Our final hitch started out like most of the others, with a prep day at the house. North Bend Farmer’s Market, groceries, miscellaneous errands, packing packs, testing filters, stoves and other devices and deciding how much stuff we could reasonably leave behind. I knew from the start this hitch would prove to be the biggest mental battle of the season, with the end now so close at hand.
Day two started with travelling to Darrington and on to the Suiattle River, right back where this adventure started on Hitch 1. We didn’t dilly dally at the trailhead though, moving on to Canyon Creek that night to camp with our favorite Wilderness Ranger, George. The next morning we headed out, but split into two groups a mile or two down the trail.
SCA 6 and 7, consisting of Elliott, Pip, Solomon, and myself, headed up the Miner’s Ridge Trail. Over the next couple days we assessed and inventoried sites around the Miner’s Ridge Lookout, Image Lake, the Canyon Lake trail, Lady Camp, some old miner’s cabins, a chunk of the PCT (which has been packed with through-hikers nearing the end of their own long journey), and an area known as the Golf Course. We also ran into lots of armed men with horses and ridiculously large tents since the High Hunt was on in Glacier Peak Wilderness. Large male deer and bears beware. After a successful few days, we headed back down trail, hopped in the trucks and made an hour-or-so drive on Forest Roads to our next trailhead.
The next couple days had us covering some pretty rough terrain, but we still reached all of our intended destinations. Crystal, Meadow and Diamond Lakes lived up to their names pretty well. We discovered Meadow Mountain was also aptly named, and I think it would be appropriate to call the whole area Blueberry Central. Very tasty! After a long final day, we were greeted back at Darrington with a homemade pizza party at George’s house. Our last night was spent at the trail crew bunkhouse in Darrington, a sparse and echoey place, had breakfast in the parking lot of the local grocer and were back to Snoqualmie Pass to clean and wrap up the summer.
Overall, I would qualify this summer as spectacular. The sights have been unparalleled, the weather unexpectedly delightful, the company interesting, and the work enjoyable. It will be an experience none of us will ever forget.
The second day of hitch 6 we were back at Downey Creek in the Glacier Peak Wilderness, reliving the first day of hitch 1, but our packs weighed less, our tents went up quicker, we cooked dinner in half the time, and we were leaner, stronger, fitter, and faster. The first day we hiked in four hours what took us seven and a half the first hitch. Camped at Canyon Creek that night, George told us stories of his fifteen years as a Forest Service employee, his enthusiasm for his job and the wilderness areas he has wandered for years contagious. The next day we split in to our two groups, Garrett, Phill, and Sarah heading up the PCT towards upper Miner’s Creek and the other group up Miner’s ridge. Sites covered in snow during hitch 1 had melted out in the intervening 6 weeks and we were able to do accurate surveys. Day four found us surveying the Buck Creek Pass trail up to Flower Dome, Glacier Peak towering in the distance obscured slightly by smoke from fires burning near Wenatchee and Ellensburg. The next day that trail would be closed because of these same fires, but we would be walking in the opposite direction, seventeen miles back to the Downey Creek campground to meet up with the other half of our group. Our final two days would find us hiking eighteen miles uphill to Cub Lake. As the devil’s club and stinging nettles ripped at our legs, we wondered how we had made it through 3 months of this, but by the time we had eaten wild blueberries and seen the wildflowers around Cub Lake, we had remembered the views, the miles, the surveying, and the beauty, and those questions had receded in to the distance. After hiking out down Downey Creek the next day, we spent the evening at George and Bridget’s house eating homemade pizza, vegetables from their garden, and ice cream sandwiches. Hitch 6 ended with tired legs, but full tummies.
SCA group 8 which composed of Mark, Eliott and myslef were able to see some of the most scenic and amazing places in the Darrington Ranger District. From White Pass,the PCT, Blue Lake, Johnson Mountain, the grueling Pilot Ridge Trail, and everywhere in between the first part of the hitch,success. Capping it off with 'Logger Burgers' at the Burger Barn in Darrington made it ever better.
After carpooling and dropping off a truck for the other crew we ventured on the Lost Creek Ridge Trail and had spectacular views the entire 10-mile trail. We made it down to the Whitechuck River where an old camp area for climbers of Glacier Peak was and camped at my favorite place during our summer, Sunup Lake. Also along the trail was a chance to inventory a new radio repeator and gaze upon views of Glacier Peak and Mt. Baker.
