• July 28, 2014
  • Posted by Shauna Kraut

Since our fencing project in Glacier National Park, my crew has gone to Tally Lake, the Swan mountains, and a back country location in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

During our Tally Lake hitch, we had the opportunity to clear corridor and reroute the first part of a trail near the Tally Lake Ridge. We were running chainsaws everyday as well as digging tread. Considering one of our crew members left after the second day of work, it was pretty amazing to see the progress we made with only six remaining members for the last two days. We met our goal of clearing the entire corridor as well as meeting up with the original trail in the rerouting process. There were many stumps and big rocks along the way (one of which apparently became famous), but despite this, we pushed through and accomplished what we set out to do. It was a great feeling for our crew to realize that we could achieve that much in such a short time. Ever since that hitch, we have worked very well together as a crew and have accomplished a lot of work as a team.

Our next hitch was in the Swan Lake District where we were working on clearing brush and cleaning up an avalanche site about two miles in from the trail head. There was a lot of hiking on this hitch, but it felt good to finish as much as we did once again. We learned how to use brush saws for the first time (which was quite annoying at times) but all in all was a good experience. Our agency partners were pleased with what we accomplished and told us that if we continue with the same work ethic for future partners, they should all be quite satisfied.

Our last hitch was a ten day back country hitch and by far the most amazing (as well as my crew’s favorite). It was about a 13 mile hike into the Bob Marshall Wilderness to the cabins that we helped to restore. Everything about this hitch was unforgettable; from the hike, to the scenery, to the project partner, to the historic cabins. I felt extremely lucky to have been a part of the entire experience, and I know that my crew feels the same. It was pretty awesome learning about the historic cabins from the forest archaeologist that one of our project partners set up for us.

It was not simply the cabins that made the experience so unforgettable, it was the feeling you had merely being that far into the unspoiled wilderness. It was quite a spiritual experience for me, and I believe for others as well. By the end of the hitch, I don’t think anyone really wanted to leave. And also, on our hike out (at 6am) we saw the most amazing pink and orange sunrise coming up over a mountain to the left side of the trail; and on the right side there was a double rainbow caused by the light drizzle and sunrise reflections that morning.

It was quite a surreal experience and I believe that is a moment my entire crew will never forget. It was an amazing way to leave the wilderness and I don’t know if I, or any of my crew members, will ever experience anything quite like it again.


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