- October 02, 2019
- Posted by Jackson Crawford
The Moosebirds spent September working one final hitch in the Payette National Forest and wrapping up their summer season with a backcountry adventure into Yellowstone National Park’s infamous Lamar Valley.
Fall came early in the Payette. Heavy rain and powerful wind storms swept through the forest as the crew worked to reestablish drainage and cut thousands of saplings along the backside of the Victor Creek trail. The crew previously dug roughly four miles of water bars and retread on the other side of the mountains and completed work on all eleven miles of the trail in total.
Two nights of wind storms caused dozens of massive trees to fall and thud audibly while the crew tried to sleep. One evening over dinner nine trees fell within a minute. Luckily fears were put to rest when the locations of the falling trees were determined to be a hillside of burned lodgepoles across the creek. Trees were hugged and trail creeks were drained and the Moosebirds maintained high spirits despite the weather.
The Lamar River Valley is widely known to be a wildlife hotspot in Yellowstone National Park. After two days working in the front country near Mammoth, the Moosebirds were packed in to a campsite along Cache Creek - a little over three miles into the Lamar Valley.
Over their nine days in the park the crew saw the following animals (in order):
• Mule Deer
• Red Squirrel
• Grizzly Bear
• Bald Eagle
• Blue Bird
• Great Northern Owl
• Sandhill Crane
• Red Tailed Hawk
• Garter Snake
• Wolf prints
Project Partner Matt Rowell guided the group through a few major projects reestablishing tread, drains, and retaining structures for switchbacks within bison migration paths. Wet and muddy conditions destroyed some boots and gear, but the sun returned at the end of the hitch and allowed the crew to rehab large swaths of braided trails and complete twelve check steps and four huge water bars.
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