Our first backcountry hitch! As a weeds crew, this was something that we were all really looking forward to. We got the awesome opportunity to work with the Forest Service and learn some of their ways of handling and treating the invasive plants found within the Bob Marshall. After hiking in about 5.5 miles (with mules!!) we set up camp along the confluence of the West and South forks of the Sun River and quickly adjusted to the backcountry camping lifestyle. We became experts on radio communication after dealing with several technical issues, and after some help from our project partner, we felt that we had become a part of the Forest Service that truly serviced the Bob Marshall.  Spraying was only planned for one day, and I think we all really enjoyed the instant satisfaction that pulling weeds provided over spraying herbicide. Our project partner, Keegan, was extremely informative and helpful in providing us with even more knowledge about spraying herbicide in Wilderness areas. My crew and I learned a lot from her guidance and instruction, and her help made all the difference in our overall experience.

For me, the best part of the hitch was being in the Bob Marshall Wilderness itself. I loved being around the beautiful country knowing that I was making a positive difference. We made some great memories both during the work day and off, and it was so much fun! The 9 day hitch was a learning experience for all of us. From the mule pack to the complicated Forest Service radio communication to the 7am stream crossings, each member gained a little more insight on what it means to truly be a steward of the land.


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