When we finished our surveys over the course of a week we went back to the Darrington Ranger Station and were surprised by George with ice cream bars for the entire crew! Definitely a successful second-to-last hitch!
This hitch summary has been written in English then put through multiple free online translators. It has been translated from English to Spanish, from Spanish to Japanese, from Japanese to German, then back to English from German. The following is the finished product.
We had to hitch five fortune Pacific Crest Trail Loop 70 miles. We saw some of the most beautiful landscaped gardens in the world has ever seen. We also get the name of the track. Our new identity is folows. Old growth Tetrus pip figure, Sarah cradle of humanity, and Garrett Mountain - Sun In our new identity in Stowe, saw lots of huge black bear, mountain goat, two frogs. While eating, "rambombs" We are, we have to reject that part of the "bomb" Sarah. That's where we stayed until the mountain of green to look very old, it was held together with straps.
Pacific Crest Trail hikers one gets excited very concerned about the radio in Canada. Other travelers had a beard better than others. Do not grow a beard. Together, we were able to solve the problem worldwide while hiking. Also ate a large amount of carbohydrates. We agreed on a backpacking trip in the most beautiful I've been so far on this trip. Great success. Bring us a muffin, George found some stern.Good work!
I am Hitch 4, the one that got away and became something more.
I am the dusty trail to Thompson Lake. Thompson has many friends: Mason, Blazer, Island, Little Rainbow, even Little Thompson. I have no friends; I am a fungus. I have tendrils and nuclei, and occasionally log benches. Sometimes I lead you off a cliff. Do not blame me when I lead you off a cliff; I did not create myself. You have created me. Sometimes the water tries, but you so rarely fall for the drainages. Garrett, you were wise to listen to Sarah, when Sarah told you not to go down Blazer’s southern cliff. Neither should you blame the cliff.
I am the marker Sarah dropped off the southern Blazer cliff. I did not fall far, but far enough. Over the months and years, I will continue to fall, until I splash. I love the water.
I am the little chalkboard that stayed home. You forgot me. Hope you enjoyed using a stupid marker and a stupid piece of paper for tagging the photos. Idiots.
I am the two-foot thick layer of water at the top of Mason Lake. I am significantly warmer than the water beneath the thermocline, but when you jump through me, you make me feel all funny, and I get all mixed up with the cold water. Apparently you guys thought it felt pretty good; it’s all you could talk about for like an hour.
I am the part of your brain that tells you sweet lies about the nearness of the final destination. I take my cues from subconscious sounds and smells, like moving water and changes in the wind. I set the limit to what distance you believe you can hike. Eight miles up Necklace Valley is nothing. “Eight” is just a number, like two or ten. You do not perceive eight. You perceive the lactic acid in your muscles and the shortness of your breath. You perceive expectations, but even more so, you experience expectations unmet, the lake just over the ridge that does not meet you at the top. I give you pretty dreams and laugh as they die.
I am the beard upon Sol’s chin. My primacy is unquestioned among the group. Sol is my master, and I live to serve him. No mosquito proboscis has ever passed through me. I have been scrubbed and groomed like a royal man-child of the Windsor Castle, but do not be charmed by my charms; I do not fool around. I am a beard.
I am a female mosquito. I have about ten billion girlfriends here in Necklace Valley. Please allow us to take just a little bit of your blood. See, we need your blood so we can make more mosquito babies. Oh! I just remembered, I brought pictures. This here is the oldest, Isaac. He lives over at Jewel Lake nowadays. And this, this is Kara, she’s just on the other side of the Emerald Lake. Then there’s Henry, here. Don’t you just love that picture! Look how cute his little antennae are! Then there’s Danny, Annie, Louis, Bethany, Evan, Ellie, Ellis, Ethan, Edgar, Eve, (I just loved “E” names for a while! I just love that sound: “Eeeeeeeeee”… I could just make that sound all day long!), Courtney, Sam, Doug, Patrice, Savanna, Moby, Graham, Monica, and Wilfred. They’re all just so beautiful (everyone says they take after their mother, of course!) Anyways, with just a little blood, I could get this next batch baking, if you know what I mean. So, what do you say? Here, I’ll just take a little from your neck…
I am Garrett’s hand. My record is six confirmed kills in one swat. Sol bore witness.
