by Abby Hobza, WCC Intern
This hitch wasn’t just a Wilderness Conservation Corps work party. Trail crew leader Rebecca Kambic and a six (6) BMWF volunteers joined us as we trekked up Headquarters Pass in hopes of seeing mountain goats (oh, and to do some work too). The hike to the top was short but steep and breathtakingly beautiful with waterfalls, ridges, and mountain views all around. Once we got to camp, we wasted no time setting up our backcountry kitchen, tents, and exploring the surrounding area.
The next couple days consisted of installing check steps, water bars, and a handful of rock water bars. I never knew how much work installing a rock water bar would be. Rebecca Kambic took the lead on instructing the WCC and volunteers on the importance of making contact between the rocks, and the number one rule which is, if you can lift the rock by yourself, it’s too small to use. Navigating in a burn area with few rocks large enough and in close proximity posed a challenge for building these rock water bars.
The work took place over the Fourth of July weekend and was the perfect way to celebrate this national holiday in one of the most beautiful places in The Bob working with a quality group of individuals passionate about Wilderness conservation. Seeing the Chinese Wall in the distance and learning from volunteers who have volunteered with the Foundation for twenty years was amazing. After work, we cooked up Bratwurst in celebration of the Fourth.
After Rebecca and the BMWF volunteers departed, the WCC remained at Headquarters Pass for another four days. We lived through a lightening/hail/thunder/snow storm, and discovered that the check steps, water bars, and rock water bars that we had built actually worked and held up to this watery assault.
We had to tweak a few check steps but for the most part they did their job of diverting runoff from the trail to prevent erosion. We spent the rest of our hitch rebuilding the trail tread in order to make it wider for stock.
This hitch was full of great company, mountain goats, valuable lessons, and of course, a much needed dosage of time in The Bob.