Project Leader: Heidi Brill Project Dates: June 2010 through August 2010 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 208.860.8728
Coming soon! (Well, it never did appear here. But Will did create an amazing Mad-Lib style biography that you would really enjoy. You can find him in North Carolina or Georgia to divulge his story.)
August 5-August 11 2010
East Fork Lostine & Maxwell Lake Trails
Dun dun dun duuun, dun dun dun duuuun, dun nanananananananana, dun nanananananananana! Yes, our final hitch was about as epic as Beethoven's fifth symphony, but with just a bit more percussion.
The hitch was a double header, first tackling the previously conquered East Fork Lostine (mostly to remind it that the SCA crew shows no mercy) then straight up (quite literally) the Maxwell Lake trail to experience its stunning beauty and righteous peaks.
On the East Fork, we spent some time redesigning our previously built rock culvert, and a French (or 'Free' depending on whom you ask) drain was installed in place of the culvert. The remainder was spent restoring our vanquished allies, the Drainages, to their previous position of power and glory, much to the distress of the trail goddess (who is called Matilda by the way).
After conquering the East Fork Lostine, the crew headed up the Maxwell Lake Trail. They were deceived by the first 3 miles of ambling switchbacks which made the steady elevation gain seem tiny. However, the Maxwell Trail was merely creating a sense of false security, and soon revealed its true nature: a never-ending slope with the trail running right up the steep, slippery center. Our mission, which we chose to accept, was to make this last mile of trail a bit more friendly to the every day user (4 year old girls with pigtails...and the occasional stiletto). We placed over 20 beautifully ornamented checksteps to prevent potential slippage on the trail, leading to a tumble miles down the mountainside. We also rerouted several pieces of trail, converting downright rock scrambling into a few lovely curvaceous switchbacks. When all was said and done, the crew felt comfortable bringing their stilettos and mumus on the trail at the end of hitch (photographic proof to come later, along with stable internet access).
After conquering the Maxwell Lake Trail, the crew bid farewell to their picturesque final campsite (and its mosquitoes), packed their bags, and headed on their merry way. At the bottom of the mountain awaited their glorious shack, and two days of cleaning (we did get the radioactive mushroom scent out of the bear bins, by the way) before their final voyage in their glorious steed (Dodge 2500) Isabel to the fabled land of Idaho and the legendary city of Boise whence they were to part ways, one FINAL time.
Laura & Sam
July 25-July 31 2010
West and East Fork Lostine Trails
Once upon a time, as it were, a crew of SCA workers (4 unexpecting, 2 rather suspicious) headed out onto the East and West fork trails of the Lostine (law-STEEN) River (river). Little did they know that they were embarking on a quest filled with rain, rockwork, drooling, the occasional barking angry dogs, drainage, and the birth of an apparent violent rivalry with the Riggens Trail Crew of Riggins (pickled-asparagus-capital-of-the-world), Idaho. The East and West forks are located at the Two Pan trailhead, and are the shortest routes into the Lakes Basin of the Eagle Cap. A change from their usual fare, the "crew" (as they are known in the break-dance underground world) did no lopping. Instead, for the first few days (which also found them in "lightening position" in respect of Zeus's mighty powers every day at 1 pm), the crew dug many draindips, built a few log and rock water bars, a sloth's handful of check steps, and also cleaned out some culverts. This particular leg of the jounrey took place on the West Fork. More technical work included raising the tread in a particularly hairy (literally) section of the trail and resetting a culvert/redirecting tread (to prevent people from drowning in a shin-deep poodle). Though most of their time and energy was dedicated to working on the West fork, the crew spent their last two days working on the East fork trail, removing two trees in the path and taking care of two large drainage projects. They were especially proud of their rock culvert and turnpike that turned a mud-puddle that would have ended Frodo's journey to Mordor (MORE-door) into a walkway representing the shining-beacon of human tinkering. The crew is excited to head back into the area for their next hitch to finish up on the East fork as well as conquer the beautiful Maxwell Lake trail.