I am the weekend. Old hiker ladies and small children from Seattle love me. To celebrate my goodness, they swarm to the wilderness in droves, especially to large lakes three or less miles from parking lots. The best example is Snow Lake.
I am Stevie the Ghost’s dog ghost. Stevie passed away from this earth, and his best friends decided to memorialize his life with a framed photograph of Stevie and me, nailed to a fir looking over Upper Wildcat Lake. Stevie and I reached Upper Wildcat once, in early fall of 1998. There were so many squirrels, I didn’t know what to do. I went about chasing one, under a log and over this flat rock, when two more would run the other way, so obviously I felt compelled to double back and get the two. I wasn’t able to bring any back for Stevie, but he honestly didn’t seem to mind. Just like always, he let me sleep on his legs in the tent, and called me a Good Boy. He’s passed on now, and so have I, and that’s just the way things go. Even if it was a hard chase, I’m sure he found what he was looking for; I know I did.
I’m the Earth Corps trail maintenance team, sent to repair the washed-out trail portions from Snow to Upper Wildcat. Also, we were told about some creepy shrine at a site on Upper Wildcat that was supposed to come down. It’s not fair to creep out the other hikers.
I am the vaporous memory of efficiency, sufficiently dissipated and subsequently abandoned in the general trail network around Snow Lake heavy-use area. I do not approve. Trails to nowhere, trails to other trails, trails that loop back around and meet their origin: If I were an entity with power, rather than an abstraction, I would wipe clean the trails from around that lake and begin anew. My postdiluvian utopia would be simple and elegant, neither a grid nor a web, but an intuitive extension of the local topography.
I am Laetiporus, “chicken-of-the-woods.” Garrett found a cluster of my shelves on a rotting log at Lower Wildcat and packed me up for later. I blended well with the brown rice stir fry at supper that night. Pip did a good job with me. It’s nice to be appreciated.
I am what happens when you give away your summer to do something you don’t really understand with people you’ve never met in a place you’ve never been.
I am Hitch 4, the one that opened its eyes and spoke its mind.
Tents, water filter, stove
Zucchini, onion, kale
Pasta, cheese, tortillas
Conservation starts here
Because it would be the hottest
And second hottest
And third hottest
Days of the year
So we would swim
And be eaten alive by mosquitoes
And see places so beautiful
We would have to just stop and stare for a while
6 miles up the Snoqualmie River
Past the best swim spot ever
We pitched camp at the headwaters
And did 4 more miles to Snoqualmie Lake
Too many mosquitoes to stay up late
Who said 8:30 was too early for bed?
The next day
Would be warm
As we bushwhacked to Nordrum Lake
Losing the trail only once
Or maybe twice
Or three times even
But making it
Stopping by a stream
Water sliding over the slick stones
Tumbling in to a perfect water hole
As we ate tortillas
And realized our water pump was broken
Worst case scenario
But we had another one
And iodine tablets
One of the hottest days of the year
6 more miles out
But that wouldn’t stop us
A jump in the best swimming hole ever
And 1 mile up
To Marten lake
Met a man with a dog named Trout
Fishing for trout
Then a milkshake
And drove back to Snoqualmie pass
A day early
Therefore we are.
The next day
Even hotter than the one before
Three groups went out
A long day
With a quick swim
And pizza for dinner.
Then off to Skykomish for a few days
Was deceptively steep
And we got in to camp late
Made a fire
And contemplated how the world was going to end
But no matter
There are sites to be surveyed
And lakes to jump in.
We split up the next day
Elliot and Sarah
Deception Pass to Marmot Lake and Lake Clarice
So many flowers
Red blue yellow orange
And 39 stream crossings
Pip and Garrett
Ptarmigian Lake and Fisher lake
So much bushwhacking
So many miles
Baby ptarmigians all around
Mac and cheese with canned salmon and zucchini
Never tasted so good
At 9 pm
But by 9 am we were back on the road
2 miles straight up
So many mosquitoes
You couldn’t even hold the Juno
To take a picture
So many welts
So many sites
Glacier Peak in the distance
The PCT leading to Canada
So many flowers
Marmot Lake and Lake Clarice
Inventoried the day before
In the distance
Boy do we cover a lot of ground.
