It’s easy to imagine trail work as hardcore - blazing a path with a saw in one hand and an ax in the other. While ten hours of our day do consist of brushing, sawing, axing, building tread, and miles of hiking, the remaining hours are spent at camp. But there is much more to making a successful trail crew.
There are days when we get back to camp and sit in our chairs and just stare at our feet until we regain enough strength to wash up and start our nightly chores. Other times, if we’re lucky, we get to jump in an amazing alpine lake. Most nights we bust out the chips and salsa and babble on with stories and jokes.
The kitchen is the center of camp and meals sustain us and the work we do. The trail crew strives for quality and quantity when it comes to food. Burritos, chili, curry, pad thai, and risotto, are the most repeated meals. After cooking, we’re left with two large dirty pans, two cutting boards, utensils, bowls, and somehow everything else from our kitchen kit. When the three cleaning buckets are placed on the table the crew is ready to start doing dishes. These camp tasks could be considered chores. But when looked at as a time to share as a crew, they can become moments of uncontrollable laughter or deep conversations.
These behind-the-scenes moments on the trail crew become stories, and those stories become memories. Memories we won't soon forget.