With much, much love,
William Wallace Kimmell and Jordan Leslie Albright
July 11-July 17
Ice Lake Trail
Our fourth hitch began on Monday the 11 of July at the usual 7 am in the morning. This hitch was to be different from the rest because of our stellar location along trail 1808 or simply the Ice Lake Trail. Located three miles in from the West Fork Wallowa River Trail stands a junction where our journey would begin. After crossing a decaying stock bridge, we hiked two miles up the trail to reach our beautiful meadow campsite at 7,000 feet. From here work would begin, and work we did. We split up into two crews on Monday afternoon and worked on two different projects: a log-out with our cross-cut, and a stone retaining wall. In a total of three hours four logs were completely removed from the trail to open up this trail to stock-users and hikers alike. Work on the stone retaining wall was frustrating, but one important lesson was learned: rock work takes patience and problem solving. That night after a filling dinner of raman bombs, a visitor arrived that cheered up the entire crew—Natashia, of Sam and Danny’s 2009 Yosemite Crew. A new friend was made when she worked the following morning with us up near Ice Lake. After a brutal cut with the pruning saw, we took a walk up to Ice Lake to chill out for awhile. The lake sits at 7,800 ft. and is by far the most beautiful lake in the Eagle Cap Wilderness. The lake put some things into perspective for all present—that we are in some beautiful country. After the break, we brushed down trail and enjoyed some lovely conversation with Natashia. Tuesday was also a special day for Danny because it marked his 100th day working on trails wearing the trademark SCA helmet. It meant a lot for him to accomplish this feat. In the process one rock wall was completed and one rock water bar was installed. After a lovely day of work, the crew retired to their tents early to take on another day on Trail 1808. The following morning we split into groups with half of us brushing and the other half working on rock walls. Four walls were installed and a half mile of trail was brushed out. For the first time working on trail 1808, the crew thought we would be able to get all of the work done in record time. The fourth day was comprised mainly of brushing and one mile of the trail was brushed out. For a seasoned trail crew, this feat rarely happens and to accomplish it was amazing. Also on the fourth day, the crew relocated camps down to the decaying stock bridge with the hope of working on another trail. We bumped back up to the middle of trail 1808 on the fifth day and continued to brush down trail. This day marked a turning event for the crew, all of us were willing to say that our bodies we done. We stopped work early to have a break down by the West Fork Wallowa River. Spirits were rejuvenated and we were ready to finish hitch. Trail 1808 was finished on the sixth day after a surprising encounter with a group of fellow travelers. After lunch, we realized we had left a hazel-hoe up at the meadow camp. The rest of us bumped up to the west fork to tackle some drainage and brushing. Eight drainages were installed and trail was brushed. A new saying was created which will forever be a “crew thing.” The seventh day dawned and the crew was excited because six days off were in the horizon. However, a drainage needed to be cleaned and cleaned it was. This hitch was amazing and special thanks goes out to Natashia for helping on the magical second day.
Three mile of trail brushed out, five rock walls installed, over 50 drainages worked on and one rock water bar.
-Peace and love trail world, Danny
3rd-8th July 2010
Hitch Three East Fork Wallowa Trail (1804)
Back to the good old East Fork Trail. Yep, covering some well known ground here, but as with any SCA adventure there is no lack of excitement. Sadly enough, the first time we saw this trail there was still too much snow around to make it the full 6 miles we were scheduled to. By now, however, nice Mr. July sunshine has kindly cleared the way of all the white nuisance.
We made it up to Aneroid Lake this time, lopping pretty much the whole way. Not even worth bringing the crosscut, Sylvester or Tweedy Bird, out with us for the trail was pretty much log free (thanks to someone with a chainsaw who got there before us!). Up at Aneroid we ran into Dennis, the caretaker of a small private land holding that functions as a wilderness resort, and were thanked profusely for our work. The lake is gorgeous and the mountains rising up around it make for some picturesque views.
Although the nights were a little cold and the days long, everyone remained in good spirits throughout the hitch. Along with the lopping we were allowed a few treats, mainly in the form of drainage. There was one long section that required a fair number of drainage ditches and then one stream through the trail that we spent a pleasurable morning putting back in place. However, the highlight of the hitch was definitely the bridge we cleared of sediment. A small footbridge had been absolutely swamped in dirt and we did it the favor of carting 75 cubic feet of that off of it, as well as putting a nice little lumber cap and drainage feature on the uphill side to ensure that it does not happen again.
