Five New Members, One New Trail

  • October 05, 2017
  • Posted by Leanna Pohevitz

Meet Brandon, Dan, Kira, Leanna and Lisa - pictured above with their valiant leader Tucker and project sponsors Zach and RJ.

After an introductory two weeks learning the ropes of MCC it was time for their first hitch, a reroute in Glacier National Park. There was a section of old trail through a burn area that crossed a creek many more times than was comfortable for those who prefer to remove their boots to ford it.

Unfortunately distances were pretty difficult to determine; the crew was prepared for a five mile hike in to a campsite and daily two mile hikes to a 1000 foot work site. Instead, their mornings and evenings were met with a four mile hike to and from the work site, which was closer to 1000 yards long than 1000 feet.

Day one had some anxieties flowing freely. How could they possibly complete the work? The hikes? Who would have energy left to cook their meals?

Then they started working. There were plenty of sore muscles and dehydrated hours until they got into a rhythm. Each person working a section until it was beautiful and bumping up when they’d made it that way. The work melted the days together, broken only with delicious (well it was hitch food, but they were hungry) meals, sleep and dice games. Until friday, day four of work. All of a sudden there was the end of the white and blue polka dot flags (we know…polka dots?). There was the other part of the trail they were connecting to. At around 2:15pm they finished connecting the new to the old. They covered the old trail to entice people to believe in the new path despite what their maps were telling them.

As they shoveled some sod onto the old path a pair of hikers strolled down their new trail from above. Just like that all their work was useful and important and awesomely gratifying. The hikers high-fived them and thanked them profusely for their work.

The remaining time was spent polishing the trail, setting up 135 degree angles so water would run off, beating up and dispersing rocks that could break ankles, making corners not just blind turns etc.

In nine nine-hour days they changed Glacier National Park in a good way. How many people can say that? Unclear, but these six MCC crew members and their two project partners - RJ and Zach surely can.

A pretty successful first hitch if you ask us.


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