Project Dates: June 7 - August 15, 2010 Project Leader: Letha Pease Phone: 208 861 1039 Email: email@example.com 
Hitch 5 
Here we are at Olive Lake in the Umatilla NF. It's our final hitch and it is beautiful here. For eight days we built staircases out of concrete blocks to prevent erosion at Olive Lake Campground. It was a fun project, but very strenuous since each block weighs 50 pounds. Over the course of the hitch we built six staircases, with a total of 90 steps, using 368 concrete blocks.
We were rewarded daily by swimming in the tranquil waters of Olive Lake. We also had daily visits from the Umatilla 2 team for the first half of the hitch! The advantages to working in a campground added up quick. Not only were we constantly told by campers how great our stairs looked, but we were given tasty treats for our hard work. Our friend Bob in site 4 gave us fresh rainbow trout that we cooked over the fire to perfection. The son of the camp host shot a black bear and on our final night at Olive Lake we spent eating fried bear heart. We also had a lovely couple bring us the best tasting cantaloupe I’ve ever had during one of our breaks.
It was an awesome hitch to end an awesome summer in the Umatilla!
Hitch 4 
Due to the great work our team did on the last hitch, our Forest Service partners decided to place us on another section of trail with severe damage from running water. During this hitch we constructed several stone water channels and other reinforeced drainage features. We also completed a 100 yard re-route.
All this work was done in a area of forest that had burned the previous fall in a wildfire. It was eerie walking along the trail (which served as the fire line) to one side is healthy forest, the other side is the chard remains of trees, a forest no more.
Without the cover of forest the hot summer sun blazed down on us. The heat of the day was not easy to overcome in a area far from lakes or rivers. At camp we had to bring a one-hundred gallon tank of water in on our trailer for drinking & cooking. Luckily, this hitch was free of the pesky mosquitoes that had been swarming us at Moon Meadow.
Hitch 3 
Back to the location of our last hitch, Moon Meadows. Home to elk, coyotes, and Umatilla team uno. Over the course of this hitch we worked on a short section of trail with a big problem: Water. Mix water with a well used, but little cared for, trail and you get mud. This section of trail had lots of it. The kind of mud that takes your shoes off if you’re not careful. The first day consisted of re-routing water from a trail-side spring to go directly across the trail. Originally, the stream flowed on the trail for a good fifty feet before spilling into a small marsh. A day of digging out a new channel, about ten feet in length, through rock and mud, got the water flowing in a better direction.
Over the next few days we reinforced our channel with large rocks averaging around one-hundred pounds each. The reason for this is to make a sturdy bank on each side of the channel. Horseback riders with pack animals use this trail more often that people on foot, so every part of our stream channel has to be able to withstand the impact from these large, heavy animals.
While part of the team worked on the stream channel, others worked on nearby parts of trail where destruction from water and heavy use was evident. Ruts up to my knees had developed from years of neglect. As soon as the water resided from the trail and the mud dried into a putty-like consistency, members from our team were in there working. We decided to re-route the trail in one area and create new tread in another. We also added a turnpike and a few reinforced water bars to keep future ruts from developing.
The re-route required several large logs to be sawed out using the crosscut. Some of the logs were so rotted that we had to use a Pulaski to chop through them. A couple of the severely rotten logs we tore apart using Pick-Mattocks. Over the course of a couple of days the 150 yard re-route was complete and the old rutted trail was rehabilitated.
On a shorter section of the trail it was decided that new tread should be placed next to the old rutted trail. An easy solution to a bad section of trail. We also used the crosscut saw to remove several large logs beside this section of trail that were keeping water on the trail instead of draining off.
As a preventative measure, we created a modified turnpike to cover about twenty feet of soggy tread. It wasn’t a mud hole yet, but could easily become that way after a year of rain and use. The twenty feet of tread wound up looking like a cobblestone path due to the skillful placement of fist-sized rock.
Overall, the Umatilla 1 team knocked-out some mighty fine trail. On the last day of the hitch our Forest Service partners came out to have a look and they were very impressed. What a great hitch!
Hitch 2 
The beginning of the hitch began with a surprise for the team. The night before going into the field they were told their current project leader would be leaving and they would be meeting their new project leader that very night. The transition went so smoothly that an outsider would not have known it took place. The first day of the hitch was spent brushing and digging out reinforced waterbars. This was just a warm up for the work yet to come. Over the proceeding eight days we covered almost five miles of the Wagner Gulch Trail. Trail that was so over grown it was nearly impassable for long stretches. Trail with tread so uneven the careless hiker might easily twist an ankle. Trail with more blow downs than I have fingers and toes.
The cross-cut was used so much this hitch we had to send it off to be sharpened. Some of the logs we were sawing through were more than three feet in diameter. Don’t start thinking that we neglected the other tools, they got a work out too. Our team used Pulaskis, McClouds and Pick-Mattocks to build ten reinforced waterbars, three check dams, and nine reverse grade dips on the steepest parts of the trail. That’s just the tip of this iceberg. We also got to work on a 50 foot re-route and in total nearly a mile of berm removal. Three miles of trail through thick ponderosa pine forest received treatment from loppers and hand saws.
