- January 28, 2019
- Posted by Halle Smith
I am writing this after just returning to Missoula from our crew’s last hitch together, which I am struggling to come to terms with. I feel like I’ve reached the end of an era, and maybe in some sense I have…but in reality I think a new era is about to begin.
There are few things more humbling than contributing to change. I spent my summer on a weeds crew, and I don’t think my spray-pack and I ever developed a healthy, loving relationship but I know that I contributed to change, to something larger than myself, and that is a feeling incomparable to anything else. I feel so thankful, so incredibly thankful. I am still in complete awe that I was able to live out my dream of working outside with people I adore and respect, while somehow getting to know myself better in the process.
Our last hitch together was spent at the Moose Creek Ranger Station nestled into the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, in the Nez Perce National Forest. There’s nowhere else I’d rather we’d had our last hitch, because Moose Creek is truly a special place. We weren’t the only ones working out of the ranger station either; we got to see Missoula’s immersion crew for a few days and a few Forest Service trail crews we’d met at Shearer a few hitches earlier. Although the cookhouse was crowded and the body odor was plenty, being around so many like-minded people was crazy fun and an incredible end to the summer season.
I was reminded this hitch of the importance of being comfortable with uncomfortability, because that’s one of the realities of working in the woods. I’ve found this summer that forcing myself out of my comfort zone is the surest way to grow into the person and environmental steward I want to be. MCC weeds has pointed me in the direction I know I want to go, and I owe all of my thanks to my crew leader, my fellow members, to the entire MCC program, to the Wilderness Act, and to whatever unknown factors put me where I am now.
Be kind and surrender to the flow. It’s amazing where it takes you.
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