On July 31st, 2017, White Crew departed for the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The eight hour drive was more than worth it once we pulled up to the tallest peak in Texas, which climbs to 8,751 feet. There we met our project partners who work for parks to eliminate invasive plant species. We spent the next ten days spraying the abominable Yellow Blue Stem, and the horrific Layman’s Lovegrass. Together, the brave members of White Crew helped save the nation from some of Guadalupe’s most notorious invaders- equipped with a pick in the left hand and a backpack sprayer tightly strapped to the strongest shoulders of TXCC. Near the middle of our hitch, we had the opportunity to hike the Guadalupe Peak Trail, which is a round trip of 8.4 miles. The grueling yet beautiful hike was without a doubt a piece of cake for the best crew in TXCC. This was by far one of the coolest experiences, and I am lucky to be serving with Texas Conservation Corps.
CJ – Disaster Response Team
Our first four hitches this season were at Bastrop State Park, where we worked on cutting new trail, corridor clearing, tree falling, log and rock work.
Week one we mostly worked on finishing up a trail that we worked on last season with the Bastrop Crew. Using tools like pulaskis and shovels we cut new tread.
Our second hitch we split up into two groups. One group worked on a rock staircase and the other on felling ceaders for log projects. We used rock bars and pick mattocks to dig up and collect rocks to make the staircase. We also set a large rock in place connecting the trail to the low water crossing the Bastrop crew built last season.
Week three we debarked the ceaders and used the logs to make some steps. We used chainsaws to cut and shape the wood and power drills, single and double jacks, and rebar to set it in place.
Our last hitch we worked with Green crew. We finished up the log box steps, cut corridor, worked on a log crib wall, and cut some tread. The crib wall was done by setting a log parallel to the trail and setting two logs on top of it perpendicular to the tread. Finally we set another log on top, crushed it and set dirt to raise the tread.
Art Gonzalez – Trails Across Texas