Project Leader: Tyler Kimble Project Dates: April 19 - September 12 Members Arrive June 2
Our third hitch was all about soldiering on as vigilant tread troopers. Rocks started to show their pointy, stubborn faces, but yielded to the ceaseless pressure of double jack sledgehammer assault. Neither could toppled trees or fast growing annuals block the path any longer. Yes, Buck Creek was fast becoming more and more accessible and pleasant to hike.
We camped for this hitch at the venerable Umatilla Forks Campground, a swarthy and stalwart companion for a beleaguered trail crew. Not only did it do the job, but it provided a veritable godsend in the form of a deep swimming hole right behind our campsite along the Umatilla River. This was especially needed because the sweltering temperatures on the trail began to push 100 degrees during the day. So right after we got back to camp we raced out to the swimming hole to cool off and clean off. The developed campground also allowed us to socialize after work beyond our inner circle, though trying to sleep with music blaring at midnight was less than ideal. C'mon guys, some of us have to work on Sunday.
We're looking forward to being able to backpack in for our next hitch, as the trail finally flattens out to allow for camp to be set up. Every day we grow more enamored with this lovely northeastern Oregon trail despite (or perhaps because of) the 2+ mile hike in every morning (and out every afternoon). Hopefully, with the trail in ship shape, more people will take the time to hike it and and share this appreciation. Like the gentleman we met on horseback who was so grateful to us because for years he couldn't ride the trail due to the fallen trees and battered tread. It's good to know we're making a difference.