First hitch in the Rands! Better late than never. :-)
We started our first day with some exciting lectures at the BLM office. We learned some really cool archaeological and biological facts about the areas we (Jawbone and Rands) are to work in. Desert tortoises pee as a last defense! Old glass has bubbles in it and trash that is more than fifty years old is considered historic and is to be protected. Go figure! Also had some AMAZING pizza. Grateful shout out to the BLM for a great time! *shouts out*
Pre-hitch was banged out pretty quickly due to a wonderfully efficient crew. Go Randies! Food preparations went off spectacularly. Smoked Granola Especial and the Peanut Butter Brothers' Special Peanut Butter. Did you know the PBBs put 10% whale in every one of their products?? Whoa! Dolphin substitute for the gluten intolerant of course! OF COURSE!
Day two was our first real day in the Rands and was it amazing or what? Beautiful views of the sun setting behind the mountains were probably my favorite. Colors I never even thought possible, cloud formations only the most creative artists could imagine… I should have been born a poet. Or an artist. At least that way I could somehow convey the beauty of sunsets in the Rands. Our first dinner was Gratin, prepared by our lovely crew members Alex and Louis. It was a nice way to start off our wonderful week of tasty dinners. DELICIOUS!
So, let's get down to work, shall we? In total, we have restored SIX incursions. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I said SIX! Pretty darn good for the Randies' first hitch. We have busted our butts de-compacting 1268.81 square meters of OHV caused dead space and filling them in with beautiful creosote bushes. And some small bushes of various species. How many bushes you ask? One hundred and… THIRTEEN! Yes! One One Three! That's a lot of bushes. All joking around aside, we Randies have learned a lot about how various biotic and abiotic elements of nature come together to form an entire landscape. Yes, we need to pay attention to the size and species of vegetation. But we also need to pay attention to the spatial patterns, the soil type, and much more. Restoration in the bottoms of washes was avoided since it would just be washed away. Gravel was moved into the incursion to blend it with the surrounding landscape and we were careful not to take too much dead vegetation from any one plant. The work was hard and sometimes monotonous but it was well appreciated by the crew. The most rewarding experience was probably when we came back to finish up on an incursion and had a hard time finding it. Let's face it. The Randies are just too good at our job.
All work and no play makes the Randals a very dull crew. The Randies also like to party. Can you say "Star Party"? The Rands Crew and the Jawbone Crew met up at Red Rock Canyon for an awesome Star Party. Ted, an astrophysicist with a really big telescope, taught us about lots of constellations and let us look through his telescope. The moon has craters…. within… ready for this? CRATERS! There are craters in craters in craters people!!! We also saw Jupiter and a couple other planets, as well as some galaxies like the Milky Way. It was a fun way to end Day 3. It was a bit cold though… not as cold as later on in the week, however. It got pretty darn cold as the week went on and some of us were glad to have brought extra sleeping bags.
Well, now that I've exhausted my vocabulary of all its adjectives, I bid you adieu. Stay tuned for more blogs about the Randies!