Catching snowflakes hiking into crosscutting work area near Red Lodge, MT. Catching snowflakes hiking into crosscutting work area near Red Lodge, MT. <p>Hiking into Sioux Charley Lake for an overnight backpacking trip/ training!</p>

The Chronicles of Becoming a Trail Dog

  • May 15, 2019
  • Posted by Megan O'Brien

This past week was definitely a bittersweet one for the crew leaders of the Greater Yellowstone region. We began by heading to Red Lodge, MT to meet up with the amazing Allie Wood and her trail crew to get crosscut certified in the beautiful Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness.

Allie tested our past knowledge and experience with saws while also giving us the space and encouragement to try new things and get hands on crosscut saws right away. She and her crew were very knowledgeable and helpful and all of the crew leaders were so grateful to have had the chance to do this training with them.

After getting crosscut certified, Allie gave our crew a great recommendation for an overnight backpacking spot to do a little back-country training rundown. So we drove to a trail head about an hour away and hiked 3.5 miles in to Sioux Charley Lake. 

In this beautiful place, we put our back-country knowledge to the test by finding an appropriate place to camp, 200 ft back from the lake itself. Then we also practiced our Leave No Trace awareness and bear safety protocols by creating a latrine, kitchen site, and bear hang. All located at least 200 ft from our actual sleeping site.

We feasted on cous-cous that night over a whisper lite, talked about our jitters about crew members coming in just a week and half, and reminisced all the amazing times we had shared over the past 3 and a half month training period. My how much we have grown and learned from each other.

As we end our last week of training together as crew leaders I am filled with gratitude for getting to know these amazing forest dwelling humans and for all the things they continue to teach me about being a leader and being myself. Much love for you all and for all the Crew Leaders of the Montana Conservation Corps about to embark on their seasons!


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