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Guadalupe Mountains

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Cut out skies and cardboard scapes, we’ve never seen the mountains look this fake or beautiful for that matter. I can’t speak for everyone, but the continuous view of Guadalupe was more than enough to get my creative juices flowing. As corny as it sounds, this hitch, unlike some others left me feeling like daydreams do come true. This was my first back country hitch and consequentially my first cathole experience. We are, as I write this, filthy and anxious for the luxuries of running water and toiletries. That being said, I wouldn’t hesitate to do it all over, if for no other reason then the shooting stars. I saw so many that I stopped making wishes. Our adjustment to mountain time, along with the recent end of daylight savings left us with an abundance of hours taken up by the night and I loved it. This hitch was particularly pleasant, because I felt like we were able to really connect with our four project partners. This was my second time working with two of the partners and I’m happy to say that they offered to be references for all of us in the future. It’s a rare occasion that you get to camp and work with professionals in the field and I was happy for the opportunity to network. Unlike last hitch in Guadalupe, where we used herbicide on invasive species, we were able to plant! We planted native grasses everyday, starting the beginning of an ongoing research project for a botanist from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. We were all really excited to be apart of the research and hope that our efforts regarding grasses and Creosote Bushes help shed some light on future restoration efforts. It’s always a pleasure working with Eric and Marcus and I think it’s safe to say that we each adore the University of Nevada employees, Lindsey and Mandy. This hitch, like most, was rough, but Guadalupe, we love you.
-White Crew Reloaded
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Bayou Land Conservancy Bridge

Samuel Snelling here with you again giving you a report on how things are going on the Coastal Crew down in Houston. With our latest project we were working with the Bayou Land Conservancy to build a 72 foot bridge in Spring, Texas near Spring Creek.

It had just recently rained so when we arrived the first day we had to deal with quite a bit of mud, but nothing that we couldn’t handle.

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First, we started with digging down about 2 to 3 feet down with post hole diggers to plant our supporting post into the ground. We used this new type of “cement” that was basically really hard foam. Seemed to work pretty good in cementing the posts into the ground. We eventually placed 14 of those down, and moved on to the next task of adding our stringers, which are the side boards that will connect each post. We added 12 of those using 1/2 inch by 6 inch lag screws with washers to keep them in place.

Then we added headers which are perpendicular to the stinger boards, and then after those we added our runners. While some people were working on that we also had some people working on the ramps. This bridge is going to be used as a hiking/biking trail so we wanted to transition from the ground to the bridge to be as smooth as possible. We worked on it for awhile to get it just right.

After the long week process we finally got it done! I felt this was a great project to help my crew and me brush up on our carpentry skills, and hopefully do a project like this in the future. Here are more pictures from this project!

Sam Snelling – Coastal Crew Leader

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