The MCC Blue Crew serving out of the Central Divide region just got back from our first extended hitch, a twenty day excursion up at the Meriwether trail over in the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness area!
Our first few days were spent primarily finishing up some much needed brushing along the sides of the trail. Our previous hitch we had only brought two pairs of loppers, one of which spent half its time pointlessly gnawing branches until they basically just broke on their own accord and the rest of its time falling to pieces. We began to affectionately refer to this tool as the Cyndi Loppers… due to their poor performance and general distaste. Anyways, yeah, we brushed for like the first four days of our hitch until we had finally cleared all the foliage leading up to the site of our first major crew project.

About three miles up the Meriwether trail is a section on an intensely eroded dirt and limestone slope. Here it was asked of us to build a multi-tier crib wall. The first couple days were spent preparing logs for this project until we had our first visitor for the hitch. His name was Ryan, and he was a Wilderness Ranger out of the Bob Marshal who was brought down to show us some backcountry carpentry skills. He hung out with us for about three days teaching and helping us through our backbreaking labors. Aside from the obvious technical and physical advantages of his visit, we all very much appreciated talking to this guy and hearing snippets of his vivacious life. He himself had done trail work for a while and spent some time organic farming across the world. His life had basically been a mosaic of just good honest work in a plethora of fantastic locations ranging from the South American jungles to the dead white plains of Antarctica. It truly was a pleasure working with him.

After his departure we had a couple lazy days off spent relaxing and hiking and reading. A good chunk of our crew members cranked out Young Men and Fire, Norman McCleans fantastic dramatic rendition of the story of the Man Gulch Fire which occurred just one canyon over, down the river. I certainly recommend checking out the novel.
The rest of the hitch was basically put into the construction of the crib wall. Cutting, barking, stacking, notching, and anything else you can think to do to a log, we did. We got chased out by storms a handful of days, but always put in full effort when we were at work.
Over all it was a fantastic hitch, with innumerable amounts of quirky little hiccups and bold character building moments. We all pushed ourselves to new levels and had a grand time doing it.


Comments

if the problem is in the dcehits those are not ATV trails so we cannot grade them but they will take a look at the area by the Thaines   Malone.  Trails from the County line toward McGrath are maintained by Aitkin County so we will let them know of your concerns.

Posted by Denk at July 23 2014

Full of salient points. Don’t stop beeiivlng or writing!

Posted by Majo at July 24 2014

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