All things considered it was an enjoyable hitch, now for three days of freedom before we tackle the Ice Lake Trail, dun dun dun!
-Sam & Laura
Indian Crossing Trail
The team ventured out to Indian Crossing for a 9 day hitch intending to log out the entire first six miles up to the junction with the North Fork Imnaha Trail. 103 trees later, the trail was passable!
The Indian Crossing trail is located within the East-Central portion of the Eagle Cap Wilderness, skirting the border of Hell’s Canyon National Recreation Area and paralleling the main branch of the Imnaha River.
A hefty portion of the trail is in early successional stages, following a large fire that swept the area in 1989. In other words: lots of brushy ceonothus undergrowth and wind fallen snags!
However, the crew prevailed through lightning storms and ticks, clearing and brushing the entire six miles within the timeframe; even throwing in a portion of tread and drainage.
In total, the crew removed 103 obstructing trees, reworked one drainage, built a 5 foot retaining wall and reconstructed the tread to go with it, and brushed approximately 5.5 miles of trail.
Getting good and familiar with the crosscut saw, the hitch was an extreme success!
West and East Fork Wallowa River Trails.
The West and East Fork trails act as major access routes to the alpine Lakes Basin within the Eagle Cap Wilderness. Located at the end of highway 82 in Wallowa Lake, these two trails receive heavy use by stock and hikers alike. As popular day hikes, these two trails provide magnificent views of the surrounding peaks and valleys as they parallel the two forks of the Wallowa River, emptying finally into the stunning glacier-formed Wallowa Lake.
Beginning with an impromptu schedule change, the crew spent a day on the lower West Fork trail, jack hammering obtrusive rock from the trail to improve tread. From there, the crew moved up trail, packing in 3 miles to the junction of the Ice Lake Trail.
The team worked the upper stretches mainly, to log out and widen the trail corridor. As the team moved up trail, they improved drainages as well, working all the way to Six Mile Meadow.
After the West Fork was cleared, the team packed out and moved one mile up the East Fork Wallowa trail, with the intent of logging out and widening the trail corridor. However, after only 2.5 miles, the snow became too deep to continue. Logging out what was possible, the team then continued to brush out the lower portions of trail.
In total, the crew cleared 31 obstructing trees from the two trails, reworked about 35 drainages, and brushed approximately 4 miles of trail. The East Fork trail will be returned to during hitch three, when the snow has hopefully cleared.
-until next time, Heidi
May 22-June 3
Member orientation in Carnation Washington.
Amidst near constant rain and even a minor earthquake, members spent this period learning the ins and outs of the Student Conservation Association and gaining the necessary trail skills to begin the season strong.
13 crews came together at this location, developing a strong sense of environmental community before departing to their respective project sites, ranging the West Coast from Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico to Olympic National Forest, Washington.
The Wallowa Whitman crew, after a brief stay over in the majestic Columbia River Gorge near Rufus, Oregon, arrived in Wallowa Lake on June 4 to gather sorts and make preparations before heading out for the first service project.
Jordan Albright's love of the great outdoors did not start at an early age. Her parents love to tell the story of how she complained that she was hungry and wanted Wendy's during the entire family trip to the Grand Canyon in 2000. In sixth grade, when asked what she thought of Giant Sequoias, she said, "You've seen one tree, you've seen 'em all." However, since high school, Jordan has had a change of heart, and now seeks out opportunities to be outside and learn about environmental issues whenever possible. She's a leader in Georgetown University's Outdoor Education program, and is studying to be an environmental biology major. Jordan is excited to be spending her summer with the SCA and looks forward to getting dirty and learning more about conservation in Wallowa Whitman National Forest.
Hi. I am Samuel Wright. Currently I am a 19 year old attending the small, private, and hippie school of Colorado College. One of the main reasons I chose to go there was my love of nature and just getting out there. I have been involved with SCA since the summer before my Junior year in high school and to be honest I have no idea what I would do with my summers if it wasn’t trail work! I have worked three incredible summers with three awesome crews, starting in Virginia then to Alaska and finally my past summer spent in the backcountry of Yosemite.
When I am not doing trail work, or out in the Rocky Mountains, I live here at home in Charlotte, North Carolina. I really am a bit of a Southern boy at heart and though I do not have much of an accent, or hold stereotypically Southern beliefs or practices, the South has had a huge influence on how I lead my life.