Trail work isn’t the only aspect of a hitch. Weather is a big factor. On the second night of our hitch a torrential downpour, complete with thunder and lightning, hit our camp for at least an hour. It even hailed. At one point it hailed so hard that no sound could be heard other than the chunks of ice hitting the tarp over our outdoor kitchen. Other days we listened to afternoon thunder storms off in the distance, but they never came back our way.
What did come our way were swarms of mosquitoes. They were not so bad at our front country camp, but the backcountry camp was chockfull of the little buggers. No amount of bug spray kept them away. Being constantly pestered by mosquitoes didn’t break our teams’ spirit though. Everyone kept a positive attitude and worked extremely well together during the nine days of this hitch.
Hitch 1 
This was our maiden voyage as a crew fresh out of training and turned out to be a great success. We worked along the North Fork of the wild and scenic, John Day River. The days were packed with hiking, sawing, chopping, digging, exploring abandoned cabins, removing ticks, cooking, cleaning and lively conversation. In all, 10 miles of trails were improved by clearing down trees, repairing tread, building cairns and an awesome reroute project. We all came out enriched by the wilderness with big smiles, stronger hiking legs, and exciting stories to tell.
Hi, my name is Letha Pease. I grew-up in the Silicon Valley (go Sharks!!), but spent summers camping throughout the West, especially Oregon.
In 2003 I graduated from Humboldt State University with a BS in Natural Resource Planning. Since then I have worked as an intern for US Fish & Wildlife, served in the US Peace Corps (Philippines 2005-2007), and spent nearly a year leading a trail crew on the PCT.
The outdoors is my life-blood. I enjoy hiking, backpacking, horsemanship, rock climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, snorkeling, scuba diving, snowshoeing, global travel, and gardening. Next on the list is learning to fly fish.
The Umatilla National Forest, located in the Blue Mountains of southeast Washington and northeast Oregon, covers 1.4 million acres of diverse landscapes and plant communities. The Forest has some mountainous terrain, but most of the Forest consists of v-shaped valleys separated by narrow ridges or plateaus.
The landscape also includes heavily timbered slopes, grassland ridges and benches, and bold basalt outcroppings. Elevation range from 1,600 to 8,000 feet above sea level. Changes in weather are common, but summers are generally warm and dry with cool evenings. Cold, snowy winters and mild temperatures during spring and fall can be expected.
From rolling benchlands to the granite outcrops of the Greenhorn Mountains, the rugged North Forest John Day Wilderness provides diverse landscapes. Much of the wilderness is composed of gentle benchlands and tablelands; the remaining of steep ridges and alpine lake basins. A continuous vegetative canopy covers most of the land, including dense virgin stands of conifer species like Douglas-fir, white fir, western larch and lodgepole pine.
This wilderness, which is broken into four segments and traverses two national forests, is known for its big game and fish habitat. Headwaters of the Wild and Scenic North Fork John Day River is in this wilderness, accounting for many miles of steelhead and trout habitat. Dominant wildlife species are elk, deer and some bear. Many small game and nongame species also inhabit the area, as do mountain goats.
Over 100 miles of trails serve both hikers and horseback riders where the lay of the land calls for long-distance trips with many elevation changes.
Kaitlin Kisiel 
My name is Kaitlin Kisiel, I am 22 years old and I am currently living in West Union, SC. I am a senior at North Greenville University, and I am majoring in Outdoor Leadership. I’m also a senior in the ROTC program at Furman University. My hope for after graduation is to become an Aviation Officer and fly Blackhawk’s for the US Army. I have an older brother who is 24 years old and is a 2LT in the US Army, and I have an older sister who is 28 years old and is a river raft guide. I enjoy bouldering and going to the climbing gym in my free time. I’m afraid of heights but love the adrenaline rush of skydiving and bungee jumping.
Laura Pershern 
Howdy. My name is Laura Pershern. I'm from northern Minnesota (the Iron Range). I've spent the past two years in Oregon rafting, hiking, skiing, learning to rock climb, and going (every now and then) to Portland State University. I'm interested in the world and I love to live in it.
Alejandro Alvarez 
My name is Alejandro Alvarez but you can call me Alex. Although I am 100% Peruvian, I was born and raised in Brooklyn and am going to my Senior year of college (after this summer) at Stony Brook University in Long Island, NY. As for my hobbies I shoot Olympic style archery, play some soccer, handball, and enjoy watching movies. I also enjoy meeting new people and being part of community service/volunteer events.
Brian Chill 
My name is Brian Chill and I grew up in a small town in southern Michigan called Marshall. I go to college at Western Michigan University where I major in English and Environmental Studies. I enjoy playing frisbee, film, and being outside. This will be my second summer with SCA and I look forward to spending time in a new part of the country.