Standing in the sun on an endless beach of a waterless ocean, waves of chilly dry wind crash and then retreat, drowning me in the stillness, leaving me gasping with chapped lips. In this quiet you can hear everything, but not nothing; under the dome of blue that sketches overhead and meets the full 360 perimeter of earth, the dancing figures of Joshua trees silhouetted at its horizon. Creosotes, rubber-rabbit and black brush show off the beauty and diversity of desert plant-life. February has come! Somewhere out along a dusty road in Jawbone, keep your eyes peeled and you just might spot us; from a distance, we are just 7 little neon green dots scattered upon the scared face of a rolling hill. Moving along the incursion clad and outfitted in SCA uniform and PPE (the neon green being our safety vests) armed with pick-mattocks, shovels and veg we work with trained eyes and sturdy hands to erase the tracks of mankind. I note to myself: “well TOCO, you’re not in Hawaii anymore.” It has now been over a month since Jawbone welcomed Andy and me to their Crew. And I really couldn’t be any happier, this place has a mystical way of working itself into your heart, I am stoked and feel blessed to work in such an environment- I am proud to be a boner!
Hitch 8 started before the sun with French toast and fruit to celebrate the birthday of our beloved Emily Phillips! Pre-hitch preparations filled the house with mouth watering aromas of treats coming from the kitchen, and the garage-hand boners kept busy packing up and organizing for our upcoming escapades. The day progressed with the normal flow of errands and tasks (and a few learning-curve-balls tossed my way) as newly hatched TOCO, I was relieved when the trailer was finally shut and we gathered to the truck ready to set out. However, some unexpected excitement would strike on this 11th hour when our routine vehicle check and walk-around would expose that our back left trailer light was out! After some time of trouble shooting and finally a trip to the nearby repair shop, eventually we ended up unloading dinner food stuffs and taking the night in, ending the day with homemade pizza and birthday ice-cream.
UP, OUT & AWAY, early the next morning and straight to work feeling good to be back in our Jawbone homelands. Over the next day and a half we finished up our work and data for the last incursion of polygon JB19. Moving on to our next work sites (a beautiful area with groves of J-trees and towering rock piles and formations.) we knocked out the first two incursions in three days’ time. But not without a small hang-up to make this blog more interesting! On the morning of day 6 we headed out for the day, divided in our 2 trucks- with Amelyne, Nico and Andy taking a different route to take a look at upcoming worksites. The rest of us stretched and got to work, but soon the sound to running feet filled the still morning air and Andy came galloping down the road. “Hey guys, ummm…truck broke.” So we headed down the road to meet with our stranded members. After many failed attempts to revive the truck, Amelyne, Josh, and Nico took the running truck to town to get a rental and call for a tow, deserting the rest of us at the worksite for the day. At the end of the work day, we began to consider our option to forge our way back to camp on foot- however at that moment, Nico appeared and provided us the news that our truck was on its way. The rest of the hitch sailed by smoothly. At the end of day 9 we made our way back to good ‘ol Ridgecrest for showers and a night pit-stop before joining the rest of the crews in a 4 hour caravan trip through Death Valley to the bustling little town of Shoshone where we would make camp for the next 2 nights while we attended the Sierra Club Desert Committee Conference- an educational and inspiring event for us SCA youngsters. During our stay, we also had the opportunity to explore the China Ranch Date Farm and try their famous date shakes, as well as experience a night adventure to a nearby natural hot spring. Fun had by all!
Until next time,
Much love and Aloha