Right now I am getting ready for Oregon and really looking forward to another summer away from it all, can’t wait to get out there.
My name is Laura Hayes, I'm 21, and I just finished my third year at UC Berkeley majoring in Molecular Environmental Biology with a focus in Ecology. I was raised in Sacramento, California with a love for nature and spending time outdoors, and some of my favorite places include Yosemite, Glacier, and Banff National Parks. I am new to the SCA this season and am excited for the opportunity to learn more about conservation, contribute to the efforts of the SCA, and spend time getting to know the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. I hope to use my education along with this experience and others toward a career involving conservation and ecological research so that generations following mine have the opportunity to access and appreciate the same areas I have.
My name is Daniel Shosky. I am currently eighteen years soon to be nineteen. I grew up in Denver, Colorado, however, I moved to Poultney, Vermont in August of 2009. My upbringing was based around a lot of outdoor activities such as: hiking, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and numerous excursions to the backcountry. I climbed my first fourteen-thousand foot mountain at age eight. From my time living in Colorado, I was able to hike 20 peaks above 13,000 feet. It was from all this exposure that I learned what I wanted to do which is to work in the outdoors. During the summer of 2007, I started working with the Student Conservation Association when I served on my first National Conservation Crew which was located on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The following two summers I would later go on to serve on two more crews in their respective locations: Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness within the Payette National Forest, and Yosemite National Park. Along the way, I slowly started to realize that my life revolved around the environment humans inhabit.
As my career with SCA progressed, I realized my dream was to someday study the natural environment and society. I am currently a student at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont where I am double majoring: Environmental Studies (environmental education and interpretation) and Sociology/Anthropology. My life’s dream is to become an environmental educator to share the story of environmental destruction, and how humans could stop this. In accordance to the educational mission of Green Mountain which states “ Through a wide range of liberal arts and career-focused majors, the college fosters the ideals of environmental responsibility, public service, global understanding, and lifelong intellectual, physical, and spiritual development” (greenmtn.edu). I decided to return one final time to the Student Conservation Association to live my dream. I am looking forward to serving on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Crew this summer to begin my journey of becoming an environmental educator, and living in the great outdoors for a summer.
Heidi has chosen to utilize her degree in Landscape Architecture to construct and maintain foot trails in the great Pacific Northwest. Heidi believes that trails, as systems that connect people to their natural environments, are an integral part of human understanding and existence. She brings experience from landscape construction and design, ancient forest ecology, environmental restoration, trail construction and maintenance, field crew management, walking very long distances, and participating in historical reenactments on horseback.
After a brief but awe-inspiring immersion in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest this spring, this is exactly where Heidi needs to be for the season!
Located in North Eastern Oregon, the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest encompasses 2.3 million acres, including the Hell’s Canyon Wilderness and the Eagle Cap Wilderness. With elevation ranges between 875 and near 10,000 feet above sea level, the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is a land of extremes, containing several of Oregon’s eco-regions, and offering a vibrant geologic history. The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, as part of the Nez Perce’s original range, also boasts a rich cultural story.
The land, shaped by plate tectonics and further carved by volcanoes, rivers, and glaciers, now provides homes for fauna such as bighorn sheep, mountain goats, cougars, black bear, rattlesnake, sturgeon, varieties of salmon, golden eagles, pikas, wolves, and elk, as well as an impressive array of wildflowers. Amongst the flora and fauna are a number of species endemic to the region.
Due to intense increases in elevation, the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is favored by visitors that utilize the art of packing. In winter, the forest plays host to adventurous Nordic skiers and snowshoers.
The crew will be based out of Enterprise, Oregon, for the duration of the season and primarily servicing the Eagle Cap Wilderness.
|About the Site|
|Will Kimmell, Crew Member|
|Jordan Albright, Crew Member|
|Sam Wright, Crew Member|
|Laura Hayes, Crew Member|
|Danny Shosky, Crew Member|
|Heidi Brill, Project Leader|
|Hitch THE FINAL|
|Hitch Number V|
|Hitch Number Four|
|Hitch Number Three|
|Hitch Number Two|
|Hitch Number One|