by Trevor Fero, 2016 WCC Intern
On July 30th I woke up to the thrill of new adventures. The WCC’s 4th hitch was only hours away and I couldn’t be more excited to enter the Scapegoat Wilderness for the first time. Having previously spent trail day with the Lincoln District, it was nice for me to be working with some familiar faces knowing that we would all work well together.
Our work focused around maintenance on the Upper Landers Trail. This trail is surrounded by thick Lodge Pole Pine regeneration stands that have been there since the 1988 fire and offer great views of the tallest peak in the complex, Red Mountain. We retreaded and brushed many yards of trail, built and cleared drains and also learn valuable trail skills, like how in-sloping trail tread keeps stock in, protecting the edge of the trail from being trampled, from the Lincoln Ranger District’s non-profit liaison, Chris.
Seeing how this was our 4th hitch I was expecting things to be slightly easier. I figured I was finally in prime trail shape and nothing could stop me. But I was wrong… After spending the majority of the two previous hitches retreading I was having a very hard time getting back into it during this hitch. It seemed that exhaustion had set in between me and the other members of the crew during the second day of work retreading and at times I couldn’t see the light. Right after that moment I realized how lucky I was to be a part of such an amazing crew and as long as I had Alex, Cassidy, Abby and Evan with me I could do anything.
Within each hitch there are many trials and tribulations which seem to go in cycles. The first couple of days are full of excitement. Then, things slow down and fatigue sets in. That is all followed by more excitement towards the end of the trip due to the hitch ending. When things get hard in the middle of the hitch it’s important to remember that without that learning experience growth is not possible. At the end of the day it’s great to be helping make the complex more accessible for recreation, and it’s great to work with so many amazing people and to be spending time in such amazingly wild places.