As we talk to the other crew on the radio
Hoping to find them for dinner
We walk past Glacier Lake
Where we are supposed to camp
To Surprise Lake
And pita pizzas for dinner
With brussel sprouts
You heard right
We find the other crew
And more mosquitoes
Another early night
We still train for the Olympics in the morning
Sit ups and push ups
Michael Phelps has nothing on us
4.5 miles downhill
All together again
And we are back to the highway
This trip started off with our typical prep day. We find out where we’re going, how long we’ll be out, who’s partnered with who, which partner carries what, and making sure we all have enough food and gear to see us through to the end of the hitch.
For hitch #3 I was partnered with Solomon, and we worked alongside Phill and Garrett, which officially made us the Dude group. Our first assignment took us up Dingford Creek, not too far outside North Bend, WA, where we surveyed sites along the creek, Hester Lake, as well as both Myrtle and Little Myrtle Lakes. The trail to Hester Lake was one of the muddiest I’ve ever seen, and one of Phill’s boots almost fell victim to the treacherous muck. What we first thought would be a three night excursion became a two-nighter after we worked some longer hours and got back to the trailhead earlier than first planned. The other group moved quickly as well, allowing us to split into pairs the next day for some longer day trips.
For the day trip I teamed up with Elliott to survey up the very popular Denny Creek trail past some impressive waterfalls to Lake Melakwa. It doesn’t feel much like wilderness when you start off my walking underneath the I-90, but the lake at the end of the trail didn’t disappoint. I vowed to return for some swimming on off-time. The other groups checked out Alaska and Joe Lakes, which turned out to be long and difficult trips with Pip and Solomon not getting back until after dark.
One of our crew members was hobbled by a sprained ankle and went home early to try to nurse the injury back to health, which meant we also needed to shuffle the teams around a bit. For the next three nights I would still be partnered with Solomon, but we would now be joined by Phill for the last leg of the trip, still representing the Dude group.
The three of us started out at Steven’s Pass on Highway 2 and headed south on the PCT. We surveyed along the way, finding sites and Susan Jane, Josephine, Mig, Hope, Trap, Glacier, and Surprise Lakes. We travelled fewer miles this time, but found a lot of sites to keep us busy. Fighting off the swarms of mosquitoes occupied a significant amount of time as well. Despite that, these four days and three nights were probably my favorite of the summer so far. The PCT proved to be a great trail, with chances to walk through meadows, forests, over passes, through mud, snow, and rocks. We had views of high crags and peaks as well as long forested valleys. The weather was great and the wildflowers were in full bloom. I couldn’t have asked for more. To top it off, both groups met up on the last night, allowing us to all walk out to the Surprise Creek trailhead together a day early. Given the extra hours that both groups put in throughout the week, we were able to take the last day off to relax and recuperate.
In the end, I counted my own personal mileage at a little over 53 miles and helped to survey somewhere close 150 different sites.
After being completely spoiled our first hitch with sunshine and not a drop of rain, the weather gods reminded us that we are in the Pacific Northwest by providing us with overcast skies and rain for the first three days of hitch number two. Team one (Pip, Mark, Solomon, and Garrett) got our boots wet right away as we hiked into Pratt Lake, a popular spot near our Snoqualmie Pass home base. We spent the next three days wandering around the area surveying camp sites. Our spirits were not dampened by the soggy weather, nor was our productivity. By the end of the third day we had surveyed close to 50 sites, traveled to 5 different lakes (Ollalie, Pratt, Lower Tuscohatchie, Windy, and Kaleetan Lake) and
completed about 25 miles of hiking.
We hiked out on a Sunday and were reminded of our close proximity to Seattle. When we are out in the wilderness during the work week (Mon – Fri) we don’t see a lot of other people out hiking. On the weekends, however, the entire scene changes. On Sunday there was a constant flow of traffic on the trails which put our site inventory work into a different perspective, and allowed another moment to be thankful for the week day time we get to spend in “our office.” After only two complete hitches, we have all at least once taken a moment to exclaim to the group how lucky we feel to be participating in this particular Corps program.
We returned to our Snoqualmie headquarters Sunday evening. We spent the evening restocking our food, drying out our gear, and filling our stomachs with big bowls of hot chili. The next day we tied in with Group two and traveled to the Skykomish district for the second half of our hitch.
