 28, 2010 to May 17, 2011 Email: email@example.com Phone: 760-608-2256 Address: 300 S. Richmond Ave, Ridgecrest, CA 93555
Hitch Seven started off on a super Sunday which included the normal pre-hitch preparations, including pancakes, bakefest 2011, and a stop to the Indian Wells Valley Water District (IWVWD) to have a presentation about water quality and distribution in the Southwest areas of California! Lucinda Sue, who works with community outreach and conservation at the IWVWD, gave us a very enlightening presentation about ways we can better conserve water in the desert and some issues the community faces. The environmental education for the hitch was an overview of water quality, and this gave everyone a great introduction about conservation and water issues.
The next day we started our caravan to Blythe, California for the DRC's All-Corps where we were all very excited to get to work with the other five crews. After a six hour drive, we were very excited to set up camp with the other crews and get ready to get some serious work done! The next three days consisted of deliciously scrumptious potlucks where all the crews shared their food and some serious work on a hill climb with five incursions caused by OHV use. Throughout the three days of work at All-Corps, there was a lot of earth moving which involved carrying bags of rocks and sand up the hill to fill in the berm made from the incursion. And, of course, there was lots of fun to be had in the fire lines pretending to be dinosaurs. The Rands crew also learned some useful information about the success of the use of texture by bringing rocks onto the incursion to blend. On the second day of All-Corps, there were some very high winds that lasted till the night and created a challenge to work. All crews prevailed and successfully finished one out of the five hill climbs and got some serious work done on another two.
The theme of the All-Corps was ugly sweaters, and all throughout the four days we were in Blythe, we were donning our ugly sweaters with no shame. On the last night of All-Corps, all the crews got together for the usual potluck and for the First Annual All-Corps Ugly Sweater Dance-a-Thon Contest. Each crew was asked to select a member to compete in this contest. From Rands, Sarah wore her awesome rose sweater and busted out her traditional awesome dance moves and brought home victory to the Rand Mountains crew, as well as a bag of peanut M&Ms.
Friday, day six of the hitch, found us waking up having to leave and having to move on without our fearless leader. While it was an adventure of a day, full of driving and gas stations that didn't have diesel, we finally made it to Shoshone Friday night for the Desert Committee Meeting which is run by the Sierra Club California and the Nevada Desert Committee. The meeting consisted of issues being discussed about wilderness areas, energy projects, and supporting WildCorps during their presentation. They represented what the DRC in the SCA does for California deserts across the south. We all thoroughly enjoyed the presentations and have been inspired to learn more and make ourselves aware of the issues concerning the desert.
While we were in Shoshone, we got to visit some hot springs on day seven. The environmental education for hitch seven was water quality and distribution in the American West, so it was very fitting to give a presentation while people relaxed in the hot springs. Right after we got out of the hot springs, we visited a well-known date ranch where we got to sip on date shakes and enjoy the scenery of someplace new. This was a great treat for the crew, especially with the high amounts of driving taking place throughout the hitch. Day eight found us leaving back for the house after another great day of presentations at the Desert Committee Meetings. We were glad to be back in Ridgecrest and ready to get working back in the Rands.
Day nine of hitch found us finishing vertical mulch on the hill climb in the north part of the Rands in which we started on Hitch Six and will have to be finished on next hitch with seed pits. We finished off hitch seven with new knowledge about energy projects in the desert, the protection of the wilderness areas in the desert, and as we were leaving to go back home, we saw our first desert tortoise in the middle of the road! We GPSed the tortoise and had to wait for it to cross the road, overall a great experience for the crew. It was the perfect way to end hitch seven.
All-Corps (all 6 crews):
Linear Meters Restored: 540
Vertical Mulch: 34
Post and Cable Fence, meters: 113
Vertical Mulch: 103**
Person Hours: 542.5
**Hill Climb worked on during day nine will have seed pits installed next hitch and will be stored in data then.
ToCo Notes/ Narratives:
Lessons Learned: Sometimes directions will lead you to scary places, you don't necessarily have to follow them. And setting up the white tent is a hassle, but if it's windy it's definitely a beneficial thing to have.