It’s been a while since I have written anything on here, and I figure this would be a great tool to use to update everyone on my current events. On June 23rd I moved to Hurricane, Utah to work for a conservation core called American Conservation Experience. I live in an old hostel that now is the home to 39 core members and crew leaders. I am happy to say I am back in my zone of communal living. I go out on “hitch” (work) for 8 days, and come back home for 6 days.
Work days consist of filling up 6 liters of water, packing enough food for a 10 hour work day, taking rain gear (storms come out of nowhere here), and putting it all in my pack for the day. Depending on the project we are on, we could be doing a lot of hiking. On my last hitch we averaged 10 miles of hiking a day, a lot of which is done with a pick in one hand and a shovel in the other. At 9,000 feet, this can be quite strenuous until you are acclimated.
The concept of conservation and trail restoration go hand in hand, which I understand isn’t obvious at first. The idea is that if you keep a trail well groomed and easy for people to walk on, it concentrates the impact into one area rather than trampling the whole forest. Things we do to maintain that is lopping plants that grow into the trail, building drains to lead the water off the trail, and occasionally making an entirely new trail. Although hard, the work is entirely rewarding.
I have made so many friends, in fact, I’d like to say all 39 of these people are already like family. I have already been here a month and that is so hard to believe. I wish I could fill you all in on every little thing I have done, but that would involve a weekly post. Everyday is deep, filled with adventure, spontaneous events, and love from my fellow core members. This is the life I wished for. My work is purposeful and outdoors, and when I’m not at work my home is a 30 minute drive from Zion National Park and so many more beautiful places. I mostly spend my time in a tent, and I get better and better everyday at packing my life into a bag.
I am on my way right now to Wind Caves National Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota for 6 whole weeks. Me and 11 others are jam packed into a van, and are on a 13 hour road trip. Sorry it took so long to update everyone, also it will take me a while to get my literary voice back.