-By Solomon West
SCA crew 8 and 9 which composed of Elliott, Sarah, Sara and Phill started the hitch off in a little bit rain near our home base at Snoqualmie Pass. We completed 3 day hitches to Talapus Lake, Mason Lake and Sunday Lake. Talapus and Mason Lakes are very popular trails and lakes because of their easy access and proximity to the Seattle area and on Saturday to Mason Lake there were hundreds of people hiking the same day we were. Sunday Lake was a little bit different of a story….it seemed as if we were the first people to hike the overgrown, windfall-filled trail in about 15 years. After an adventure to find the trail while driving tens of miles on US Forest Service roads and unmarked gates and after bushwacking our way about 3 miles over streams and through salmonberry fields, we reached the lake. A few of the campsites were surprisingly well used as we saw garbage and other items recently left behind. It was a struggle to find many spots as the trail was covered in downed trees and debris but we successfully inventoried the lake and made it back home.
All the SCA crews rejoined on Monday and we headed to the Skykomish area to survey Dorothy, Bear, Deer, and Snoqualmie Lake. After a couple of great days we headed down the road a few more miles and set up camp at Trout Lake and surveyed Malachite, Copper, Little and Big Heart Lakes. During the evenings we all swam, played cribbage and Solomon and Sarah had an infamous garlic powder incident that will be remembered well.
We all had a great time exploring the lakes around Skykomish and North Bend and cant wait or Hitch number 3 to see some more!
The first hitch of the summer proved to be an enlightening experience. After surviving ten days of SCA training at Camp Zanika, WA our 8 person groups began to step out into the real world.
Spirits were high on the first day of preparation and planning at our home base in Snoqualmie Pass, with the realization that we were actually about to depart for our first hitch in the Wilderness areas near Darrington, WA. The day kept moving fast as we separated our 8 person groups into smaller more efficient 4 person groups. With a quick trip to the local farmers market, and an outfitter shop there was only one thing left to do, pack up and hit the road!
With the soundtrack to the summer playing on our monster trucks stereo, group 6 & 7 composed of Sarah, Mark, Liz (Pip), and myself (Elliott) had begun the long journey to the Suiattle River Trailhead. Groups 8 and 9 with Garrett, Sara, Solomon, Kenny and Phill and headed down the Suiattle and on to the PCT as well.
After meeting our legendary U.S. Forest Service contact George Winters at the Darrington Ranger Station we were finally ready to leave the world of cell phones, internet, running water, all behind to survey campsites in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. After car camping at the Downey Creek Trailhead we continued east along the Suiattle River towards the Pacific Crest Trail. Stopping along the way to survey campsites and learn the ways of the forest from George proved to be extremely exciting. After roughly 9 miles of hiking with 40-50 pound packs the group was eager to set up camp at our next site, Canyon Creek. The sound of the rushing Suiattle River eased our aching bodies and put us all to sleep rather quickly!
The next morning we headed south along the PCT with George leading the way. We quickly learned that we were in an area of the PCT which nobody had been through in quite some time. A recent flood of the Suiattle blocked access to the trail. Only after the recent completion of a footbridge were we intrigued with the opportunity to explore the trails even more. After a long day of exhilaration with stream crossings, finding new campsites, and learning more about each other we parted ways with George and departed for a next campsite farther east along the Suiattle trail. A brief thunderstorm that night proved to be the most rain we saw all trip, no complaints! The next days hike took us up in elevation along Miners Ridge, with awesome views of Glacier Peak across the valley. After returning from the ridge above the Suiattle valley we started our way back toward the Downey Creek campsite from our first night. That night brought some of the best food of the trip, chicken pasta alfredo, very delicious indeed. After spending a very damp night at 3 mile camp we headed towards our biggest adventure of the trip, surveying Downey Creek. With day packs full of water and lunches we surveyed more than 14 miles of trail! Safe to say everyone slept good that night. Finally after 5 days of hiking the Suiattle and PCT we loaded up the truck one more time and left for our last trailhead to survey, North-folk Sauk River Trail. Our group headed up Red Mountain late in the day to an awesome lookout position overlooking the valley, and Sloan Peak across the way. We learned that the hazy skies blocking our views had come all the way across the Pacific from forest fires in China and Siberia!
The final night of camping brought with it the notion that we were returning back to the lives we left behind. However first we had another 12 miles of trails to cover the next day. Eager to start we radioed in our morning check in on our satellite phone and began to cover ground. The final trail proved to be a stinging one. Some parts of the trails were overgrown with the painful Devils Club. However this pain could not compare with the beauty of the trails along the Sauk River. With more than 63 miles of trials surveyed our first hitch was complete. We learned more about each other, ourselves, and the wilderness areas we will work in for the rest of the summer.
We spent nine great days Camp at Zanika Lache near Leavenworth, WA and on Lake Wenatchee learning about our monitoring projects in the Glacier Peak and Alpine Lakes Wilderness Areas while getting extensive training on Trimble Juno GPS units and inventory protocols.
Along with our initial orientation and getting to hang out at camp, during off time the whole crew had time to explore the surrounding area which included a hike up Dirty Face, a scenic and steep trail and mountain on Lake Wenatchee. The trail was a amazing hike and a great warm up for our season out on the trails!
My name is Sara Rahmani and I just graduated from the University of Washington Bothell with a degree in Environmental Studies. I am 23 years old and Live in Bothell, Washington and have lived in Washington my whole life. I love being out doors, especially in nature hiking, kayaking, sailing, or just relaxing. I have been to a number of national parks as part of my out door adventures. A few that i have been to have been Arches National Park, Zion, Yellowstone, Mesa Verde, Redwoods, Death Valley, Brice Canyon and bunch of others.
Because of this love for nature and being outside, I decided to get my degree in Environmental Studies. I plan to eventually get my Masters in Geology and work for either the forest service, national parks, or the USGS. I am going back to school in the Fall to get a certificate in GIS (Geographic Information System) or in other words digital mapping.
This is my second summer working with SCA. Last year I was stationed at the Detroit Ranger District down in Oregon. We worked in the Willamette National Forest region of Mt. Jefferson clearing trails of fallen logs. We also built Bridges, re-routed trails, and created step down drains at spots where small creeks and streams crossed the trail. I had a lot of fun working down in Oregon and look forward to working up here in Washington.
I also love to create Duct Tape wallets etc..., draw/paint, knit and crochet, and working with my hands. I love jumpstyle music, techno, dance, and folk music.
Greetings. My name is Solomon. I’m originally from the state of Wyoming. (No not Jackson) The last number of years I have been traveling around following seasonal jobs. Some of which have been with the SCA. In the past I have worked with SCA as a High School Crew Leader in N. Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Alaska. I’m pretty excited to get the opportunity now to explore some of the great wild places that the Northwest has to offer.
Hey, I’m Garrett from the cornfields of Aurora, Nebraska. I just graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. After four years of college, I’m ready to get out of the classroom and stretch my legs. I’ve hiked in Canada, Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand, and around the United States, but never the Pacific Northwest. Aside from meeting new people and gaining potential career skills and contacts, I’m excited to get to know the land and the local flora, fauna, cuisine, and people. On the side, I like to fish, read, write, run, cook spicy food, play guitar, settle Catan, and occasionally groom myself a nice rugged mountain-man beard.
I'm Pip. I hail from Pandora, Ohio, the land of monoculture crops. I graduated with a degree in Biology in Asheville, NC. Along with being a complete botany/mycology nerd, I am very interested in sustainable agriculture and ecological conservation. I also have a reading addiction. I am excited to have an opportunity to work in the public lands of the US, and to study the ecosystems of a new bio-region.
After working the beaches of South Carolina as an ocean lifeguard, hiking the along the Appalachian trail, cruising the Caribbean working aboard the Disney Dream for Disney Cruise Line, I have had the chance to work in some fantastic locations, however I am extremely eager to experience the great backcountry that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. I consider myself to be an outdoorsman who is always looking to find the next great hiking trail or secluded mountaintop campsite to enjoy. During my time as an intern in the Wilderness Ranger Program I hope to gain the needed skills and experience to better my chances in obtaining a full-time career working in our nations greatest locations.
My name is Sarah Whitaker. I was born in Atlanta, but since then have lived in Connecticut, Maryland, Italy, North Carolina, Tucson, and California. This is my first experience in the Northwest. I studied Biology and History in college and am interested in the many areas where the two fields intersect. I have worked as a veterinary intern, camp counselor, English instructor, garden intern, botany research assistant, and marketing department management candidate for an industrial supply company. I enjoy being outside, mountain biking, traveling, and reading. This summer I hope to visit many beautiful backcountry places and to swim in high mountain lakes.
My name is Mark and I'm a lifelong Southern Californian, born and
raised in San Diego. I just graduated from San Diego State University
with a BA in geography with an emphasis on urban and regional
analysis, but an enthusiasm for the environment and the outdoors. I
heard about SCA during my last semester of college and thought it
sounded like an amazing opportunity to learn, grow, and have some fun
doing interesting work along the way. As a lifelong outdoor
enthusiast, I am very excited to be able to spend the next few months
in some incredible places doing work that I hope will help keep some
of our most wild landscapes preserved for future generations. I like
to call California's Sierra Nevada range my playground, so I'm
interested to see how Washington's Cascade range compares. I've become
something of a peak-bagger lately, claiming my second 14er earlier
this month and having started work on the San Diego 100 peak list this
year as well. I'd love to add some Washington peaks to my hiking
resume during time off.
Hi, I'm Kenny Polte, and I'm from Boston, Massachusetts. I love long-distance hiking, and I've spent the last few months exploring the Appalachian trail. I'm excited for the chance to give back to the outdoor community, not to mention the fact that I get the chance to see some of the most amazing landscapes in the world! This is my first time in the Pacific Northwest, and there is nothing that makes me more excited than seeing new places and meeting new people.
The Wilderness Ranger Corps (WRC) team is made up of eight corpsmembers and one project leader who are all based at Snoqualmie Pass in Washington. Members of the corps team have come from all different areas of the United States to the state of Washington to do some very exciting and beneficial work for the SCA and the U.S. Forest Service.
Throughout the summer and into late September we will be monitoring and taking inventory of all known campsites and recreaction sites in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Specifically we will be designated to the Alpine Lakes, Glacier Peak, and William O. Douglas Wilderness Areas.
The project is part of the U.S. Forest Service's 10-year Wilderness Challenge. The goal of the 10-Year Wilderness Challenge is to bring every one of the more than 400 wildernesses under the USDA Forest Service’s care to a minimum stewardship level by 2014, the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act.
The job of Recreation Site Inventory is one of the 10 key elements of the challenge and we are more than excited and willing to spend the summer and fall in some of the most beautiful and scenic areas of the world.
Specifically we will be hiking the trails throughout the mountains and lakes of the Wilderness Areas for nine days at time. We will find known campsites and recreaction sites while using Trimble GPS units in teams of two to collect data on such things as physical campsite locations, tree damage, ground disturbance, and other human impacts. While collecting the data we will be camping along the way in teams of four and then re-uniting with the other team members back at our home base at Snoqualmie Pass to share our adventures.....and then go back out in the backcountry to explore and monitor another area!
My name is Phill VanKessel and I am originally from the great state of Minnesota. While studying geography at the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse I had my first SCA opportunity as a Trail Maintenance Intern at Bear Brook State Park in New Hampshire. That experience helped spark my need for adventure and after college I worked as an SCA Intern in Yellowstone National Park as a Backcountry Geothermal Data Collection and GIS Intern. That position was probably one of the greatest jobs ever invented.
Since that time I have the fortunate opportunity to work as a Trail Crew Leader for the SW Conservation Corps in Tucson, AZ, an Outdoor Environmental Education Instructor for the YMCA in Washington and as an SCA Crew Leader at Mt. Rainier for both the high school program and CLC-School Year program in Seattle.
When Im not working and camping I really enjoy seeing live music, cooking, food dehydrating, golfing and road tripping.
Living,exploring,working,and hanging out with the marmots in the Cascades is something I am extremely excited for. I am also looking forward to getting some great and beneficial work done and seeing some amazing places with great people!
|Elizabeth "Pip" Flickinger|
|Phill VanKessel-Project Leader|
|Final Hitch Part 2- By Mark Huntley|
|Final Hitch Part 1- by Sarah Whitaker|
|Hitch 5 part 2|
|Hitch 5-1 By Pip Flickinger|
|Hitch 4 by Garrett Janzen|
|Hitch 3 Part-2 by Sarah Whitaker|
|Hitch 3-Part 1|
|Hitch 2 Snoqualmie and Skykomish Ranger Districts|
|1st Hitch Darrington Ranger District- By Elliott Evans|
|Training and Orientation|